October 5, 2004
Why American Jews must vote for BushBy Ed Lasky
American Jews face a fateful choice when they cast their Presidential ballots on November 2nd. The world Jewish community — inside and outside of Israel — faces an unprecedented threat from anti—Semitism, which has has spread to points far and wide from its epicenter in the Arab world, and is headed our way. During this perilous time, the anachronistic tendency of American Jews to vote Democratic must end.
This is one tradition that Jews, a people united by their traditions, should put aside. They should refuse to vote for John Kerry for President. Bluntly speaking, his words and actions reveal a man who would imperil our community. Our concerns should not just be about Israel but for the future of the entire Jewish community. It is imperative that Jews understand that the hatred being promoted around the world is directed not just at Israel, but also at Jews as Jews.
All one has to do is look at the signs held aloft at protests around the world, look at the cartoons printed in newspapers, scan hate—filled web sites, observe campus activities and hear sermons emanating from mosques (including some in America) to realize that Osama bin Laden's declaration of a jihad against Jews and Christians is resonating around the world, and not just among Muslims. Israel is the canary in the coal mine and if terror succeeds in Israel it is only a matter of time before it shows up on our doorsteps, and in our temples and pre—schools.
Many of his other actions primarily benefit America and the West but also have an extremely beneficial effect on Israel. He has enacted laws (such as the Patriot Act) that have served to cut—off funding for terror acts. His forcefulness has resulted in the unraveling of the Pakistani nuclear bazaar that helped spread nuclear technology throughout the world. Under his aegis, Libya has given up its nuclear weapons technology. He signed into law a bill compelling Syria to stop supporting terrorist groups. He has lead an international effort to destroy al Qaeda—that has resulted in significant success. He named Iran as one of the members of the axis of evil—as he should since Iran is the most active state sponsor of terror in the world and according to a senior member of the Revolutionary Guards has 'a strategy drawn up for the destruction of Anglo—Saxon civilization'.
He has destroyed the regimes of the Taliban in Afghanistan that served as a safe haven for terror groups (including al Qaeda) and the Saddam Hussein regime in Iraq. It would be remiss not to remind the world that Hussein funded terror groups operating against Israel and paid the families of homicide bombers, $25,000 for each successful attack that killed innocent Israelis. Since his demise, these attacks have certainly decreased (albeit in the company of strong actions on the part of the Israelis. By trying to create more democratic societies that could also serve as role models for the entire region President Bush is striving to not just to free the millions in the Arab world but make the world safer for the rest of us.
Now how does John Kerry stack up?
Kerry trumpets that he will work with the United Nations and European allies in developing foreign policy. Some have said that he intends to outsource our foreign policy to the likes of France and the UN. Others term this a surrender of American sovereignty. This is not surprising since he has a fetish for the UN.
When has multilateralsim ever been a positive for the world's Jews?
The UN relief and Works Agency (UNWRA) has become a breeding ground for terrorists in Lebanon, the West Bank and the Gaza Strip. The UN Food—for—Oil program was subverted from within and apparently used to funnel money to terrorists. Maybe this shouldn't be surprising since the UN cannot even agree on the definition of terror since Arab states thought it might infringe on their rights to kill Jews .
In 1956, The UN forced Israel to relinquish the Sinai to Egypt and as part of the truce, UN observers separated the Israelis from the Egyptians. In 1967 Egypt illegally blockaded the Straits of Tiran, choking Israel's oil supply. The UN did nothing. Then Egypt asked the UN force to leave so it could proceed with its plans to attack Israel. The UN happily obliged. Israel is the only nation not allowed to be part of a regional body and thus cannot serve on the Security Council. Yet, Libya and the Sudan occupy posts on the UN Human Rights Council—the same group that routinely condemns Israel. The UN declared 'Zionism is Racism' and permitted UN rules to be violated when a gun—toting Yasser Arafat took the podium, The UN asked the International Court of Justice to issue an advisory ruling on Israel's security fence (violating UN rules to do so). Needless to say, the Court ruled against Israel.
Last year's UN Conference Against Racism in Durban became an anti—Semitic hate—fest reminiscent of Nazi rallies of the 1930s(President Bush stopped US participation when the nature of the conference became clear).
Yet, Kerry would not only seek a closer relationship with this body of worthies but also seek to strengthen our 'friendships' with such European nations as France and Germany. France has enthusiastically taken on the role of the most anti—Israel nation in Europe: its Ambassador to England called Israel 'that s****y little country' ; its former Prime Minister called the establishment of Israel a 'historic mistake' ; it has seen the most anti—Semitism of any European nation since World War Two; the grandstanding Dominique de Villepin(ex—Foreign Minister) has reportedly expressed anti—Semitic sentiments. France willingly supplied Hussein not just with weapons but also with the nuclear reactor that Israel destroyed in 1981; it continues to supply nuclear technology to Iran whose desire for nuclear weapons to destroy Israel is well known.
The EU continues to supply funds being used by the Palestinians to commit terror attacks and European nations have continuously condemned any and all actions Israel takes to defend its citizens. There are reports that if Kerry wins the election, Arafat will be rehabilitated. Such a plan should not be surprising since the EU envoy to the region condescendingly told Israel that the EU would be involved in its fate, whether it 'liked it or not.'
What fate, pray tell, does the EU intend for Israel?
Kerry spoke negatively about Israel's security fence before the Arab—American Institute last year, when he bemoaned 'how disheartened Palestinians are by the Israeli government's decision to build a barrier off the Green Line, cutting deeply into Palestinian areas' and went on to say that 'We do not need another barrier to peace... and that provocative and counterproductive measures only harm Israel's security over the long term.' Of course, the fence has actually lead to fewer deaths among both Palestinians and Israelis, and has been the number one cause of the reduction in terror casualties.
Kerry also denounced the 'endless cycle of violence and reprisals' — thereby equating Israel's defensive measures to root out killers to the murder of innocent Israelis by Palestinian terrorists.
Kerry supporters point to a seemingly solid Senatorial record on votes for Israel, but this is a specious argument. It does not take much to have a solid record on Israel, since most of the Resolutions regarding Israel are painless offers of moral support.
In a devastating article, 'John Kerry on Israel: Second to Several' , Rick Rickman pointed out that Kerry was not a strong supporter of Israel. In 2000, for example, he did not join 60 co—sponsors of the 'Middle East Peace Process Support Act' — a bill calling on the President not to recognize a unilaterally declared Palestinian state. He also failed to co—sponsor a pro—Israel 'Peace Through Negotiations Act.' In 1993 he failed to join 55 Senators in signing the Grassley/Lautenberg letter to the State Department, demanding that Hamas be listed as a terrorist organization. He did not support the assassination of Sheikh Yassin, often called 'the Palestinian Osama bin Laden' for his exhortations to violence.
In a book Kerry wrote, he called Yasser Arafat a 'statesman'. Granted this was during a period when diplomats were attempting to whitewash Arafat. But it was also a period when Arafat was openly brainwashing Palestinians to hate, and was planning his terror campaign against Israel.
Other 'experts' surrounding Kerry include Sandy Berger, who even said in May 2000 that Palestinian violence was 'a blessing" because it might speed up the negotiating process. Martin Indyk is an ex—Ambassador to Israel and recently told Israel to unilaterally give up the strategically vital Golan Heights to Syria, or continue to expect Syria to support Hizbullah. Indyk has been called Arafat's Yes—Man.
Iran poses the foremost threat to Israel. Iranian missiles are paraded in Tehran with Tel Aviv and Jerusalem scribbled on their sides. Iran openly brags that it will destroy Israel and says it does not fear a nuclear counterattack because the Arab world is so big that it can absorb retaliation. The Iranians have even gloated that concentrating so many Jews in Israel will make their genocidal task easier. Yet, Kerry seeks engagement with these rulers and wants to explore areas of mutual concern. He takes the non—confrontational approach with Iran. He even wants to provide them with nuclear fuel! This is absurd: Iran has a long history (like North Korea) of using these negotiation to further develop their weapons and to make 'deals' that can and will be easily broken when it is advantageous to do so.
Bush, in contrast, has worked to help Israel develop the Arrow anti—ballistic missile system. He is attempting to create positive role models for Iranians in Iraq and Afghanistan that would encourage their citizens to overthrow the mullahs. (This is why Iran is sponsoring terror in Iraq and elsewhere.) President Bush has led the Proliferation Security Initiative which has interdicted the shipment of WMD technology around the world.
To be sure, Kerry has made a few feints to assuage Jewish concerns for Israel —— usually after he has made problematic statements regarding Israel and received criticism. He dutifully sent his brother Cameron to Israel for a campaign stop. Cameron converted to Judaism years ago, upon his marriage. The Kerry campaign has touted Cameron as someone who takes his faith seriously and who is the key to broadening Kerry's appreciation for the concerns of the Jewish community. Yet Cameron, throughout all the years of his marriage and the raising of his children, has gone to Israel all of one time, for the above mentioned campaigning. Kerry himself, lest it be forgotten, had two Jewish grandfathers —— a fact that he obscured in a questionable manner, while he posed as being of Irish ancestry.
Given Kerry's approach to foreign policy, Israel will be in deep trouble if he is elected President.
Left wing dictatorships don't sem to bother Senator Kerry at all. He pushed for engagement with the dictatorial Sandinista regime in Nicaragua and found reasons to favor them with his praise. He also seems to have a soft spot for Castro and such fondness is reciprocated. He found no reason to support 40 million South Vietnamese against an invasion form the north and saw no risks of violence should North Vietnam defeat the South Vietnamese. Tell that to the hundreds of thousands killed and tortured after Saigon fell, and to the millions still living under a Communist dictatorship. If he wouldn't act to help 40 million South Vietnamese will he take a risk to help a few million Jews, especially when it would offend his European friends and disappoint 300 million Arabs?
On January 29th Kerry stated that the threat of 'terrorism has been exaggerated' by the Bush Administration and that 'terrorism was primarily an intelligence and law enforcement operation.' Well, maybe his frequent absences from his Intelligence Committee work might account for this fatuous remark. Nevertheless, it cannot be excused. The terrorists consider this a war.
The problem with Kerry's approach and one that should be familiar to any lawyer: the punishment meted out by the legal system should have a deterrent effect. Senator Kerry may have missed this information at one of the hearings of his Committee he skipped, but terrorists seek and celebrate martyrdom. They will not be dissuaded by any prospect of jail time. This is particularly important given the scale of catastrophe that can occur when terrorists strike.
Even if some terrorists might be dissuaded from attacking by the prospect of prison time, the operative word is 'prospect.' Terrorists and their supporters have flocked to Western nations to plan and commit their violence because they know that our legal systems provide a variety of means to wiggle out of punishment. This was notably the case in Germany, where Mounir el—Motassadeq was convicted of complicity in 9/11, but was then released on a legal technicality. University of South Florida Professor Sami Al—Arian may be linked to terror, but due to cumbersome legal procedures, it took seven years from the start of the investigation to his actual arrest.
Persons released from Guantanomo because of pressure form rights groups have openly declared their intention to renew terror attacks. Andrew McCarthy, who led the terrorism trial against Sheik Rahman for the first World Trade Center attack, has an outstanding analysis of the harm this excessive and misplaced emphasis on the legalities of our actions can and have caused here
This overly legalistic approach to the WAR on terror will hurt us and will be one more weapon to use against Israel.
Fellow Democrats might agree since a CNN/USA Today/Gallup poll found that a majority of Democrats feel the US supports Israel too much; whereas a plurality of Republicans accepts this support with enthusiasm.
There was a 2002 Congressional resolution offering support for Israel: 94 Senators voted for it and 2 Democratic Senators voted against it (Byrd and Hollings). The accompanying House Resolution passed 352—21 with 29 voting present. Forty—two of the 50 voting no or abstaining were Democrats. Representatives Pence and Berkley introduced a Resolution in support of Israel's security fence that passed 361—45 in the House. Of the 45 who opposed Israel, 40 of them were Democrats.
Others have gone so far as to contend that the Democratic Party seems to have been corrupted by anti—Semitism within its ranks. Jim Moran, Ernest Hollings, the soon—to—return Denise McKinney, and ex—Reprehensive Earl Hilliard are all Congressional Democrats who have made anti—Semitic remarks, with nary a protest from Democratic leadership. Reverend Al Sharpton, erstwhile Democratic Presidential candidate, honored with an appearance at the Democratic National Convention podium, lead a veritable anti—Semitic pogrom a few short years ago in New York City.
There does appear to be an anti—Semitism problem in the Democratic Party. Perhaps this is why Israel was barely mentioned at The Democratic National Convention. Israel was never mentioned by John Kerry, and rated only a five—word mention by John Edwards, which was read so quickly it seemed dismissive. Democratic Representative Henry Waxman said this dismissive treatment was deliberate, because he believed some of the more leftist delegates in the crowd would not have welcomed the comment and there may have been some people 'who were not receptive.'
The 2004 model year Democrats are not your father's Democratic Party. Mayor Ed Koch and other Democrats have recognized this development and will be voting for George Bush this fall. The concerns that have historically motivated Jews to vote for Democratic candidates fade, when you realize the extent to which the rest of the world has caved into the purveyors of hate.
The old concerns over civil rights, tolerance, and freedom should no longer bind American Jews to the Democrats. The laws have changed, courts are vigilant, and powerful bureaucracies have ben created. The real issue now is the spread of Jew—hatred on the left at home, and murderous Jew—hatred spreding rapidly overseas.
Moreover, when any single group gives unquestioning loyalty to any political party, that group risks being taken for granted or ignored. It is a law of human nature.
The President is granted unique powers and discretion over foreign affairs. George W. Bush has shown a concern for the Jewish people in his actions —— not just comforting words on Israel, but also trying to dampen the scourge of anti—Semitism. John Kerry, on the other hand, has a history and attitude that shows apathy or obliviousness regarding the dangers our community faces. He would place our fate in the hands of the United Nations, European nations and courts—in other words, he would play into the hands of people who have and continue to harm the Jewish community. He is a man who as President would be the wrong man, at the wrong time, in the wrong place.
How will it be viewed by history, if Jews refuse to support George Bush, a man who has done so much, at great risk, to comfort, protect and succor us in our time of need?