Israel, fearmongering, and the Democratic primary

The crass attempts by some to cast aspersions on Barack Obama’s candidacy by painting him as anti-Israel, antisemitic, unpatriotic, etc., have been well-documented and (in my opinion) well-refuted. The Forward published an excellent editorial (which was itself misunderstood and led to a clarification) regarding these attempts several weeks ago, and the issue received a further hearing in Obama’s meeting with Jews in Cleveland and in last night’s debate. It hardly seems necessary to comment further. But, isn’t commenting on that which has already been commented upon what blogging is all about?

Temple received a fax over the weekend from Christian couple in San Antonio. It is addressed to me, and they encourage me to help spread the following message:

February 23, 2008

Temple Mt. Sinai
4408 N. Stanton St.
El Paso, TX 79902

Dear Rabbi Larry Bach,

As husband and wife, we write with urgency regarding a matter that greatly concerns us. We Christians believe that the Jews are God’s chosen people, and that “he that toucheth them toucheth the apple of His eye” (Zechariah 2:8).

Sadly, your enemies are many, including those who “prophesy unto you a false vision” (Jeremiah 14:14).

Today, many in our state are swooning over a man whose rallies have a “messianic” appeal; a man who preaches hope, and promises change.

Yet what does this evangelical eloquence conceal? A man determined to negotiate with the enemies of Israel? A man whose spiritual adviser preaches revolution, and anti Zionism, and who openly admires the leader of the Nation of Islam?

Is this the hope that we long for? Is this the change that we seek?

May we appeal to you, our Jewish friend, to in turn warn your friends not to be seduced by a hope that will surely disappoint, and change that could only terrify, the children of Abraham.

With Sincerity,

From Christians in San Antonio

And now that I’ve shared their message, let me be clear: EVERYTHING THEY SAY SHOULD BE IGNORED!

Jews will cast ballots in both party primaries on Tuesday, and for all four candidates. They will do so for all sorts of good reasons. We are not, thank God, a monolithic voting block. We should not allow ourselves to be played by such “arguments” as those from our San Antonio correspondents.

We Texans, for the first time in a long time, have an important role to play in a presidential primary. El Pasoans have important local races as well, in both primaries. Let our votes be cast based on information and informed opinion, and not on slander and lies.

2 thoughts on “Israel, fearmongering, and the Democratic primary

  1. Bob Blumenfeld

    Rabbi. I just discovered your blog, and glad I did. My mind had been penetrated with maintream and middle-of-the-road (even somewhat liberal) news media that the Jewish Community mistrusted Obama’s potential Middle East policy. While not the biggest issue for me in considering how to vote in the primary, it was an issue. I suspect Obama has little chance of capturing Texas in the general election, if he is indeed the Democratic candidate. And one of the reasons for that is small-yet-effective spin stories that can bias us without us even knowing much behind the issue.

  2. Pingback: “Smearing Arabs, Smearing Jews” — good analysis « Rabbi Larry Bach

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