Sunday, August 13, 2006

Newsweek: Rabbi Gellman mystified that Jews didn't back Joe

Newsweek online has a bizarre and infuriating perspective on the Lieberman loss. Rabbi Marc Gellman, blames the Jews—and one in particular:
He lost because Barbra Streisand's highly publicized contribution to Lamont and because of the number of Jews who hated Bush and the war more than they loved Joe. That's why he lost, and I don't get it...
This, of course, is the behavior of a self-hating Jew. If there's something you're unhappy about, blame the Jews. Now, when Mel Gibson does it, I can understand. Given his upbringing, Mel Gibson, when he's drunk, doesn't shock me with a little Jew-blaming. But the rabbi, I presume, was sober when he wrote this, and I presume he had a more pro-Jewish upbringing than Mel. So, why is he blaming the Jews?

And why blame Streisand? If there is a Jew to blame here, it's Lieberman. He brought this on himself

Rabbi Gellman goes on to profess that he's a little ferblonschet on the subject
I cannot understand why Joe's percentage of the Jewish vote was not in the high 90s instead of the 54-57 percent range (according to Lieberman’s campaign).
He's also "bewildered about why Jews do not support President Bush."

That's where you have to start on this--why Jews don't support Bush. Then we can work our way back to Joe.

The reasons not to support Bush are so numerous I can't remember them all anymore. I have to keep them written down on a little list and the list is too long to type in here: But let me mention a few: He gets a memo that Bin Laden wants to attack and ignores it. He's on vacation. He gets a warning that a big Hurricane is coming to New Orleans, he's not that interested. He's on vacation. He has Bin Laden trapped in the Tora Bora mountains, he let's him get away to start a war in Iraq. He's got a bunch of lawyers who say torture is OK up to a point. He goes around the law to initiate survellance. (And Rabbi, the issue is not the survellance, it's the going around the law.) He uses the Homeland Security Department for pork rather than protection. (I'm not sure how you feel about pork , rabbi, but in my house it's not kosher.) He appoints far right judges to the Supreme Court. He takes it on himself to issue signing statements that nullify the intent of Congress. etc. etc. In a minute I'm going to break into a chorus of Dayenu. If he had done any one of these things, it would be enough to oppose him.

Oh yes, and one more thing: The president and his henchmen are quick to say that anyone who disagrees with him hates America and supports the terrorists.

And that's what brings it back to Joe. Because Joe has become one of those henchmen. Saying if you disagree with me you're pro-terrorist is not an argument. That's dirty pool.

Joe has allowed himself to become a stick with which right wing Republicans can bash Democrats. That's why Hannity, Coulter, and Rove embrace him. And that's why many Jews oppose him.

But maybe Rabbi Gellman is right. Politics is not as important as having Jews stick together and support each other. I hope his conviction on that is strong. Because I want to test it by asking him to join me in supporting Russ Feingold for president.

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