Monthly Archives: October 2004

Smart Jews?

The Democratic Party is a religion for Jews.

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John Kerry, the Jew

A number of my Jewish friends and relatives have expressed to me their excitement over the prospect of electing the “first Jewish president,” namely John F. Kerry.

None of these friends and relatives is at all curious about why Kerry’s Jewish roots were largely unknown until he decided to run for president. As British historian Paul Johnson noted in an article printed in this weblog, Kerry spent his twenty plus years in the Senate leading Massachusetts voters to believe he is an Irish Catholic – like the Kennedys. As Johnson points out, Kerry is not Irish and he’s only nominally a Catholic. In fact, he’s of German Jewish extraction, his paternal grandfather having converted to Christianity.

Personally, I don’t care what he is, but I am suspicious of a person who tried to hide his Jewish “roots” for political purposes in appealing to a parochial electorate in Massachusetts, only to reveal them 20 some years later when it became expedient, to appeal to a wider national electorate.

This reminds me of a similar case involving former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright. During her tenure in the Clinton administration, it became known that she was Jewish and that her grandparents had died in the Holocaust. Ms. Albright, raised as a Christian, was said to be unaware of her Jewish heritage. When asked in interviews about this revelation, the Secretary looked uncomfortable, and a few observers expressed their doubts that she could have been unaware of her grandparents’ fate and her own Jewish origin.

So what do we have here? In both cases, I believe we have people who wished to hide their Jewishness from the public, and in Kerry’s case, someone who decided to resurrect it when it became politcally useful.

Kerry’s the kind of “Jew” the Jews can live without.

Explosivesgate?

The New York Times, CBS (again) and explosivesgate.

What Would Lincoln Do?

Abraham Lincoln and the Civil War: The Wrong War, at the Wrong Place, at the Wrong Time?

The Herd of Independent Minds

A Harvard professor speaks out on the herd of independent minds at our colleges and universities.

Why Are American Jews Voting Like American Arabs?

Next to Zbig Brzezinski’s Times column outlining Kerry’s Grand European Alliance strategy for the Middle East, William Safire gets at its real meaning:

But the essence of his foreign policy – to rely on alliances with France, Germany, Russia and the U.N. to combat terror and enforce the peace – requires accommodation with the central demand of these Arab-influenced entities to lean heavily on Israel to make the very concessions Kerry now says he’s against. No Kerry heat on Israel, no grand new global alliance.

Safire, noting that American Arabs and Jews largely support the Democrats, ends with a plea to American-Jewish voters:

… it is Bush who has the four-year record of standing up for Israel’s right of self-defense. He has earned the trust of Israelis at a time when they most need a stalwart ally to make this plan succeed – and to help turn Palestine into a peaceful neighboring state.

Most Arab-Americans and U.S. Muslims, as is their right, disparage Sharon’s plan. But in getting out of Gaza, the national interests of the U.S. and Israel are in accord.

As one who has all his life been a political minority within an ethnic minority, I hope that other longtime supporters of Israel will – at this moment of its political trial – allow themselves to give a little added weight in their voting decisions to candidates most likely to help gain a secure peace in the Middle East.

Zbig Does it Again

Zbiniew Brzezinski’s op-ed piece in todays New York Times gives you a good look at what will inevitably be the Kerry foreign policy and confirms exactly Charles Krauthammer’s piece in today’s Inquirer that the centerpiece of that policy is to sell out Israel in return for European financial and military aid “to reduce the American military presence.”

Here’s Zbig’s proposal for ending the Israeli-Arab conflict and thus, he believes, make the Arabs like us:

A grand American-European strategy would have three major prongs. The first would be a joint statement by the United States and the European Union outlining the basic principles of a formula for an Israeli-Palestinian peace, with the details left to negotiations between the parties. Its key elements should include no right of return; no automatic acceptance of the 1967 lines but equivalent territorial compensation for any changes; suburban settlements on the edges of the 1967 lines incorporated into Israel, but those more than a few miles inside the West Bank vacated to make room for the resettlement of some of the Palestinian refugees; a united Jerusalem serving as the capitals of the two states; and a demilitarized Palestinian state with some international peacekeeping presence.

Such a joint statement, by providing the Israeli and Palestinian publics a more concrete vision of the future, would help to generate support for peace, even if the respective leaders and some of the citizens initially objected.

Secondly, the European Union would agree to make a substantial financial contribution to the recovery of Iraq, and to deploy a significant military force (including French and German contingents, as has been the case in Afghanistan) to reduce the American military presence. A serious parallel effort on the Israeli-Palestinian peace process might induce some Muslim states to come in, as was explicitly suggested recently by President Pervez Musharraf of Pakistan. The effect would be to transform the occupation of Iraq into a transitional international presence while greatly increasing the legitimacy of the current puppet Iraqi regime. But without progress on the Israeli-Palestinian issue, any postoccupation regime in Iraq will be both anti-United States and anti-Israel.

In addition, the United States and the European Union would approach Iran for exploratory discussions on regional security issues like Iraq, Afghanistan and nuclear proliferation. The longer-term objective would be a mutually acceptable formula that forecloses the acquisition of nuclear weapons by Iran but furthers its moderation through an economically beneficial normalization of relations with the West.

A comprehensive initiative along these lines would force the European leaders to take a stand: not to join would run the risk of reinforcing and legitimating American unilateralism while pushing the Middle East into a deeper crisis. America might unilaterally attack Iran or unilaterally withdraw from Iraq. In either case, a sharing of burdens as well as of decisions should provide a better solution for all concerned. help to generate support for peace, even if the respective leaders and some of the citizens initially objected.

Some may recognize Zbig’s Israeli-Arab peace plan as identical to the one proposed by the Clinton administration in December, 2000, the one accepted by Ehud Barak and rejected by Yasser Arafat. You might recall that Arafat then launched the years long war of terror against Israel that has only recently been put down by a combination of security fence and offensive military action against the terrorist leadership.

Still the Democratic Party (except for Joe Lieberman) and its foreign policy intellectuals seem to believe Islamic terrorism can be pacified by giving them Israel on a platter. Oh excuse me, I mean ” by reengaging in the peace process.”

An Open Letter to Chris Satullo

My response to today’s column by Inquirer editorial page editor Chris Satullo :

Dear Chris,

Your column today was very interesting, heartwarming stuff about your typical Mid-Western upbringing and your Christianity and your sobriety. Salt of the earth, that’s for sure.

So where did you go wrong? Before I get to that, I really need to question your grasp on reality when you say that “Hollywood is scrambling and journalism cowed.” What bizarro world are you living in Chris? In my 61 years, I’ve never seen the media (I include Hollywood) so intent on defeating one basically decent human being, namely George W. Bush. Sure Dan Rather and CBS took a hit when they did something spectacularly fatuous as they did in the 60 Minutes bit on the National Guard records. Similarly, the New York Times was forced to descend from Mt. Olympus a little bit, but again this was due to their own stupidity in promoting a fraud like Jason Blair because he was black. Still, I see no change in the Times’ incredibly biased coverage; the only difference is they hired David Brooks whose moderately conservative views (along with Safire’s) hardly balance the left wing fire breathing trio of Dowd, Herbert, and, most especially, the insufferable Paul Krugman. I often think I ought to send my subscription checks for the Times and the Inky directly to the Republican National Committee.

Now to get back to you, Chris, and where you went wrong. I would say the problem started at that “snooty East Coast college you attended (probably, I would guess, during the 60’s). You may have felt like a fish out of water, Chris, but I doubt you escaped the indoctrination. You may be familiar with Tom Wolfe’s essay, “The Intelligent Coed’s Guide to America.” At the end, Wolfe refers to a speech Lionel Trilling, the literary critic and Columbia University English professor, gave near the end of his career:

[Trilling] suggested that the liberal-arts curriculum in the universities be abandoned for one generation. His argument ran as follows: Children come to the university today, and they register, and they get the student activity card and the map of the campus and the university health booklet, and just as automatically they get a packet of cultural and political attitudes. That these attitudes are negative or cynical didn’t seem to be what worried Trilling. It was more that they are dispensed and accepted with such an air of conformity and inevitability. The student emerges from the university with a set of ready-mades, intact, untouched by direct experience. What was the solution? Well – why not turn off the packaging apparatus for a while? In time there might develop a generation of intelligent people who had experienced American life directly and “earned” their opinions.

Chris, I suspect you imbibed those ready-made cultural and political ideas at your “snooty” university, probably without even realizing it. I once had a conversation with one of your predecessors, Don Kimelman. He recounted the time he and David Boldt sat down at lunch and went through the entire Inquirer staff of reporters and editors to see if they could identify even one Republican. They thought that there might be one woman in the Jersey bureau, but even then, they couldn’t be sure. About the rest voting Democratic, they had no doubt. Don also told me of the time he attended one of the paper’s “sensitivity training” sessions where he was asked how he might promote “diversity” on the Editorial Board. His answer was to hire a Republican.

Anyway, Chris, you haven’t convinced me that liberal media bias is a “mythical beast.” On the contrary, it seems very much alive and well. Read your own paper.

Americans to Dianafied Brits: Drop Dead!

Americans respond to the Guardian newspaper’s effort to get Brits to urge Ohio voters to vote for Kerry.

Here’s a representative email:

Have you not noticed that Americans don’t give two shits what Europeans think of us? Each email someone gets from some arrogant Brit telling us why to NOT vote for George Bush is going to backfire, you stupid, yellow-toothed pansies … I don’t give a rat’s ass if our election is going to have an effect on your worthless little life. I really don’t. If you want to have a meaningful election in your crappy little island full of shitty food and yellow teeth, then maybe you should try not to sell your sovereignty out to Brussels and Berlin, dipshit. Oh, yeah – and brush your goddamned teeth, you filthy animals.

Hey, Limeys, I got your global test!

Want to "Build Alliances"? Sacrifice Israel

Charles Krauthammer reveals the price European allies will exact for help in Iraq: Sacrifice Israel.