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Letters to the Editor regarding Jacoby Web Exclusive column

As usual, Jeff Jacoby conveniently skips over obvious rebuttals to his simplistic arguments ("Bush, Kerry and the Jewish Vote," September 29). While I certainly agree with him about the anti-Israel record of the UN, and the fact that Israel has largely been abandoned by the left and embraced by the right, this doesn't mean that American Jews have any good reason to flee the Democratic party.

The right's embrace of the Jewish State and antipathy for Islam is bound up in apocalyptic Christianity. For the Christian Messiah to come, Jews must inhabit the land promised to them. Only then will everything get wiped out and the millennium be ushered in. It's a sick, religiously zealous belief but even more sick is that it's the backbone of America's foreign policy. While I support Israel and believe that America should maintain favorable relations with Israel, I don't think there's any question that our blind acceptance of anything Israel/Sharon does was a contributing factor to 9/11 and dozens of other terrorist attacks against US interests here and abroad.

Jews understand what it's like to feel unsafe, and there also is no question that Bush has destabilized the world and made the US more vulnerable to attack.

Jews also understand that the black vote is an important Democratic base, and whether it's Jesse Jackson or Al Sharpton, it's unlikely you'll find an influential black leader in the US who hasn't upset Jews. That's not a Democratic issue, it's a Black-Jewish relations issue.

Jews also understand that while FDR defeated the Nazis, he also turned away boatloads of Jewish refugees looking to escape Nazism. Many of those were later killed by the Nazis (cf. the film Voyage of the Damned).

Clinton had Arafat to the White House because he was actually pursuing peace in the Middle East. During one of those visits, Arafat and Rabin shook hands. I still have the front page of the Globe with that photo, it was so historic. Bush, on the other hand, has done nothing meaningful to bring the parties back to the negotiating table.

Jacoby minimizes the issues that Jews vote on (abortion, jobs, taxes, the environment). The fact is, these are Jewish values. Tikkun olam, repairing the world, requires that we take care of those in need, that we partner with G-d in completing the act of creation, that we are active in our communities. Bush's values (aggression, isolation, hatred, lying, and disrespect of people and the environment) couldn't be more anti-Jewish.

Jason M. Rubin

RE: Bush, kerry and the Jewish Vote, by Jeff Jacoby, Globe, September 28, 2004

"So which party will American Jews vote for in November?" -- Jacoby wonders. The answer is: those who cast their vote solely on the issue of Israel's security and other things Jewish, ought to vote in Israeli elections, as some of them -- given the dual citizenship and loyalty -- already do.

Jacoby once again attemts to lump the U.S. and Israeli geopolitical interests together, which is not always the case. The sooner the elctorate and the candidates realize this, the safer our country will be.

Andre Huzsvai

 

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