May 20, 2008

IF ONLY THEY WERE AS JEWISH AS HE:

Unprepared For Bush's Praise (HILLEL HALKIN, May 20, 2008, NY Sun)

George W. Bush's extraordinarily supportive 60th Independence Day address to the Israeli Knesset last week may not have been a rhetorical masterpiece, but it was well-crafted and had its moments of eloquence.

Above all, it was a demonstration of why Mr. Bush's feelings about Israel have been not only quantitatively, but also qualitatively, different from those of any American president before him. These feelings have to do with his Christian faith, as was already made clear in the opening paragraph of his talk, when he referred to the state of Israel's establishment as "the redemption of an ancient promise given to Abraham and Moses and David — a homeland for the chosen people in Eretz Yisrael." [...]

And we are certainly not used to hearing the Jews referred to by an American president as "the chosen people." Actually, this is a phrase that most Jews find acutely embarrassing. Except for the Orthodox, who don't make a habit of boasting about it, few Jews in today's world are of the opinion that they have been chosen by anything or anybody apart, perhaps, from bad luck and anti-Semites; the last thing they want non-Jews to think is that they harbor the outrageous notion that God has singled them out for some special purpose.

And that's why President Bush's support for Israel, too, is embarrassing to so many Jews. It's bad enough that as an evangelical Christian the president has all kinds of absurd beliefs, such as that stem cell research is sinful, or that homosexual marriage is an abomination, or that children deserve to have two parents, one of each sex. But that he also should also believe that the Jews are God's people? How kooky can you get?

And most embarrassingly of all, what President Bush believes about the Jews is something that nearly all Jews once believed about themselves.


If Jews were Jewish they'd be Republicans.

Posted by Orrin Judd at May 20, 2008 10:39 AM
Comments

I recall reading after the 2004 election that Orthodox Jews voted the same way that regularly practicing Christians do--heavily for Bush.

Posted by: b at May 20, 2008 11:07 AM

This Jew IS a Republican and proud to be one!

Keep up the good work with the site, Brothers Judd; I enjoy it immensely.

Posted by: LC at May 20, 2008 11:51 AM

The Jews who aren't Republicans are the ones who view Judaism as a social justice movement. Unfortunately, there are all too many of those. Hillel Halkin got it right; all too many Jews are ashamed of being Jewish.

Posted by: MIK at May 20, 2008 6:46 PM
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