As a strong supporter of President Obama, it may come as a surprise that I welcome the recent steps taken by the Romney campaign to compete for support in our community. No voting block should ever be taken for granted, by any party. Let’s have a lively, civil and fact-based debate.
Every election is a showcase for myths. One myth is that all Jews share the same set of beliefs. Diversity of opinion, however, is a point of pride. Indeed, the old joke that if you bring two Jews together, you will hear three opinions (at least) consistently makes us laugh, at ourselves.
But time and debate will tell whether our community is closer to President Obama or Gov. Romney. The debate will show whether the president or Mitt’s vision for how to improve the economy, protect the environment, deal with immigration issues and address hot button social issues is closer to the views of the majority in our community. I, for one, don’t think it is a close call, but time will tell.
One nation that hopefully will not find its way into the discussion is the idea that one candidate is more committed to Israel than the other. Let’s take for a given that both are committed to Israel’s security. Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak — a former prime minister and one of the architects of the Entebbe rescue — captured it well when he said: “I can see long years, administrations of both sides of political aisle deeply supporting the state of Israel and I believe that reflects a profound feeling among the American people. But I should tell you honestly that this administration under President Obama is doing in regard to our security more than anything that I can remember in the past.”
So let’s have a great debate, and then let’s vote with that much more enthusiasm to re-elect President Obama.
Letters were disgraceful
While I completely support the right of any organization to act as their members see fit, the “outrage” expressed in the various letters to the editor regarding [the July 12 editorial] “Watershed moment” is nothing short of a disgrace.
All of the feeble attempts to justify the actions and debate regarding divestment from Israel fall completely short because they don’t justify the decision to single out Israel. Why not divest from companies supporting Turkey’s vicious oppression of the Kurds or those who do business with Russia thereby supporting the brutal oppression of Chechnyans? I scoured the transcripts and couldn’t find a single mention of any action directed at protecting the Jews of Venezuela from the tyranny of Hugo Chavez.
Since one can’t conclude that it is a matter of degree (Turkey is literally attempting to eliminate Kurdish culture), then it must simply be about Jews and Israel or the fact that it’s a popular left-wing cause célèbre. The letter from Deborah Fidel and Marshall Dayan, though, is even more despicable. They are apoplectic about the impact of the editorial’s alleged “unfounded” accusations but never once mention the unfounded accusations used to justify the push toward divestment.
I stand with Israel. Period.