Of Jews and Radical Republicans

!2In the context of the current debate over Netanyahu’s insulting speech before Congress,  it is important to note that there has been an ongoing effort by the radical right to turn Jews from our traditional support of liberalism by appealing to Israeli security.

During the GW Bush “Global War on Terrorism,” the invasion of Iraq was criticized by Radical Republican Pat Buchanan.  He suggested that the George W. Bush administration went to war in order to win Jewish supporters.

This may have been justified.  After all, several  of Sarah Palins’ s strongest supporters were Jewish Republicans ..William Krystol and Michael Medved.   I suspect their support for the shrill hawkism of Palin echoed the ideas that Israel can only survive by military domination of its neighborhood.  During 2004, a number of prominent public figures accused Jewish members of the Bush administration of tricking America into war against Saddam Hussein to help Israel. U.S. Senator Ernest Hollings (D-South Carolina) claimed that the US action against Saddam was undertaken ‘to secure Israel.’ Television talk show host Pat Buchanan said a ‘cabal’ had managed ‘to snare our country in a series of wars that are not in America’s interests.’[42] Hollings wrote an editorial in the May 6, 2004 Charleston Post and Courier, where he argued that Bush invaded Iraq possibly because “spreading democracy in the Mideast to secure Israel would take the Jewish vote from the Democrats.”

There is a sad precedent for this sort of conflation of the real interests of Jew sin promoting a democratic, egalitarian world, and the reality of Jewish survival.  Famously Joseph Kennedy and  Charles Lindbergh sided against America’s entry onto WWII because they saw the Jews as pushing America into a war against its interests.[41]

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