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by Jay Wechsler
Date Sent to Zipple: December 17, 2000
opinion: During the 2000 election campaign, I often found myself plagued
with the all too famous question. Which candidate, Bush or Gore, would be
best for Israel? I shlepped this question with me throughout the campaign.
After all, there were so many variables, and so much to consider.
Take Al Gore for instance. Gore has always been an open friend to
Israel. Gore went over party lines and supported the Gulf War. Gore did
much to court the Jewish vote, holding gala fundraisers at Jewish homes
throughout his campaign. Enter Lieberman, an Orthodox Jew chosen by Gore as
his running mate. Lieberman only adds to the question, as some Jews will
see him as selling out future Jewish interests so he should not be viewed as
too friendly to his own people. However, these days, being pro-Israel means
being pro "peace process." I am vehemently against this "death process"
that has taken the lives of hundreds of Jews over the past seven years.
Make no mistake, I do believe that there should be a peace, but only with
partners who do not stab you in the back when they don't get everything they
want. I find Peres's quote (moments after terrorist bombings and
shootings)"..they are paying the price of peace" to be disgraceful and an
insult to the dead and maimed !
and their families. I also resent the left wing Meretz and 'peace now'
parties who live in such nice cushy areas like Tel Aviv. How easy it is for
them to say "give back the territories!!" I guarantee if Arafat wanted Tel
Aviv (which he indeed does)those lefties wouldn't be singing the same tune.
Due to my opposition to the current "peace" track, I would therefore be
opposed to any U.S. president inclined to pressure Israel into making
concessions it is not ready for (like Clinton). It is my belief, that a
Democratic President would definitely be a pressure cooker on Israel, and I
therefore do not believe a Gore Lieberman presidency to be in Israel's best
interests. What about Bush - Cheney?
George W. Bush has much disdain for the Clinton administration. I would
therefore conclude that his Israeli positions would be different form
Clinton's. However, during interviews, Bush has mentioned that he would not
change a thing in the current peace track. Displaying his usual evasive
style, he mentioned that Israel should not be pressured into making
concessions. Very fine, but Clinton and Albright also feel that way, but
their actions provide otherwise.
What further troubles me is the typical "Exclusive Republican" country
club - NO JEWS ALLOWED attitude. The Republicans have not been that
friendly to Israel's interests before 1992. Only since Bush was defeated in
1992 have the Republican's attempted to portray themselves as best serving
Israel's interests. One need not look back that far to remember George
Bush's deplorable attitude towards Israel. It is inconcievable to me how
Bush came up with the chutzpah to request Israel not defend itself from
Iraqi Scud missiles during the Gulf War. In exchange for Israel not
defending itself, he promised Israel $10 billion in loan guarantees.
Another promise he later welched on. (remember" Read my lips - no new
taxes?") When then Secretary of State James Baker was confronted during the
'92 campaign how he could go back on his word, his response was "F___ the
Jews, they didn't vote for us anyway." I need not comment on his blatant
anti-semitism and disregard for a whole pe!
That was George Bush not George W. I kept telling myself during the
campaign. It would not be fair of me to judge a child based on his father's
actions. I believed this until the day after the election when the first
person George W. hired to do anything was none other than - James Baker.
Any notion I had that George W. was not his father, was shot down
immediately. I honestly believe, that George W. is merely an extension of
his father, a different version if you will. George W. surrounds himself
with the same cast of despicable characters that his father courted.
Another problem is the oil interests served best by a Bush
administration. It will surely come to pass that Bush will be faced with
the challenge from Arab oil producers to step away from Israel in exchange
for lower rates etc. How he reacts in such a situation is very worrisome to
me and should be for all Jews everywhere.
I therefore do not believe George W. to be any better for Israel than Al
Gore. So where do we go from here? What do we do?
Now that the election is over, all we can really do is hope. We must
hope that things will work out and that Bush will not put pressure on
However, upon further reflection I have come to the following
conclusion. It will not take an American President to mess up Israel. The
Israeli government will do a fine enough job messing up the country, and
this goes primarily for left wing.
How can I make such an allegation? Very simply, the Israeli government will
very shortly pass legislation that will make Israel less Jewish. For some
strange reason, the anti - religious element in the Knesset relishes any
opportunity it gets to make life hard on the religious. Maybe its their "I
am so ashamed of myself for being Jewish" attitude that makes them act this
For years, ElAl, Israel's national airline has not flown on Shabbos,
and Egged busses have not run in Jerusalem either. New legislation would
make that a thing of the past. Additionally, there are those who want to
cut funding to the Yeshivot and to families with many children, calling them
a "burden" to Israeli society. The last time I heard such talk, was from a
certain German chancellor around 1933. Other things like businesses being
open in Jerusalem on shabbos as well as allowing the raising of pigs on
Israeli soil are soon to pass.
Israel is not just any country, it is the home land of the Jewish
people. A land given to us by an all merciful G-d, so that we can be a
light among the nations. Not just like any other nation. We Jews are
different, and if we forget this crucial idea, then there will be people
like Hitler to remind us that we are different. No matter how much you
looked and acted like a non - jew in Nazi Germany, even if you had the most
distant relative who was Jewish, Hilter considered you a Jew, and your fate
Some of the players throughout the State of Israel's 50 years have once
again tried to show the world that we are just like them, and they should
accept us. The truth, is that non-jews would be much more accepting of the
Jewish people if we did not try and hide our Judaism like it was a disease.
In conclusion I offer up a prayer that both wings in the Israeli
government will be able to work out any divisive issues. I hope that any
parties who only seek to divide the nation, come to their senses. As far as
the anti religious sentiment, all I can pray for is that they learn to
embrace Judaism instead of throwing it in the garbage. It is my hope that
when this happens, both Jews, Arabs and all the world will view the Jewish
people as truly a light among the nations and a righteous people worthwhile
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