Thursday, October 21, 2004

Column: "Zelling" Kerry in Israel

Tzfat is not a town where you will find people deeply involved in politics. Many people that live here choose to because it is remote and spiritual and removed from the world. Of the Americans that live here it is interesting to note that there is a group that is from Berkeley California. They didn't come together as a group but have gravitated as individuals -- perhaps because of the climate and the geography which is most similar -- perhaps because of the mystical, other- worldliness of the city.

Needless to say, the politics of most folks from Berkeley is pretty liberal in spite of the fact that anti-Semitism has wedded itself to leftist politics as the radical left has embraced the Islamofascists. I don't envy the dilemma of my neighbors as Israeli flags with swastikas in the middle have become common fare at anti war rallies in the Bay area. One friend who was there this summer answered an e-mail of mine asking about how he deals with the situation there by saying that he ignores it, but I know from others I have spoken to that it is not an easy thing to ignore if you are living there full time and care about Israel and the Jewish people.

A different friend, one not from Berkeley but from New York, called me last night. He was filling out his ballot from Nassau County -- which is where I voted too. He wanted to tell me that he was voting for President Bush but he needed to talk to me first. He needed to tell me that not that long ago he was left of Peace Now and how that has all changed. He needed to clear his conscience before casting his vote for a Republican for the first time in his life. Perhaps he needed a little encouragement -- perhaps he needed to hear that a Jew can actually vote Republican -- that he can actually choose to "Zell" the Democratic party.

We talked for a while and he was getting more and more comfortable with the idea of checking that GOP box but I felt that he needed something that would really put him over the top so I tried an argument that I used in last week's column -- I had run it by some friends in the interim and had seen that it is pretty persuasive. This is what I wrote last week:

"Would it be better to have Kerry force Israel to meet a "global test"-- a test administrated by the UN and Jacques Chirac? How long would it be before Arafat was resurrected from the isolation that Bush has placed him in? How long until standing triumphantly on the White House lawn with Kerry, Arafat would be waving yet another new and secret "peace initiative" that was hatched in Oslo or some such place with some Israeli "peacemaker"? How long till Arafat raised the victory sign in Washington with Chirac and Carter and Annan kvelling in the "sensitive" glow of the moment -- confident that the "metaphor" of terrorism was no longer a global threat but a mere "nuisance?"

It had the same effect on him as it has had on everyone else here I ran it past and that's one more vote for Dubya.

He just had to acknowledge that the Israeli left -- along with Arafat, who this past week endorsed Kerry out of his "concern" for the future of the "peace process" -- has been marginalized by the Bush administration and that this marginalizing is hopeful even given the reality that the locally elected "hawks" always seem to mysteriously morph into doves that can't fly.

The marginalizing is happening because President Bush has shown that he is serious about winning the WOT, setting the left at wits end in selling its snake oil of a "peace process." Instead, the left has chosen to lie low and hope for a Kerry victory that would jump start their wreck.

Their hope looks to be in vain as the polls are reluctantly admitting now to what has been showing -- Bush is pulling clearly ahead. Many on the Israeli left have already begun adjusting to the new political correctness -- Bush style -- as Jay Nordlinger of National Review Online, recently found while on a trip to Israel.

While here, he spoke with David Horvitz of The Jerusalem Report -- not a right wing magazine by the farthest stretch -- and not to be confused with David Horowitz of

Nordlinger wrote the following about his meeting with Horvitz:

"Horovitz confirms that the Left in Israel has dwindled over the last few years. One hears reports of embarrassed, newly-seeing citizens scraping Peace Now stickers off their cars. That maxim of Irving Kristol's is invoked: "A neoconservative is a liberal who has been mugged by reality." Muggings in Israel have been ferocious."

Right he is.


Blogger Hescominsoon said...

"A neoconservative is a liberal who has been mugged by reality." Muggings in Israel have been ferocious."

I love it!

8:03 PM  

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