Saturday :: Feb 21, 2004

It's so hard to please everybody

by dj moonbat

For a while now, the Bush administration's nearly unswerving support for Sharon's policies in the Middle East, and our handy removal of one of Israel's best-armed foes, have spurred speculation that for once, the Democratic party might not be able to count on the Jewish vote. [Link is subscription only. If you really want to read more than the excerpt below, email me and I'll slip you a pwd.]

The Anti-Defamation League, one of the country's foremost Jewish advocacy groups, has spent years battling the theocratic initiatives of the Christian right. So Ralph Reed, former head of the Christian Coalition, was "happily surprised" when he got a call from the ADL asking permission to reprint his essay "We People of Faith Stand Firmly With Israel," which explained Christian support for the country in both geopolitical and evangelical terms. "For many, there is no greater proof of God's sovereignty in the world today than the survival of the Jews and the existence of Israel," Reed's piece said. Two weeks ago, the ADL published it in a half-page New York Times ad.

The ad was one of the most visible examples of the new pro-Israel alliance between liberal Jews and the Christian right, but it was far from the only one. That same week, former presidential candidate Gary Bauer -- an evangelical to the right of President Bush -- was invited to address a breakfast meeting at the Israeli embassy, something he says he couldn't have imagined happening five years ago. At last month's pro-Israel rally in Washington, the crowd welcomed Christian right-wingers including Dick Armey and Janet Parshall, head of the National Religious Broadcasters Association. Less than a week later, Tom DeLay addressed the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) conference, and a week after that, John Ashcroft was invited to speak to the ADL -- despite a statement the group released last January criticizing Ashcroft's statement that in America, "We have no king but Jesus."
Hardcore Christian conservatives were once the major force distancing Jews from the Republican Party. Suddenly, they're the chosen people's closest friends, on Israel at least. Thus while the political fallout from the Middle East stalemate is still unpredictable, Republicans are tantalized by the idea that right-wing support for Israeli Prime Minster Ariel Sharon's hawkish policies will win Bush the lasting fealty of large number of American Jews. The same week that DeLay spoke to AIPAC, New York Times pundit William Safire tried to parlay conservatives' new concord with Jews into a lasting political realignment, summoning his overwhelmingly Democratic-voting Jewish brethren to join the Zionist GOP in a column called "Democrats vs. Israel."


[A] dramatic shift among Jews isn't necessary to tip the electoral balance. Even a small change in the Jewish vote could make a huge difference in states like Florida and New York, and many leaders see that as a distinct possibility. According to a Washington Post story, Jews made up 14 percent of all New York voters in the 2000 election, and they've shown their willingness to go GOP before, supporting Gov. Pataki and Mayors Giuliani and Bloomberg in large numbers. In Florida, Jews make up almost 5 percent of the electorate -- far larger than the margin between Gore and Bush in the last election. A Jewish swing to the right in either state could be decisive in keeping Bush in the White House.

But I wouldn't start to despair just yet, folks. The alliance between the "Christian" Right and some pro-Israel groups was always tense. And it looks like the Falwells, Robertsonts, and Reeds got Bush's ear recently. Sez here Bush wants to have a private White House screening of Mel Gibson's The Passion.

You know, the movie that studios didn't want to touch, because it kind of resuscitates the age-old Blood Libel?

That should go over well with the folks at AIPAC.

dj moonbat :: 5:55 AM :: Comments (7) :: Digg It!