CAMPAIGN CONFIDENTIAL

By E.J. Kessler

Published December 02, 2005, issue of December 02, 2005.
  • Print
  • Share Share

Iraq Attack: A Florida Democratic congressman’s vote for a resolution calling for a quick American withdrawal from Iraq is reviving some of the heated rhetoric of the 2004 presidential campaign in the Sunshine State.

One of three votes for the resolution was cast by Rep. Robert Wexler, who is Jewish. Republicans offered the resolution in response to calls by Rep. John Murtha, a Pennsylvania Democrat and former marine who is close to the military, for a speedy pullback of Iraq forces in order to force a vote of confidence in President Bush’s Iraq strategy.

The decision to introduce the measure was widely seen as an attempt to put Democrats in a bind by forcing them either to vote for a quick pullout or to be seen as siding with Republicans. In the end, almost all the congressional Democrats opted to vote with the GOP.

“Most of my Democratic colleagues made the strategic decision to oppose the resolution because they rightfully objected to the unfair process and the Republicans’ craven political goals,” Wexler wrote in an opinion piece in the Palm Beach Post. “I respect their decision, but for me the vote was ultimately a referendum on the Bush administration’s policy in Iraq. I chose to support the withdrawal resolution and cast a vote of ‘no confidence’ on the president’s war.”

The Wexler vote drew a quick condemnation from Sid Dinerstein, chairman of the Palm Beach County Republican Party. In an interview with the South Florida Sun-Sentinel, Dinerstein said that Wexler had “called for a surrender to the terrorists,” and Dinerstein described the vote as “anti-Israel.”

Wexler is a strong supporter of Israel who early in the Bush presidency called for the ouster of Saddam Hussein and Yasser Arafat.

Dinerstein’s rhetoric was similar to charges that the Florida GOP made against 2004 Democratic nominee John Kerry, in which the party tried to undermine support for him among Jews by linking him to Arafat and to Malaysia’s former premier, Mahathir Mohammed, who made anti-Jewish and anti-Israeli comments.

* * *

Mayoral Musings: Discussions of the Jewish vote were almost entirely absent from a forum on the 2005 New York City mayoral campaign, held Tuesday at the New School University. That’s because the Jewish vote went resoundingly for the Republican incumbent Mayor Michael Bloomberg — about 80%, according to some estimates.

The forum, however, featured one surprise: At one point in a discussion on ethnic stereotyping, Bloomberg spokesman Stuart Loeser noted that an African American operative from Harlem, Terence Tolbert, had “conducted our Jewish operations.”

One other Bloomberg note: The cross-party endorsement of Bloomberg by Brooklyn Assemblyman Dov Hikind, an outspoken Orthodox supporter of Israel’s settlers, apparently counted for little. In 2001, when Hikind endorsed Democrat Mark Green over Bloomberg, Hikind’s assembly district went 15,001 for Bloomberg and 4,591 for Green. This year, according to unofficial numbers, Hikind’s district went 12,745 to 3,319 for Bloomberg. In other words, Bloomberg did only slightly better this time around, rising to 77% from 74%.

* * *

Defending DeLay: Pro-Israel activists are emerging as some of the biggest fundraisers for the defense of Rep. Tom DeLay, the former House majority leader who is facing a criminal trial in Texas on money-laundering charges related to the 2002 Texas statehouse campaign. Of the $177,020 raised for DeLay’s legal expense trust in the third quarter of this year, about $30,000 appears traceable to a fund raiser held this past summer by Norpac, a New Jersey-based pro-Israel political action committee.






Find us on Facebook!
  • It’s over. The tyranny of the straight-haired, button nosed, tan-skinned girl has ended. Jewesses rejoice!
  • It's really, really, really hard to get kicked out of Hebrew school these days.
  • "If Netanyahu re-opens the settlement floodgates, he will recklessly bolster the argument of Hamas that the only language Israel understands is violence."
  • Would an ultra-Orthodox leader do a better job of running the Met Council?
  • So, who won the war — Israel or Hamas?
  • 300 Holocaust survivors spoke out against Israel. Did they play right into Hitler's hands?
  • Ari Folman's new movie 'The Congress' is a brilliant spectacle, an exhilarating visual extravaganza and a slapdash thought experiment. It's also unlike anything Forward critic Ezra Glinter has ever seen. http://jd.fo/d4unE
  • The eggplant is beloved in Israel. So why do Americans keep giving it a bad rap? With this new recipe, Vered Guttman sets out to defend the honor of her favorite vegetable.
  • “KlezKamp has always been a crazy quilt of gay and straight, religious and nonreligious, Jewish and gentile.” Why is the klezmer festival shutting down now?
  • “You can plagiarize the Bible, can’t you?” Jill Sobule says when asked how she went about writing the lyrics for a new 'Yentl' adaptation. “A couple of the songs I completely stole." Share this with the theater-lovers in your life!
  • Will Americans who served in the Israeli army during the Gaza operation face war crimes charges when they get back home?
  • Talk about a fashion faux pas. What was Zara thinking with the concentration camp look?
  • “The Black community was resistant to the Jewish community coming into the neighborhood — at first.” Watch this video about how a group of gardeners is rebuilding trust between African-Americans and Jews in Detroit.
  • "I am a Jewish woman married to a non-Jewish man who was raised Catholic, but now considers himself a “common-law Jew.” We are raising our two young children as Jews. My husband's parents are still semi-practicing Catholics. When we go over to either of their homes, they bow their heads, often hold hands, and say grace before meals. This is an especially awkward time for me, as I'm uncomfortable participating in a non-Jewish religious ritual, but don't want his family to think I'm ungrateful. It's becoming especially vexing to me now that my oldest son is 7. What's the best way to handle this situation?" http://jd.fo/b4ucX What would you do?
  • Maybe he was trying to give her a "schtickle of fluoride"...
  • from-cache

Would you like to receive updates about new stories?




















We will not share your e-mail address or other personal information.

Already subscribed? Manage your subscription.