As if they needed any more problems, the Democrats surely have a huge one now.
When I was visiting recently with my sister recently, my nieces and I got into a political discussion. What was surprising to me was that the two of them (I actually have 6 nieces and 3 nephews from that family) that I spoke with - and one of my nephews as well - considered themselves liberal Democrats.
Oh, I know that most Jews consider themselves Democrats, but with the orthodox movement moving towards the right, it still surprised me.
What didn't shock me, however, was the fact that these two young adults (both in their 20's), as well as my nephew and my sister, are fully supporting Rudy Giuliani in his quest for the Presidency.
Now, it should not be overlooked that my sister's family lives in the New York area and as such were very affected by the happenings on September 11th. One of my nieces actually had a job interview scheduled for a little later that morning in one of the towers.
Still, while it's understandable to have a great deal of affection for the former Mayor, it's another thing to support his candidacy as a Republican nominee for President of the United States.
So, in my own enticing and non-aggressive way, I asked them, "How the heck can you want Giuliani for President when you're FREAKING LIBERALS???"
Okay, so I wasn't so non-aggressive.
Anyway, the answer they all gave me was one word. "Israel."
To them, when it comes to matters of the heart, Israel stands front and center.
When I asked them who they would vote for should Giuliani not win the nomination, they all agreed that it would be the Republican nominee. Not Hillary Clinton, New York's Senator and certainly not (their words, not mine) Barack Obama.
So it occurred to me that surely there must be more people who feel the way they do. And of course, I was right. Over the last few weeks, I've spoken to a lot of different people with political leanings all over the board - from a very liberal housewife in New Jersey to a right-wing (some would call a nut) guy in Texas.
All in all, more than three quarters of the people I spoke to - all of them Jewish - informed me of the same thing. The Republicans will get their votes because of the Democrat's stand on Israel.
I was actually pretty set on what I was going to write and when I was going to publish this. I figured I would finish it up sometime this week and maybe post it Thursday. But after the two stories I saw on the Drudge Report, I decided that I shouldn't waste a minute more.
The first story is from The Politico, a rather new, but influential online source of news and commentary based out of Washington, D.C. In a piece called Obama's Jewish Problem, writer Ben Smith comments on the struggle Senator Barack Obama has endured since making his controversial remarks to the Des Moines Register, where he was quoted as saying, "nobody is suffering more than the Palestinians."
While there have been many Jews who have come forward with support for the Senator, there is no question that this comment was ill-advised at best, While I have little doubt that many Arabs in region are suffering, there are two questions that come to mind. Number one, is he equating the plight of those Arabs who for all intents and purposes, live in an area that is controlled completely by the Palestinian Authority, with that of the many victims of the genocide in Darfur?
Secondly, has he completely forgotten that the entire blame for problem is totally and completely at the feet of the leaders of their people?
In stating that nobody is suffering more than the Palestinians, I fear that the good Senator gave off the strong impression of the feelings of not only Obama, but of that of the entire Democratic Party.
Are the Palestinians suffering? Of course they are. But by ignoring the cause, which has proven in the past to inflame hatred of the Jews, he is actually showing a preference of one side to the other.
Of course they are suffering, Senator. But why stop there? Why leave that hanging so it can be interpreted to mean blame on Israel. Seriously, after the slew of anti-Semitic rantings that have come out of the mouths of Democrats over the last few years, why shouldn't I, as an American Jew, be insulted by this?
The second story was from The Hill. In this publication, the headline, Pelosi hears boos at AIPAC, covers the news that Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi was derided by members of the audience during a speech she gave for the Pro-Israel political action committee, when she said that the Iraq war has been a failure on several levels.
According to the article:
The boos, mixed with some polite applause, stood in stark contrast to the
reception House Minority Leader John Boehner (R-Ohio) received minutes earlier.
Most of the crowd of 5,000 to 6,000 stood and loudly applauded Boehner when he
said the U.S. had no choice but to win in Iraq.
And therein lies the Democrat's problem. By selling themselves as anti-Iraq war, they are showing the Jewish community that toppling Saddam Hussein, perhaps the most powerful enemy to Israel, was a mistake and a failure.
As was the case in the late 60's and early 70's, the Democrats - whether fair or not - are coming across as the weaker party in American politics. There is no question that the failure of the Vietnam War was the unrelenting pressure to pull-out. Leftist propaganda that started on the college campuses fed the drive to contain the communists, instead of defeating them.
Now, I will not argue that mistakes were made. But the clear victor in that war were the Vietcong, who knew the way to victory was through American leftist pressure.
It appears we are exactly where we were 33 years ago without any lessons learned. But this time, it's not about southeast Asia, it's about the Middle East.
Ever since the founding of the State of Israel, American Jews have spent millions and millions of dollars to benefit and grow this tiny sliver of land. Perhaps to the members of the Democratic Party, for whom the Bible holds no appeal, it's just that - a tiny sliver of land. But to the millions of Jews who vote in every election, Israel is so much more and her safety is not only a huge priority, it is the main priority. And that isn't just because of it's standing as a Jewish state.
It's a huge priority because American Jews are fully aware of the horrible society and astonishingly bad reputation of the enemy. Because of their close, personal ties to the State of Israel, many of them know someone who lost someone in one of the hundreds of terrorist attacks perpetrated by the Arabs.
It is a huge priority because what happens to Israel - the only true democracy in the Middle East (not counting the new Iraq) - is what can happen here in America.
The Republican Party seems to get that. But apparently, the Democrats lost there memo. Why else would self-proclaimed liberal Democrats want Rudy Giuliani, or any other Republican to be President?
Hillary, once again, calls it a "vast right-wing conspiracy".
I call it understanding the issues.