Mitt Romney’s Jerusalem speech

Mitt Romney's speech in Jerusalem

Mitt Romney’s speech in Jerusalem

Republican Presidential candidate Mitt Romney arrived in Israel yesterday for some pre-election diplomatic talks and fund-raising for his election campaign, and his wonderful speech to the Jerusalem Foundation has delighted one side of the political spectrum while enraging the other.

You can read the full text of his speech here. He hit all the right notes with regards to Israeli sovereignty, Jewish history, the significance of Jerusalem and its status as Israel’s capital. He also stressed the importance of close ties between the US and Israel.

While listening to the speech I was struck by Romney’s language, and couldn’t help comparing it with Obama’s unfortunate Cairo speech in 2009.

I was pleased to find myself in good company, since Daniel Pipes analyses Romney’s Remarkable Speech and makes the same comparison to Obama’s speech: (h/t Dad).

Mitt Romney, the all-but-official Republican presidential nominee, delivered a stem-winder of a speech to the Jerusalem Foundation yesterday, packing emotional support with frank policy statements. The contrast with Obama could hardly be more dramatic. Indeed, one could go through the speech and note the many refutations of Obama. For example, the opening comment that “To step foot into Israel is to step foot into a nation that began with an ancient promise made in this land” directly contrasts with Obama’s crabbed statement in Cairo about “the aspiration for a Jewish homeland [being] rooted in a tragic history.”

Also, in contrast to the nonsensical Obama administration stance on Jerusalem being Israel’s capital — sneaking into change captions that mistakenly identified it as that and going through verbal gymnastics to avoid calling it that — Romney came out and plainly called Jerusalem “the capital of Israel.”

[...]

But of the whole speech, it is the final words that most struck me: “May God bless America, and may He bless and protect the Nation of Israel.” When last did a politician ask the Lord to protect another country and not his own?

Read the whole thing. I’m sure you will find it as uplifting as I did.

Professor Barry Rubin writes that Romney’s speech was more important for how he said it than for the words he actually spoke.

Speaking to an often-cheering group of about 400 people in Jerusalem, Governor Mitt Romney gave a speech less notable for what he said than for the fact that the audience believed he was sincere in saying it.

[...]

Clearly, Romney was restrained by the American principle that partisan politics stops at the water’s edge, that no politician should criticize a president or U.S. government while abroad. Thus, Obama’s name—or even his specific policies—was never explicitly mentioned.

What Romney did do, however, was to scatter among the assertions of U.S. support for Israel’s security and a strong belief in a U.S.-Israel alliance some subtle references that many viewers and much of the mass media are likely to miss. Here are the key ones, which give some hints about Romney’s future campaign and possibly his presidency:

–Not allergic to Israel’s center-right. Romney quoted former Prime Minister Menahem Begin twice and referred to “my friend, Bibi Netanyahu.” Obama wouldn’t have cited either man and is known to loathe Netanyahu.

[...]

On the other hand, however, Romney should have quoted Yitzhak Rabin, Shimon Peres, or someone else to balance things off. Romney should not mirror Obama’s approach of choosing one sector of Israeli politics to cultivate. And since there is a broad Israeli national consensus on “foreign policy” this would not be at all hard to do.

–“The reality of hate.” This phrase used by Romney struck me as very significant. It occurred in the context of speaking about how many Arab and Muslim forces feel about Israel. It shows that he is aware that the desire to destroy and injure Israel goes beyond pragmatic considerations and is not something people will be talked out of trying to do. It is enormously important for an American president to understand that there are those in the Middle East who hate the United States and Israel and that it is impossible to appease or befriend them.

–He also said that Israel “faces enemies that deny past crimes against the Jewish people and intend to commit new ones.” This was a reference to Iran but also reflects his understanding about the depth of the conflict and the incredible difficulty of resolving it, a contrast to Obama’s at-least-initial stance.

–A real comprehension of terrorism, not mitigated by attempts at “balance” or rationalization. Romney referred both to the Munich Olympics attack—significant given the ongoing Olympics and his own experience running the Games—and the tenth anniversary of a bombing at Hebrew University that, he noted, killed both Israeli and American students.

[...]

–Of tremendous importance was Romney’s hint that the weakness of the Obama administration has encouraged extremists to become more aggressive and Iran to be bolder. He never said this directly but mentioned “the ayatollahs in Tehran testing our moral defenses” to see if the West would abandon Israel. Perhaps the speech’s most important line was this one:

“We cannot stand silent as those who seek to undermine Israel, voice their criticisms. And we certainly should not join in that criticism.”

This is a critique of Obama’s argument that he would persuade the Arabs to end the conflict by distancing the United States from Israel.

[...]

What was especially interesting was Romney’s list of five factors that brought together the United States and Israel: democracy, the rule of law, a belief in universal rights granted by our Creator (a reference to the Declaration of Independence and a subtle rebuke to Obama’s frequent omission of that divine attribution), free enterprise, and freedom of expression.

Professor Jacobson at Legal Insurrection has the full video of the speech, plus some other interesting links:

Jeffrey Goldberg claims it was “vulgar” for Romney to visit the Western Wall on the Jewish holiday commemorating the destruction of the First and Second Temples.  I call political bullshit on Goldberg for trying to score a cheap political point himself, and so does Carl at Israel Matzav.

The Israeli press had mixed feelings about Romney’s visit on Tisha Be’Av. Boaz Bismuth in Yisrael Hayom thought it was an entirely appropriate day to visit:

Tisha B’Av was the most appropriate time to sound the alarm on the dangers posed by the ayatollahs’ regime, as far as Romney was concerned. At his meeting with the prime minister on Sunday, he explained that “the tragedies of wanton killing are not only things of the past.” Over in Washington President Obama would find it difficult not to accept our assessment that the world today — the Middle East included — has not become a better place since his visit almost four years ago.

Conversely, David Ha’Ivri in Ynet thought Romney had good intentions but bad timing.

On this day, the 9th of the Hebrew month of Av, the Jewish people mark the anniversary of the destruction of our holy Temple in Jerusalem – the greatest symbol of Jewish national sovereignty in the land in the long history of Israel. This is the saddest day in our yearly cycle. We fast from before sundown the day before, until after sundown of the day itself. We go shoeless and do not bathe; we don’t even wash our hands or brush our teeth for some 25 hours. On this day, we sit on the floors of our synagogues and read the book of Lamentations.

This is not a day for us to host honored guests. In accordance with our tradition, we don’t even greet one another. How could our national leaders show such an important guest around without disregarding the laws and customs of our most intimate day of public mourning? But on the other hand, they do not want to be disrespectful to such a guest and turn him away.

I am very disappointed in those responsible for the timing of this visit. I do not expect Romney himself to learn all the manners and customs of the Jewish people, but I do expect one who sets out to repair relations with Israel to be a little more considerate.

Think of this distinguished visitor coming to the Kotel for a photo op, all shining clean and smiling – while walking by Jews sitting on the ground in mourning for our Temple that once towered over that very spot.

It is about as close as an insult to our dignity as could be conceived. It is something like coming to someone’s mother’s funeral and asking for cake, and then posting your picture all over the internet eating the cake, and commenting how much you love your host and promising to put in a good word for him if he has a problem with his neighbors.

I disagree. I thought Romney handled the unexpected glitch of Tisha Be’Av with grace and dignity.

As for the Palestinians, they were outraged as usual, with the Chief Negotiator (what does he ever negotiate?) calling Romney’s comments on Jerusalem “unacceptable”.

Senior Palestinian official Saeb Erekat said Monday that Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney’s assertion that Jerusalem is Israel’s capital is “absolutely unacceptable.”

[...]

Erekat said Romney’s comments are “disturbing,” reward “occupation and aggression” and go against long-standing US policy.

Another comment by Romney, this time concerning the Israeli and Palestinian economies, also enraged the Palestinian Authority. “As you come here and you see the GDP per capita, for instance, in Israel which is about $21,000 dollars, and compare that with the GDP per capita just across the areas managed by the Palestinian Authority, which is more like $10,000 per capita, you notice such a dramatically stark difference in economic vitality,” the Republican presidential candidate said.

“It is a racist statement and this man doesn’t realize that the Palestinian economy cannot reach its potential because there is an Israeli occupation,” Erekat said.

[...]

“His comments were grossly mischaracterized,” Romney campaign spokeswoman Andrea Saul said later. The campaign contends that Romney’s comparison of other neighboring countries with income disparities, including the US and Mexico, shows his comments were broader than just the comparison between Israel and Palestine.

Romney told donors that he had read books and relied on his business experience to understand why the economic difference is so great.

“And as I come here and I look out over this city and consider the accomplishments of the people of this nation, I recognize the power of at least culture and a few other things,” Romney said, citing an innovative business climate, the Jewish history of thriving in difficult circumstances and the “hand of providence.”

I’m sure we’re all looking forward to a refreshing change of atmosphere if and when Mitt Romney is elected the next President.

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53 Responses to Mitt Romney’s Jerusalem speech

  1. Reblogged this on danmillerinpanama and commented:
    An excellent article on Governor Romney’s comments while in Israel.

  2. pola says:

    Anne, I appreciate your website and your postings. I also love Israel.
    But c’mon! Are you suggesting we vote Republican only because it’s good for Israel?
    I love my country and Israel too much for that. A republican – especialy Mitt the twit as they called him in London after his olympics blunder – would be a disaster for the U.S. How about other issues, like the economy, a national health care, unemployment? Romney is a creep who pays 15 percent taxes and refuses to divulge his tax records. He has no empathy for the poor or unemployed. He is right wing even compared to other Republicans.No, I will not vote for him. I believe he also would be bad for Israel because his diplomacy skills are zilch.I don’t believe anthing he says.
    He is good only for those one percenter of Americans who are so rich they want to make sure they hold on to the inequality that is plaguing our country. You have lost me on this.

    • anneinpt says:

      Hi Pola, thanks for your comment.

      No, I certainly would not dare to tell Americans how to vote. I’m not American by birth or citizenship and don’t have very great understanding of American politics. I cannot speak about Romney’s wealth, his tax-paying habits or his diplomatic skills. The only thing I can do is write from the point of view of an Israeli, and speaking as such, I can only attest to the huge failure that Obama has been in his foreign politics, and particularly concerning Israel and the wider Middle East. This has been documented in so many places that I can hardly begin to list them. Read Professor Barry Rubin for example, or Yaacov Lozowick (listed on my sidebar) or any of the other sites and blogs that I list.

      As for Romney being diplomatically clumsy, I would call Obama’s returning the bust of Winston Churchill to Britain extremely clumsy. So too his sneering dismissal of Netanyahu during his visit to the US, the fact that he has not visited Israel at all, that he has no understanding of Israeli domestic politics; his lack of understanding of European politics, his abandonment of the anti-regime protestors in Iran, his hesitation in getting involved in Syria while a bloodbath is being carried out by Assad; his assistance in the downfall of Mubarak in Egypt, bringing in an even worse Islamist regime… the list goes on.

      Certainly Romney might be no better but he surely could not be any worse.

      Again, as I said above, I’m not writing to persuade American voters whom to vote for. I’m sure Romney is no saint, and he might even be creepy. I certainly am not a fan of his religion, but that is his own private business. I am only writing from an Israeli viewpoint, and as far as I’m concerned, the sooner Obama is out of the White House the better.

      Please don’t take this personally. I understand that you have your own considerations when voting. We Israelis have our own considerations, except that we don’t get the vote. But the results of your vote affect us directly.

      Personally I can’t see how he could possibly be worse for America than Obama has been, but as you are the voter, you have the privilege of voting for whomever you wish. I’m glad that I don’t have to make the choice. It’s quite enough deciding who to vote for in Israel!

    • Aridog says:

      Spoken like a true JINO. Are you a sock puppet for Mz Wasserman-Schultz? You prefer a President who just outright spits in the face of Israeli leadership? Of course you do.

      Personally, I do NOT want you to vote for Romney, even if you were so inclined … the taint of your belief system might rub off on the rest of us. Your snide reference to “one percenters” gives you away… you are a crocodile feeder who thinks the #Occupy beast will eat them last.

      Pray tell what Romney blundered about in London? Consider the fact that the London organization responsible for security failed to provide, well…security, and had to be filled in for by the military. Among other things rather “odd”about the London games and the cloning of Michael Gambon skits en’ mass.

      • pola says:

        I joined this site for intelligent and tolerant dialogue and not insults. Disagreeing with someone is not an excuse for insulting them. I participated in this site for the exchange of ideas and enlightenment, on both sides of issues. I didn’t realize this was a site only for people who agreed on everything.

        I am assuming you are not an American. You are out of touch then with what is happening in this country, which in many quarters is a burgeoning anti-Israeli sentiment. It gets stronger all the time. This is very distressing to me. I am the child of Holocaust survivors and Israel is important to me. I have cut off friends who speak disrespectfully and worse, hatefully, of Israel and how the pro-Israeli lobby has influenced our foreign polices. I am always defending Israel, which by the way I do with love for the country but I will tell you is not easy with so much opposition. I don’t think Romney offending Palestinians – our even us insulting Palestinians – is going to make things better for Israel.

        Our country – my country, America – is in a mess. The Republicans plunged us into a war in Iraq that has been disastrous for us economically, morally and emotionally. The disparity between the rich and the poor has never been so extreme. I am in my 60’s and I have never seen anything like it in my lifetime. (I know Israel has some of the same problems.) We our finding our middle class disappearing and the gap between rich and poorer gets wider all the time. I pay 40 to 45 percent tax. Romney who is worth 250 million pays 15 percent. I am the norm and he is the anomaly. This disparity and inequality is what the Republicans, and Romney in particular wish to continue.

        As for “snide comment about one percenters” that was not written with any sense of being snide. It breaks my heart to see what has become of my country that once had a large and comfortable middle class. I am old, and I remember a period of much more equality in this country. Pray tell how my comment is “snide”?

        As bad as things are here now they were worse under the Republicans with Bush. We were continually embarrassed by Bush and his lack of empathy towards less fortunate people was truly appalling. I could go on and on. I am not going to vote for Bush for many reasons. Like many Jews in this country – most of us in fact – we vote Democratic because it is more in line with our liberal leanings. And this is a fact you will really need to take in: Most Jews vote Democrat. Only very, very rich Jews vote Republican. And although I know wealthy Jews, including members of my own family, they do not vote for a Republican. Our polls and research has shown that the vast majority of Jews vote for Democrats.

        Romney is totally tone deaf. You don’t go to a country, our closest ally in fact, England, and insult the way they run things. It’s none of our business for one thing. I don’t think Americans have to stick their nose into everything. So far things in London at the Olympics seem to be going swell without Mitt’s advice. Romney ran an Olympics in the middle of nowhere, Salt Lake City. David Cameron is quite right you can’t compare that to London. By the way, I’ve been reading the British press and although I know about the Churchill bust of course – which Obama says he will return to the Oval Office – from what I’ve read the English are not that concerned about it. They don’t mention it in the same breath as Romney’s Olympics blunder.

        Also, I hope this is not a cultural debate, but I am a great fan of Danny Boyle. I loved the Olympics opening. Am I allowed an opinion on this without being insulted? I don’t understand your Michael Gambon reference as he is an actor – a really fine one – and not a writer. Does this have something to do with Harry Potter? Anyway I’m lost there.

        As for Obama being embarrassing when he visited Israel do you mean when he arrived at the precise moment Israelis were building settlements in contested land? I think the Israelis could have picked a more opportune time – in fact maybe no time – to build settlements on land that is still in dispute. I would never admit this to a non-Jew, but no, I don’t think Israel is always right and I don’t think it’s right to kick people off of land they have lived in for generations if this is indeed the case here. I freely admit I am not an expert on Israel. I am merely responding to your comment above concerning Obama and Netanyahu.

        By the way, Bush only visited Israel near the end of his presidency. At least Obama went at the beginning of his and Hilary has gone numerous times. He’s got a fair amount to do in this country. We have a few problems, as I’ve mentioned above. And also I disagree with you, he’s said in one speech after another that he supports Israel. I don’t think he has to be a puppet to any country, including Israel.

        I suggest you read the New York Times today and see all the varying opinions about Romney’s visit to Israel. Some I agree with and some I don’t but I am sorry, I believe Romney and the Republics period are horrible for our country and our diplomatic relations with other countries. I think I deserve to be heard because I live here and I am a supporter of Israel.

        At least I feel Obama has his heart in the right place and listening to his speeches after having that doofus Bush in the White House for 8 years, is a pleasure.

        You have a national health plan. We do not. Do you know if you get sick in this country, just something minor like a broken leg, if you don’t have insurance you can loose your home, your job, your life basically? At least you don’t have that worry. Romney wants to make sure our people don’t get the protection you have.

        And by the way, I am a fairly comfortably well off person who always had good medical insurance with a good job. Now I have Medicare which so fair seems pretty good. Romney would like to take that away from us too.

        Anne your English is excellent. I congratulate you. I like your website. I like the exchange of opinions. But this should not be a place for only people who agree on every issue to feel comfortable in engaging in conversation. You have heard that expression preaching to the choir? Is this that kind of site? I love Israel and I love America and that doesn’t mean I have to agree with all their policies and I don’t. I won’t tolerate insults from people who disagree with me when I am polite and try to be calm. I’ve had disagreements and arguments with Palestinians that were more polite and civil than the posting above.

        This is today’s article in the Times below.

        http://thecaucus.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/07/30/romney-comments-on-palestinians-draw-criticism/?hp

        • anneinpt says:

          Hi Pola, I just want to set some things straight so that this doesn’t descend into a flame war. I’m really very sorry if you’ve been offended by any of the commenters. You are quite right that this site is not intended to be an echo chamber. I welcome all comments as long as they are not offensive, and you are certainly free to express your views here and shouldn’t expect to be insulted for expressing them.

          Believe me, I do understand your deep concerns about Romney, and I can see where you’re coming from regarding Obama, even though I disagree sharply with your viewpoint. I also disagree with your view about Israeli settlements but I suspect we are going to have to agree to disagree on all these points. As the old saying goes, where there are two Jews there are three opinions!

          Regarding national health care, I find myself on the same side as you. Having grown up in England (hence my good English. :-) ) and then living in Israel for the last 35 years with its National Insurance and Health Funds, I can’t understand the objections to a national health service.

          So you see, my support of Romney is really only as a “Not-Obama” candidate, and only insofar as it affects Israel. To repeat, most of us Israelis feel that Obama has not been good for Israel or for the Middle East. I can’t judge on how good he has been for Americans – that is for you Americans to fight over and vote for or against.

          I hope you come back and continue to join in the discussions on this blog.

        • anneinpt says:

          PS: About the Olympics ceremony, I missed the whole thing because it was on Shabbat when we don’t watch TV, but I just read an excellent review which was very positive about the whole thing. It’s written by Ray Cook, a British Jewish writer. I’m sure you’ll enjoy his review.

        • Rob Harris says:

          Just a few points about Pola’s comments:

          You suggest the Republicans have a bad record with Israel and Jews (American presumably). I don’t think that is true. Many past democrats have had issues, such as Jesse Jackson, and even demagogues like Phelps of the Westboro Baptists was involved with the demorats. Even Carter is reputed to have made some anti-Semitic remarks.

          Many have asked why Jewish folks so rigidly follow the Democrats. It would seem to be down to historic circumstance. Jewish people were treated very harshly in Europe especially by religious conservatives (many from Catholic quarters). In the New World the religious environment was very different, and it was a mistake to parallel the more left wing side of politics there with the marginally more tolerant left in Europe which was more accepting of Jews, especially as they divested themselves of their culture. Some democrats were shockingly racist even by the standards of the time e.g. Woodrow Wilson. IMHO an intensely pro-Democrat collective Jewish stance was a misreading of US politics.

          Of course not everyone in the Democrat party hates Israel but there are now many in the party who think nothing of firing out the “Israel Firster” charge at anyone defending Israel, which echoes the age-old anti-Semitic tropes about Jews being disloyal.

          Romney may have less presence than Gingrich who is an excellent speaker but the electorate should give him a chance. The press was at Obama’s feet whilst he was running. By contrast they are setting Ronmey up to fail, with Newsweek calling him a “wimp” etc.

          Similarly he is being attacked for little more than being wealthy, e.g. Horsegate. Yet he is clearly a very moderate politician and should at least be given a chance to air his views. His voting record suggests he does support socialised health care but the Obama situation was and is a mess, with many supporting its repeal even today if polls are an indicator.

          • pola says:

            Hi Rob,
            Thanks for your posting. May I ask where you are from?

            First I want to answer what Anne said above:” I too wonder why the Republicans don’t try and adjust their platform towards the centre, particularly regarding national health care. I think American society has become very polarized, with the Democrats becoming much more leftist and socialist, while the Republicans are moving towards the hard right. The centre is therefore left empty. Perhaps the Americans need a Third-Way centre party, something like the Social Democrats of Europe.”

            Anne is correct that the Republicans have become much more conservative than they ever have been. Democrats though have not become more leftist. That is simply not true. We had our great civil rights movement in the 60’s. If anything, Americans have become complacent. Occupy Wall Street is about desperate students who cannot pay back loans and people who are losing their homes because they cannot find jobs. It is a movement bred from desperation and frankly not so much ideological. (all the pity). It is not about become Socialists. There will never be a third party. Neither party will allow it although it’s not such a bad idea. The fact is there will be no national health if the Republicans have anything to do with it because they are in the pocket of insurance lobbyists who pour loads of millions of dollars into Republican campaigns to make sure there is no national health. Lots of money is at stake here and national health is bad for insurance companies. I have medical insurance and always have so I speak from a place of simple human decency. If you don’t have medical insurance a hospital can turn you away, you can go bankrupt, you will die. It’s as simple as that. That is what our country has come to.

            “You suggest the Republicans have a bad record with Israel and Jews (American presumably).”
            I don’t suggest that at all. The USA has a terrific track record supporting Israel. Terrific! This is true of Democrats and Republicans. I don’t think the Republicans have been any better than the Democrats though. I am thinking we are Israel’s last true ally. Whether we get a Republican president or stay with Obama that will not change. Israel will continue to get support, financially and otherwise, with, I am sorry to say, many Americans – even Jewish ones – unhappy with how much support we have given Israel. There are many Jews – I am not among them – who think we should cut the umbilical cord at least a little, and many Jews who have a hard time with understanding and agreeing with what they see as Israel building settlements on disputed land. Quotes and analysis from Jewish professors and Israel politicians is not going to change anyone’s mind on this. Every Jews I know supports and hopes for a two-state solution in Israel.

            “Many past democrats have had issues, such as Jesse Jackson, and even demagogues like Phelps of the Westboro Baptists was involved with the demorats. Even Carter is reputed to have made some anti-Semitic remarks. ” Jesse Jackson’s career was pretty much over once he made a disparaging remark about Jews on a tv show called Saturday Night Live. He called Manhattan “hymietown.” He was never a real force in the political arena anyway. He was and is a fine speaker though and strong in the Civil Rights Movement where he worked with Martin Luther King. Many African-Americans got spiritual support from his speeches and even I found them uplifting and then he lost me with that slur and basically his career was over. AFrican Americans and Jews have a complicated history. Many Jews were involved in the Civil Rights Movement. Fast forward, Many African Americans identify with the Palestinians now and what they say is apartheid in Israel. That is why Alice Walker refused to have her book “The Color Purple” published in Hebrew. This is a terrible blow to American Jews when we hear this but the truth is many African-Americans feel that way about Israel. Anyway, Carter’s beef with Israel is the same as Alice Walker’s. He wrote a book called “Palestine: Peace Not Apartheid.” The title tells it all. It was very controversial but I am sorry, many people agreed with him. In any case he was a one-term president and he wrote this book a good 30 years after he was president. Personally I think he is a crackpot and has been quoted as saying he has some good “Jewish friends.” You are referring to three big exceptions on the large Democratic landscape.

            “Gingrich who is an excellent speaker but the electorate should give him a chance. ” I can only say, “Are you joking?” This man is pure evil. You obviously know nothing about his personal history, his hypocrisy, his drug addiction, his anti-gay stance, his polarizing influence,his hate mongering. He was backed by Sheldon Adelson, the mega billionaire Zionist (and Zionist is not a dirty word to me) who is backing, you guessed it, Mitt Romney, now that Gingrich is out of the race. He is giving Romney 100’s of millions of dollars for his campaign. And this is not just because he thinks Romney is better for Israel, it’s because as one of the richest men in American, Adelson wants to insure he keeps his billions by getting a Republican in the White House who supports his agenda, which is to keep taxes for the rich low – 14 percent for Romney, 45 percent for the rest of us – and keep in place all those policies that have enriched big business at the expense of the rest of us.

            Romney is not a moderate. I have no idea where you got this incredibly misleading idea. Do you know who the Koch brothers are? They are the brothers who started the Tea party and they started it to make sure they got to keep all their money by putting in place candidates who support their conservative agenda. 92 percent of Wall street supports the Republicans. There is an excellent article about the Koch brothers in the New Yorker that explains all their nefarious dealings if you want to learn more. They try to fly under the radar so it was an eye opener for me.

            Jews (the majority) vote Democrat because it is in line with their liberal philosophy and ideals. There are more Hispanics and Blacks who vote Democrat than Republican as well. Republicans are best for very rich, white people. Having said that yes Democrats have a troubled history and have done some bad things. Roosevelt – who has always been considered one of the best presidents – sent back a boat load of Jews trying to flee Nazi German. There are some bad Democrats and have been. There are some bad Jews. Have you heard of Bernie Madoff? Not one of our shining examples of Jewish manhood.

            Having said all this, although in the last election 75 percent of Jews voted for Romney, if the percentage has gone down it will be more about the economy that about Israel. Some Jews are troubled about what they perceive as his less than whole-hearted support of Israel (which I disagree with) and I am sure they may change their vote to Romney. But the Jewish vote, which counts most in Florida (New York has most Jews but they always vote Democrat), frankly only counts in the electoral vote in Florida because it is a swing state. Florida is where old Jews go to get sun and die. Guess what? Those Jews won’t vote for Romney either because Romney is talking about changing Medicare and social security, having it run by private companies (his pals) which will definitely insure old folks will get hammered. (I worry about losing my Medicare and social security myself with a Republican president). Adelson with his hundreds of billions doesn’t have to worry about medicare or social security.

            I am not saying I am an authority on any of this. I am a liberal New York Jew and I am telling you how my Jewish friends feel and what I read in my newspaper of choice, the New York Times. My 85 year old mother, a Holocaust survivor, has never voted for a Republican. We are small business owners who are getting taxed to death way more than big business which pays only 12 percent tax.

            My biggest gripe with Obama, and I have many, is that he has not been tough enough with big business. Business people should have been prosecuted for the bank debacle. Instead he has some of these same businessmen working for him. Like other politicians he talks a good game. Many Democrats like me are disenchanted but we know he can’t get as much done as necessary because of a gridlocked congress. Republicans will make sure he can’t get any of his policies pushed through. They care more about their selfish needs than they do the country. (I guess it is the same everywhere.)

            My biggest problem is I am still reeling from what Anne said above about supporting Romney only because he’s anti-Obama. I say this with respect Anne because I am really trying to learn how to defend Israel when people slam it, which they do with regular frequency, even here. I cannot tell you how many times I hear “apartheid state,” “ethnic cleansing,” “genocide” being hurled at Israel. I love Israel. I love America.

            Bad segue, but back to Obama, I wish we had better presidential choices in this country but in the end the candidates bend to concerns that don’t involve the majority of the people. Obama is closer to my philosophical thinking and that of most Jews, clear and simple.

            I just don’t see what more you want him to do for Israel? He gives loads of money. He says he supports Israel. You mean he cannot express any concern for Palestinians? He spit in Netanyahu’s face? Netanyahu comes to visit the President in the White House at the precise time all the trouble with the settlements was going down in East Jerusalem and made Obama look a fool. Who spit in who’s face? If I felt Obama was not supportive of Israel I wouldn’t vote for him. I also don’t want him to be anyone’s lap dog, including Israel. Sometimes Israel – like every other country – does things that are just plain wrong and constructive criticism is just that.

            • anneinpt says:

              Pola, thank you for your long detailed reply. I can’t address all your points simply for lack of time, but I find your views very interesting all the same.

              Just a couple of points:

              I agree with you 100% that America has always been pro-Israel, whether a Democrat or a Republican has been in power. However, the Israeli view of Obama (not Democrats in general, but Obama in particular, and many in his coterie of advisers and aides) is rather negative. Yes, he gave Israel some money, and he just signed on to a $70 million package for anti-missile defense, but people feel he did this precisely when Romney visited Israel in order to undermine Romney. Not that we are complaining about the aid! But there have been many instances of barely disguised hostility towards Israel emanating from the White House which is something that Israel has not experienced since the days of Jimmy Carter the “crackpot” (your words, with which I highly concur). There have been unprecedented lack of support of Israel at the UN for example, the constant pressurizing of Israel without any concomitant pressure on the Palestinians, the concentration on the problem of the settlements, thereby inducing the Palestinians to harden their stance: they had no problem negotiating with Israel in the past when settlements were being built left, right and center. But after the Administration made such an issue about the settlement,s the Palestinians could hardly be “softer” that the US. Besides being adverse to Israel, it was bad politics.

              Support from America does not only involve monetary aid. In fact that’s the least part of it now. Israel’s economy is booming and American aid is as much to tie Israel’s hands as to give actual support.

              Sure, criticism of Israel is legitimate. Ask any Israeli! They are the most self-critical people in the world. But one-sided criticism is improper.

              I won’t go in to the argument of how and why the Democrats are better or worse for America. That is honestly nothing to do with me or any other Israeli. I repeat, I’m writing purely from the Israeli point of view, which I suppose is a bit presumptuous since Obama is not my president and the elections are not ours. The choice is yours to make.

              I do want to quickly address your dismay at your difficulty in defending Israel. Firstly, I greatly appreciate that you are such a strong supporter of Israel. We cannot take this support for granted, I know. I hope you aren’t offended at my next words because I truly don’t intend to offend. But if you get your news about Israel only from the New York Times, then it’s no wonder that you have a warped view of Israel as an ethnic cleansing, apartheid, land-stealing, brutal oppressive regime. I can recommend some excellent reading for you if you are interested in learning about the other side – i.e. the REAL Israel, not the cartoonishly evil picture one gets from the media.

              Honest Reporting is an excellent media monitoring website with a daily blog detailing how Israel is misrepresented in the media – including about those awful settlements that you feel so uncomfortable about.

              CAMERA is another similar media monitoring site which specializes in the New York Times.

              Daniel Goldstein writes in the Gloria Center’s web magazine about Middle East reporting in the media. The Gloria Center’s entire website is excellent reading to learn about the Middle East in depth, with extremely distinguished academics and journalists working for them. They are affiliated with the Inter-Disciplinary Center in Herzliya, Israel.

              I hope these help you gain a deeper insight into Israel. And I would highly recommend you come here for a visit. Your life will change as will your viewpoint, I guarantee it!

            • Rob Harris says:

              Hi Pola,

              I’m from Europe so have no involvement in US politics although it is a topic I take a modest interest in. This is a long reply to your points to justify my views – I’ll keep further points short due to time issues.

              With the greatest of respect, your citing Anne’s point about polarised American politics to criticise the Republicans but then to exonerate the Democrats is an example of that very point she was making.

              Many observers have noticed a greater swing to the left within the Democrat party. I think the US is ultimately a moderate centrist nation, and the factional pulling within each party is harming the nation. It is also unfair to closely associate the civil rights movement with the Democrats over the Republicans as you seem to infer. The main opponents http://pjmedia.com/barryrubin/2012/05/09/american-history-distorted-how-lawrence-odonnell-unintentionally-shows-why-contemporary-leftist-style-liberalism-is-wrong/ were Southerners who were Democrat to a large extent.

              I would disagree with you over the OWS movement. There is a strong ideological component, which has been bred perhaps in tow with the Internet advancing stronger political stances.

              I think the US should have a socialised health service too but Obama singularly failed to even get everyone in his own party to follow his lead – resorting to buy backs to get its very narrow passing.

              I thought you seemed to suggest the Republicans are bad for Israel’s interests, perhaps because they tend to be better friends. You might look to the conservatives in Canada as being even better to Israel than the US in terms of their political support, in contrast to the more left-wing in Canada BTW.

              I don’t know enough about Jewish culture to really say whether it is truly liberal or not but in any case I think too many Jewish folks rely unduly on the Grey Lady, NPR etc. I’m sure you’ll hate me for saying that but do look up the catalogue of sins CAMERA list about the NYT. It is shocking. Perhaps your friends and community may have grown up in households that support Israel but the constant barrage from the Liberal/Left press takes its toll to the extent many seem embarrassed about the place today.

              Re. Settlements, Israel should not give up a single centimetre until there is going to be a robust peace, and should not put a stay on settlements without genuinely meaningful signs of peace from the other side. They should concrete over the entire thing if it’ll push the Palestinians to peace. You may find that opinion outrageous but I suggest you confront the debased howling hatred that the other side engages in, and will continue to do so at least until the international community stops turning their face away. This conflict is not about land. It is about the “People of the book” having a space in Dar al Islam. In the meantime I don’t see why should Jewish settlers be expected to give up on their legal right to settle there (as Article 6 of the Mandate states forthrightly) for literally nothing other than the absolute certainty Israel will be pushed for more concessions resulting in further losses of security.

              I would disagree somewhat over Jesse Jackson. He and a few other fairly important black politicians in the democratic party, e.g. Cynthia McKinney, have said some rather shocking things over the years but they seem to get a semi-free pass since they are part of a much put upon minority. While Jackson’s political career is over, he is regarded by many as a heroic humanitarian today and is treated as such when he travels abroad. Sadly and perhaps ironically, there does seem that elements within that community that have certain issues with anti-Semitism, as the Crown Heights riots of 1991 indicate. A similar issue is said to occur within the Hispanic community. That reflects on Democratic support.

              Carter is an appallingly dishonest character who has defended Bashir in Sudan, and toes money from anti-Semitic sources http://www.campus-watch.org/article/id/3267 like the Zayed Foundation.

              Alice Walker’s action is inexcusable because she didn’t target Israel – she chose to boycott the emblematic language of an entire people. That is more an attack on Jews overall. These people are heroes on the liberal/left just as the self-hating Noam Chomsky who collaborated (well beyond the call of free-speech) with neo-Nazi’s is. Check out Werner Cohn’s site on Chompers if you are curious.

              Gingrich definitely has his flaws but to call him “pure evil” is a bit much. If you want to talk about the Koch Brothers then anyone can retort by talking about a certain billionaire who escaped the Holocaust!

              I might be tempted to give Roosevelt a pass on not taking enough Jews in because his foreign officials were dead against it, and he did organise the Evian conference, when no nation wanted to take any.

              My gripe with Obama is not about Israel but the sheer stupidity of trying to inflate the economy by spending more when the markets are terrified about getting their money back due to the heavy debts many nations have incurred. This has had a knock-on effect on Europe although Obama isn’t to blame ultimately for that but when the US is doing badly it does affect the rest of the world negatively also. Romney would be far more prudent in this regard. That is ultimately why I like him better than Obama. Growth is the only way of getting out of this mess and that’ll only happen when markets truly stabilise.

              Obama spent vastly more than McCain back in 2008, and a lot of that came from Wall Street. I think ultimately that while you speak up for Israel, you tacitly accept a political paradigm that is hostile to it. I am fairly centrist by European standards so have no major beef with numerous left-wing values which You must go your own path, and ultimately the things people say to each other rarely make an impact but my own experience is that in my 20’s I used to be left-wing. I turned against the disingenuous posturing, especially after the Hate-America bullshit just after 9/11. I came to realise many leading left-wing lights, and heroes, are apologists for the inexcusable who are driven by an almost pathological hatred for the West, whilst ignoring far worse abuses. I can’t have any part in that ugliness anymore.

              Netanyahu was treated with quite an open hostility by Obama and his team. The Israeli authorities can’t be expected to switch the settlement faucet on and off to suit periodic US sensitivities which BTW the NYT exploited by splashing it across their front page on the day of the meeting. You might like to look back over Anne’s blog to check the issue. Sure he still gives Israel a good amount of money but it stops alienating his electorate, and most is used to buy US armaments. What Israel needs is moral support.

              • anneinpt says:

                Rob, thank you for a fantastic comment. You expressed my own feelings in a much clearer way than I could ever manage. I truly appreciate the mutual respect and civil discourse that your comment displayed.

  3. carinaragno says:

    US Media Ignore Netanyahu Nuclear Smuggling Files” Major News Release – IRmep
    By News Bulletin
    Institute for Research: Middle Eastern Policy

    http://axisoflogic.com/artman/publish/Article_64804.shtml

    • anneinpt says:

      I’m sure the media has ignored the story for a reason, namely that it’s a load of conspiratorial codswallop. The MSM looks for any reason to bash Israel so if they didnt publish this story it’s because it’s not true. Not because of some nefarious Zionist control of the media.

      • carinaragno says:

        MSM? ma non

        your opinion, if you support Israelis you do not support Bibi, Israelis want him kicked to curbside, violent repression of uprising by IDF, Holocaust survivors live in slums

        Is Israel a Member of “The International Community”?
        by Jonathan Cook

        http://www.globalresearch.ca/index.php?context=va&aid=32128

        • Andrea says:

          Carina, un punto importante – from above link : ” It was revealed last week that the European Union had approved a massive upgrade in Israel’s special trading status, strengthening economic ties in dozens of different fields. The decision was a reversal of a freeze imposed in the wake of the Gaza attack of winter 2008.”. Incidentally this includes strategic affairs in military ( Alenia Aermacchi per esempio ) as well. Who wuold have said this after so many discussions on deteriorating relationship between Israel and Europe ?
          Well this is a fact then my opinions are not on the same wave with Mr Cook’s but this is not so important after all…
          Saluti

  4. Aridog says:

    Your assumptions are amusing. You’re insulted? If the shoe fits ….

    Interesting that you note Anne’s command of “English” … apropos of what is the question.

    • pola says:

      My assumptions about what? I’m insulted because you’re rude. Nothing justifies that.

      “If the shoe fits?” This doesn’t even make sense. What are you talking about? Regarding what? I’ve been rude to you? I don’t think I have.

      I believe you are wearing blinders in regard to how most Americans, Jewish American like me even, feel about Romney. Just read the polls.

      I admire the fact that Anne and Israelis in general speak English so well. There is no question in that, just admiration. Americans rarely speak more than one language, and that not so well.

      Look, I can stop reading and participating in this site. I never post comments anywhere. There is such strong anti-Israeli sentiment in this country now – in Europe as you know anti-Semitism is at a fever pitch – that I came on this site for support and some enlightenment. I want to know how to answer critics of Israel. But that doesn’t mean I want to be on a site communicating with people who are intolerant of differing points of view. This is not helpful to supporting Israel.

      • anneinpt says:

        Pola, most Israelis don’t speak such good English. It’s only because I’m born in England and grew up there. I only left after high school, so English is my mother tongue. The English in general are not particularly good at foreign languages, although in my day (not sure if it’s still applicable) we had compulsory foreign language lessons. In my Jewish day school we learned French and Hebrew (compulsory) and German (optional). I thought Americans were taught Spanish in school.

        As to the tone of this site, I explained in my comment above that I welcome all views and really want to keep discussions and airing of opposing views as polite and civil as possible. We can be civilized and simply agree to disagree.

        I appreciate your support of Israel and hope to see you here again.

  5. pola says:

    Anne I was mistaken about Obama visiting Israel. He visited Israel during his candidacy in 2008, not while he was president. Um, sounds like what Romney is doing now in fact. Just want to correct that. thank you.

  6. pola says:

    It’s my understanding Obama just gave Israel 70 or 80 million (or billion) dollars. That is not generous?

    Fine with me we don’t agree on everything.that is human. I want to learn. I do think the settlements though are a stumbling point for many people, Jews and non-jews. I don’t understand some of the legal documents you posted. Sometimes the human images of suffering resonate stronger than words though. I am not an expert. I love israel. But in the world and even in America, right or wrong, Israel has lost the public relations war. I always defend israel and am expressing things to you I would never say to a non-Jew but it is true. The vast majority of Americans – Jew or non-Jew – don’t agree with all the stuff Romney is spouting in jerusalem. That is election talk and what he has said about Palestinins offends me and other Jews.
    Also, I hate being intolerant of any religion but there is something really spooky about Mormons. When I was 20 and first livd in New york I lived with Mormons. They are big on converting. They tried to convert me. One woman said I was the devil cause I was Jewish. Of course I can’t say they are all like that but they do believe it is their calling to convert.
    Also, Romney is such a robot. He has no charm or grace. Even bush on a personal level had more personality.
    Really, all you judge our candidates by are what they can do for israel? I think, at this time when our country is strugging so much, especially economically, Obama has been generous enough to Israel. I also think there is nothing wrong about acknowldging Palestinians are human beings. As for terrorists he has called them what they are and he killed Osama. I believe he has been good for jews and Israel. He always talks about how he supports israel. The settlements, well we disagree on that. We can respectfully disagree.
    I am a journalist too by the way, culturalwriter, and I linked to your site. Thanks.
    Take care.

  7. Earl says:

    I am quite enjoying the “Palestinians” being hoist on their own petard. Their “narrative” (Lord, how I have come to loath that word) is that “we are Semitic peoples, too!”. A facile feint to advance their Judenhass towards IL.

    OK, for sake of argument- so, why is it that the Semitic “Palestinians” are such an abscessed, incapable, disorganized, poor rabble, whereas the Israeli Jews are, as Romney merely pointed out, a beacon amongst the ME cesspools? Could it be… cultural?

  8. Andrea says:

    Sorry for coming there on this topic .. not properly mine since I am not either American entitled to vote for President or Israeli exposed to consequences of american policy toward Israel . Yet I am curious about interesting comments above , especially as far as Jewish American vote is concerned.In spite of fact that consensus for Obama is constantly decreasing, just around 60% of Jews would support the democrat candidate – still a quite great percentage. Social consideration ( most of Jews are middle class members with liberal views on social and family issues ) and historical heritage ( Republicans have not a good record with Israel and Jews ) have still a strong influence. In addition to all rational reasons we have to consider influence of religion as well: a Christian grounded party is not attractive for Jews. I can not honestly understand the reason why Republican are unable to move toward centre with a less conservative agenda ( right wing people in any case would support GOP , wouldn’t them ? ) and stopping naming Christian divinity every holy day.
    PS No need saying i am not an English speaker – OK correct me whenever it takes :-)

    • anneinpt says:

      Andrea, your comments are always welcome on this blog, no matter the subject, whether it concerns you personally or not.

      I’m glad the comments above have piqued your interest – that’s the whole point of commenting on a blog after all: to interest other readers.

      I too find the voting patterns of American Jews of great interest. Pola’s comments above are probably typical of the average Jewish American voter, and her views parallel your own opinion about why Jews generally do not vote for Republicans. In fact your whole opinion about support for Democrats versus Republicans sounds pretty much accurate to me (as a non-American).

      I too wonder why the Republicans don’t try and adjust their platform towards the centre, particularly regarding national health care. I think American society has become very polarized, with the Democrats becoming much more leftist and socialist, while the Republicans are moving towards the hard right. The centre is therefore left empty. Perhaps the Americans need a Third-Way centre party, something like the Social Democrats of Europe.

      As for religion, I think that America is a much more religious society than any European country that I know, despite the official separation of church and state, so God gets mentioned much more even than in Israel or Europe.

  9. Aridog says:

    Andrea askedI can not honestly understand the reason why Republican are unable to move toward centre with a less conservative agenda…

    Anne remarkedAmerican society has become very polarized, with the Democrats becoming much more leftist and socialist, while the Republicans are moving towards the hard right. The centre is therefore left empty

    At the risk of attracting a return of the passive-aggressive Moby I managed to upset earlier on this thread… let me clarify something regarding the “American Political Center.” It already exists, and many believe it is part of the problem, not a solution. I agree with that … we’ve compromised ourselves in to both emasculation and bankruptcy. And we ARE bankrupt, if you doubt it I suggest remedial accounting classes with attention to balance sheets. For now, a temporary condition, we are “too big to fail” and folks like the Chinese will prop us up for a bit…until it suits them to let us collapse. Great Brtian is no different. We are all Greece, just in differing stages of rot. The hard right” you speak of are those of us who would like to prevent the fall, who know you really can’t spend, forever, what you do not have…period.

    The term “RINO” refers to centrist Republicans. In my state the only difference between a Democrat and a Republican for most of my life has been the animal avatar the candidate chooses to utilize. Both parties happily taxed us to death, with spending to match… with the Republicans Governor Milliken being the worst of all time. The left likes to paint the right as “rich kids” but the truth is the rich kids seem to be leftists, such as the Governor I mentioned, born to the manse, never a real job in his life. Warren Buffet is my idea of “rich” and he’s left, or wobbly centrist at best, happy to advise how Democrats to take your money, while keeping his. Corporate thieves? Let’s talk about Jeffry Immelt, major White House advisor and CEO of General Electric, a corporation that pays little or no taxes and exports more jobs than Bain ever dreamed of doing. The entire perceived move to the “hard right” is a result of where the alliance between hard left and quibbling center has taken us.

    Independents like me and Tea Party advocates are fed up with being lied to and hosed. We don’t riot, we don’t occupy other’s property, strew trash around, or ransack public parks or retail stores. We don’t shoot up places, although we are always the first accused of it. Most of us have served in war, or have kids who have, and we know what death is all about. I lost my inclination to kill things when I returned from my war, and never hunted again….but I also carry a concealed weapon with a CPL permit. I support those nations who appear to me to have principle in place before dogma or fanaticism. I know, personally, the cost of not doing so. I will never fully recover from my own survivors guilt. So I pay attention.

    Last remark: as for “national health care” … what we have had shoved down our throats in a 2700 page miasma of tax increases and premium increases is NOT remotely like British or Israeli National Health Care. The closest we ever came to a realistic “American” version of a national health care plan was proposed by John Kerry in 2004 …probably the only good idea he ever had, in fact. Ask any bunch of Americans or foreign observers what Kerry proposed?….you will likely get silence or “huh?” What he proposed, in a moment of innocent enlightenment, was a national version of the FEHBP (Federal Employee Health Benefit Plan), which is 100% competitive between private providers who offer plans meeting the federal stipulations. FEHBP is what Congressmen have, and it is what I have. It works. It could work nationally…and it already has the administrative infrastructure in place to manage it….expansion of a known working plan …what a concept, eh? With a literally comprehensible proposal such as expanding FEHBP the public would have been far more willing to pay for the necessary subsidies for the expanded coverage, and businesses would still be paying whatever percentage they pay now for the plans they have….but under FEHBP there is no exclusion for prior existing medical conditions, so it would have been win-win.

    To close …it is the “center” who has collaborated with the long existing hard leftist group left over the political feces of the 1960-1970’s. For my part, I have had enough. Period. If we retain the current administration past January 2013, it will no longer matter. I will become an outlaw.

    • anneinpt says:

      Aridog, thanks for your reply and your explanation of American politics. I admit that I am a total ignoramus when it comes to your politics. The meanings of “left” and “right” in America are completely different concepts to what they are in Israel, which partly explains the confusion, and also my difficulty in discussing politics with Americans.

      In Israel, left and right pertain almost entirely to security issues. Regarding the economy, most Israelis are probably soft-left by American standards, if not more so. Hence even more confusion.

      I never knew that Kerry had had a clever idea in his life! How come his national health suggestion was never followed up?

      • Aridog says:

        As for Kerry’s “clever idea” vis a vis enhanced FEHBP.. my conclusion on the subject is that it did NOT involve creating new rule writing power structures, did not create an autocratic federal management system, with all the spoils rewards extant therein, such as the vaunted political crony “exceptions” already being handed out by the Administration, and frankly, it just made too much sense.

        The issue of subsidy for low income/no income populations could have been addressed with tax credits, refundable (illogical, but extant alredy) and/or reductive, and been far less divisive overall in accomplishing a no per-existing condition exclusion as well as relative coverage portability. It would have involved a tax increase across the board, but one far more palatable than the tax mess we have in the PPACA that amounts to a three card monte game at best. Nobody would have had to say “we must pass it to find out what’s in it” because it is already the system provided Congresspersons.

  10. Andrea says:

    Thanks Aridog. For me it is a very clear answer and together with Pola’s comments gives a very good portrait of political tendencies in USA.
    Apart from your clear comments, I have sometimes the impression that America is looking like Europe in the 70′: the battle will be played on the extremes and affiliation to a party in name of a genuine political credo ( label it liberalism, or conservatorism ) is not a purely “european ” phenomenon anymore. I can still remember the time when Israelis were supposed to be strongly conditioned by the ideology of their parties ( the MAPAM/MAPAI era and the eternal struggle between Zionist Socialists and Zabo legacy ) – now things are going the other way round and America looks definitly divided in Blue and Reds ( funny, Red stays for Republican in USA election map, isn’t it ? ).
    Good luck America whomever you choose – hope you do not have to regret the bad times of moderate Republican and slightly progressive Democrats . Our experience with extreme wings of game in Europe was not that lucky but it was all our fault after all and yet your Right and your Left are not so fanatical as ours – not yet.

    • Aridog says:

      Please …Pola’s comments relate to almost nothing that is true in or about America. It was boiler plate demagoguery present in passive-aggressive fashion, with pretense as a seeker of knowledge, but actually a lecturing hector condescending to ultimate extent. Of course, the de rigueur claim to be Jewish, in case you didn’t ask, is present, to lend “authority” to the argument, even with anecdotal comment about not discussing things with non-Jews. Pure “Moby” and nothing more. I’d say more, but I’m not an American ya’ know. Just ask Pola.

      • Aridog says:

        I should have added that for a summary comment about American politics, Rob Harris has it down quite well in his comments. My opinions are just that, mine … but I try not to be flagrantly ignorant, such as suggesting Romney is a hard right wing conservative. The fact he isn’t has been the debate ever since 2006. No one who actually pays attention here could fail to miss that, unless they blatantly seek to deceive. Just the fact that anyone insists on Romney’s hard right bona fides is all you need to know, unless one has read nothing , heard nothing, and seen nothing for the past 6 years. As I said, ignore Pola, here, and pay attention to Rob Harris and Anne if you want a fair and accurate picture.

  11. pola says:

    Airdog,
    Maybe I am even passive aggressive. But u are a mysogynistic pig and I have no desire to be on a site with womeen haters.
    Rob had some good points and I was going to respond to them.I didn’t have time. I work. .
    He is more of a mensch than u could ever hope to be. I am siging off for good. If jews can’t even have civil discourse there is no hope for Israel agreeing with the Palestinian. I didn’t sign on for this.
    . Anne I hold u responsible as well for letting him write about another woman in this fashion. This was an engaging and good convesaion with varying points of view and you let some mysogynist attack someone who didn’t agree with him coincideny it happened to be a womn. Ha!. I won’t be linking to your site or reading it either anymore. I was here to learn. Rob is right about some things, especially the economy and I never inferred all civil rights activists were Democrats back in the day. Very few blacks or hispanics vote Republican now..I doubt rob will disagree wirh that. But I like his post.it’s meaty.
    .as for aridog, sorru u have a a genital the size of a pea so it makes u angry at women who don’t agree with u. I still don’t know what country u come from but u know nothing about jews in manhattan, sorry yo are a woman hater but maybe u could get treatment.bye.

    • anneinpt says:

      Pola, I’m not going to address most of your comment because it’s all simply disgusting ad-hominem accusations with no basis in truth.

      The only thing I’m going to react to is this:

      Anne I hold u responsible as well for letting him write about another woman in this fashion. This was an engaging and good convesaion with varying points of view and you let some mysogynist attack someone who didn’t agree with him coincideny it happened to be a womn

      Did it escape your attention that I apologized to you further up-thread for Aridog’s offending you? In any event, your accusation that he is a misogynist and attacked you for being a woman is completely untrue and totally out of order. As cba said, perhaps he was rather intemperate in calling you a JINO, and accusing you of being a “sock puppet” for Debbie Wasserman Schultz, but there was nothing more offensive than that. The rest was a heated defense of his political position.

      I’m sorry you have seen fit to leave. If you would stay you might learn something about the other side of the political spectrum but it seems your mind is as closed as how you describe ours as being.

  12. pola says:

    Andrea, I have no idea what a moby is.Here in the States moby is an avante-garde musician and there is the classic “Moby Dick,” maybe Aridog is referrinng to the later since he has a hangup about his shortcomings.
    The fact is he is very condescending to you.He has insulted you but then he has that woman hater problem unless u agree with him completely. Like a little lap dog. Good for you u are not that shih tzu. (Although their intellects and manners are superior to ardidog?) Just saying ardog. Anne now u have that echo chamber.

    • cba says:

      pola, I’m sorry you don’t feel ready to stay around and engage. Aridog can certainly express himself strongly and can lose his temper (I agree he was a bit over the top with his initial response to you), but he also has a lot to contribute–and I had hoped that you did, also. I admit I’m disappointed.

      I would also add a few other things:
      – I know from personal experience that Aridog is very far from being a “chauvinist pig”
      – If you click on the link Aridog included for Moby, you will see the context in which he used it (and it is a reference to a particular incident involving the avante-garde musician you mention)
      – Andrea is Italian–in Italy, “Andrea” is a man’s name and “our” Andrea has confirmed that he is, indeed, male

      • Andrea says:

        “our” Andrea has confirmed that he is, indeed, male”

        Rely on my words and don’t ask me any evidence – it would be shameful for me :-) :-)
        ( don’t tell me I am not serious, I always knew it )

    • anneinpt says:

      Pola – please note it was Aridog who called you a Moby, not Andrea.

  13. pola says:

    ANne,
    Where I get my news? Just saw that.. If I got it from only one source that would be idiotic I agree with you. I read the Jerusalem Post, and Y’Israel and the london Times, The Guardian, idependent in Ireland. Also some French journals. I am a tv junkie of the news. I read about30 blogs a day and I am not kidding. I am also ajournalist for over 30 years and have interviewed Bill clinton and Hillary and many New Yok politicans including Bloomberg, former Mayor Koch, king of Tanzania, kissinger, etc.. I write about culture mainly though.

    I have a lot of respect for the Times. (The pro palestinian people I know think the Times is too favorable to Israel by the way.).the new York Times has lost journalists, some who died covering the war in Syria, in the last year alone 3. (In World War ii many more journalists died trying to get the story out best they could.). I have not risked my life covering the news. Have you? So forgive me if I have a real respect for the Times.The Times has also made some blunders. Including woefully not reporting the Holocaust as they should have. I am surprised from my posts u got the impression I read one paper only. I would however rather read a paper I disagree with or at least questions my assumptions. I do not read newspapers to confirm my opinions like ardog and it sounds like u. I cannot learn from that. Why would u read a bunch of newspapers that parrot your own opinions? I do draw the line at Fox. Have u been a journalist for 31 years? Now you can talk amongst yourself with people who agree only with u. I am still left with the dilemma of how to best defend a country that is compared to apartheid South africa. I have some israeli friends and maybe they can help me.
    Of I had someone like airdog agreeing with me Anne I woyld be worried. It makes you sound like his little poodle.
    Oh, I also read pro palestinian and yiddish papers. The israeli press is very savvy and the opinions run the gamet but smart, like Jews. And of course I am Jewish. Idiot airdog! Only a jew would be on this site.

    • cba says:

      I just read this comment, and the last few lines jumped out at me:
      “And of course I am Jewish. Idiot airdog! Only a jew would be on this site.”

      OK, I’m now changing my opinion of pola. I had assumed she was genuinely interested in engaging in discussion, but I now don’t think is. I also don’t think she’s Jewish, based on her assumption that everyone commenting here is Jewish (at least 4 of the people on this thread are NOT) and her use of the lower-case j.

    • anneinpt says:

      If you’ve been a journalist for 30 years, how come your spelling and grammar are worse than my 6 year old granddaughter’s? The same applies to your reading comprehension.

      You yourself told me you get your opinions of Israel from the NYT. Why would I assume you read anything else?

      Please do not accuse me of being ignorant. I too read dozens of blogs and newspapers daily, from all sides of the spectrum, the NYT being one of my regular reads. The difference is that I know to differentiate between the wheat and the chaff. The fact that the NYT has lost reporters in war coverage is very sad but irrelevant. It doesn’t make them any less leftist or more pro-Israel.

      You ask if I have risked my life in war coverage. What on earth has that to do with anything? I shall ask you if you have risked your life to defend your Jewish homeland, Israel. Or even America. I can tell you that I risk my life and my family’s every day of living here. My husband, my 2 sons, my brother, my 2 sons-in-law have all served or are actively serving in the IDF. I have survived a 6 week barrage of Scud missiles from Iraq. I have survived a bus bombing. My husband has survived a suicide bombing. My cousin was killed in a suicide bombing. What sacrifices have you made besides wearing out your keyboard?

      The funniest thing is that you accuse me of what you yourself are doing. This is classic projection in psychology. You say that I only read papers whose views I agree with. I tell you that you are wrong. You know nothing about me, and you obviously haven’t read through my blog or you would see how much I write about the Guardian and Independent. And your favourite NYT. Yet when I give you a bunch of links to educate you, you say you aren’t interested.

      You say:

      I am still left with the dilemma of how to best defend a country that is compared to apartheid South africa.

      As I said, I gave you the resources to help you with that, but you have ignored my suggestions.

      • Aridog says:

        You modestly forgot the August 2006 rocket attack up north in Kiryat Shmona when you managed to go get the grand kids from school and drive them home, live blogged on the affair when you could, then decided on some relaxation for the evening and dang the rockets.

        • cba says:

          Hahahahahaha! I’d forgotten about that–maybe they should make a movie and call it “Bowling For Anne” :)

        • anneinpt says:

          LOL! I’d forgotten about it too. :-). Or rather, I’d forgotten to mention it. Not sure how that happened. I still remember the laughter at my having gone bowling. It seemed the most logical idea at the time. After all, the bowling alley was underground. I guess looking back I must have been nuts. ;-)

        • anneinpt says:

          I can go one better than you. I can post the actual pictures from that bowling alley. Look how deserted it was. It should have been a clue to me that we should go home. The alley owner opened up the alley for us and turned the lights on, and the look on his face was priceless – pure shock and horror that we were crazy enough to go bowling when everyone could hear the shooting all around. On the other hand, he hadn’t gone home either.

          Here’s my son taking his turn.

          And here’s my daughter (the one getting married soon):

  14. Andrea says:

    Well it was interesting after all….. It is forty years ago ( my G-d !) I followed my first USA race for presidency and I was neither neutral nor centrist at the time. Main difference with Europe at the time was that USA people seemed more pragmatic and less ideological. Democrats and Republicans looked like the opposite wings of the same party and result was that Democrats won Congress ( if my memory is right ) but their candidate was overhelmed by 68% for Tricky Dicky. What a nation able to vote in different ways on same day, I thought, but answer was that party were not so important . Difficult to have the same in early seventies Israel where nobody would have voted MAPAM and Likud at the same time and in the same day !
    This was due to the fact that America was a middle class nation and differences with income probably not as deep as today – apart from minorities.
    Religion was not important and frequency at church very low.
    Americans looked also more polite too my eyes. Israeli people were told to be frankly rude with poor form and Italians looked like bad tempered and emotive people comparing to North Americans.
    Now american society is strongly divided on everything ( sex, religion, foreign politics, social issues ) as never before after New Deal. Game is played by the extremes on media and internet blogs following chimaeras of – isms and ideological labels.This is maybe the first american generation relatively poorer than the previuos one and this never happened before
    In this context the fact of being Jew looks to me rather irrelevant when you vote and topic related to Israel does not determinate your choice. This makes feel Israelis frustated.They are disappointed about the fact that NYT ( right or wrong named as jewish newspaper in the past ) looks not different from the (manchester ) Guardian or Le Monde.
    I can understand Israel people : Middle east for them is not only titles on newspaper or issues on ideals. Bombing, killings and incumbent sense of unsafety follow you every day.
    Not easy to be a good analyst on Middle East when you are part of it.
    Nevertheless their nerves and their behaviour look today stronger and definitely more polite than rest of the world.

    • anneinpt says:

      Excellent comment Andrea. You’ve summarized the recent history of American politics very clearly I think.

      And you’re 100% right – Israelis are frustrated at the outcome of American elections. Of course on the one hand it is not our business, but on the other hand the results DO affect us.

      Not easy to be a good analyst on Middle East when you are part of it.

      Bingo! Perfect.

    • Aridog says:

      What a nation able to vote in different ways on same day, I thought, but answer was that party were not so important …

      In many parts of the USA vote splitting is called “plunking” …and IMHO it is the ultimate “American Way” …and has been the deciding factor in almost every election in my lifetime. Independent voters decide elections here, simple as that. I have never in my voting life ever voted a straight party line, and I never will. Best example I can think of is my home very liberal Democrat state of Michigan going for President Reagan … judge the candidates by the content of their character, not … etc. etc …. I think someone famous said that. ;-)

    • Aridog says:

      In this context the fact of being Jew looks to me rather irrelevant when you vote and topic related to Israel does not determinate your choice…

      Well, I’m not Jewish, but an irritable (frequently) descendant of some old Celts. My vote does have a couple strong requirements (determinants), however, and they are for candidates clearly respectful of and supportive of both Israel and South Korea. Period.

  15. Andrea says:

    My grandmother was the only Jewish in my family – from Livorno . Atheist and Socialist she was and for sure not the best intoduction in a possible club.
    To make my credential even worse I have (partially) German family on one side and I am Catholic by birth.
    The fact of being Italian does not help so much I am afraid.
    I do not mention politics so far since it is not the first of my interests for being here – more interested in Israeli people and culture than in strict political issues.
    All above just for introducing myself – I thought it was the right time to do it after some months

    • cba says:

      OK, Andrea, the question we all want to know–was your Jewish grandmother on your mother’s side or your father’s?

  16. Pingback: Time for a quick family update | Anne's Opinions

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