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View Diary: How do I say this without seeming anti-Semitic? (267 comments)

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  •  Look at the polling cited above (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    effervescent, caul, Seneca Doane, cpresley

    "The issue of Israel does appear to be having a major impact on this race.  A plurality of voters- 37%- said that Israel was 'very important' in determining their votes. Turner is winning those folks by an amazing 71-22 margin. With everyone who doesn't say Israel is a very important issue for them Weprin actually leads 52-36. Turner is in fact winning the Jewish vote by a 56-39 margin, very unusual for a Republican candidate"

    I have no idea how you can say Israel was not an enourmous factor in that loss.

    The bitter truth of deep inequality has been disguised by an era of cheap imported goods and the anyone-can-make-it celebrity myth - Polly Toynbee

    by fladem on Wed Sep 21, 2011 at 06:12:30 AM PDT

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    •  Because I'm not taking it literally (0+ / 0-)

      or at surface level when they say Israel.  Even on a subconscious level, whthe any respondents cite Israel they mean race, is my point.  I agree with the polling, but not at face value.

      "This world demands the qualities of youth: not a time of life but a state of mind[.]" -- Robert F. Kennedy

      by Loge on Wed Sep 21, 2011 at 08:38:38 AM PDT

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      •  I don't (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Seneca Doane, cpresley

        understand your response.

        The bitter truth of deep inequality has been disguised by an era of cheap imported goods and the anyone-can-make-it celebrity myth - Polly Toynbee

        by fladem on Wed Sep 21, 2011 at 09:15:06 AM PDT

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        •  I don't either (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          cpresley

          but it seems like when I do understand the point, it will be interesting.

          In my avatar, the blue bars show how many want Reps who COMPROMISE; the aqua bars show who wants Reps who STAND FAST no matter what. (Left=Overall; Center=Democrats; Right=Republicans.) And there's the problem!

          by Seneca Doane on Wed Sep 21, 2011 at 09:21:00 AM PDT

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        •  Two democrats running (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Seneca Doane, Kurt Sperry, milton333

          both with identical views on Israel.  These views are also more or less approximate to Obama's views, but not the perception of them.  Which tells me that something other than "Israel" as  an issue is at work, here.  Why are x number of people not only assuming Weprin/Obama have differing views on Israel but feel so strongly about that they change their votes?

          I suspect what's at work is that the voters in the district have adopted "Israel" as a way of dressing up voting along ethnic lines, which is again ironic as Weprin is orthodox and Turner is a goy.  "Obama's anti-Israel" sounds better than saying "Obama's anti-Semitic," or even, Obama sympathizes with Muslims or African-Americans, neither group being terribly popular in the NY-9 for reasons having nothing to do with the battle of Jericho.  

          For reasons that are completely appropriate and correct, many Jews see defense of Israel as a defense of themselves.  But that can get perverted, as I think it did in this case.  I think race played a role in why Obama underperformed in the district compared with 2004 in the last election, and in a low turnout special election, it benefitted the Republicans.  

          I hear this at work sometimes -- there's a lawyer I work with who's involved in the orthodox political groups, and you cannot convince him Obama isn't out to destroy Israel entirely, and much of the criticism is so personal, so vitriolic, I can't but see some racial resentment at work, even though the only points of criticism specifically raised are over mideast policy and over school funding.  I think something similar is at work here, where people say they're voting based on Israel, but the role Israel plays in the creation of the political identity is pure tribalistic.  This is less true of your more reformed Jews than it is of those who live in fairly monoethnic communities.  

          If this had been an Irish district 25 years ago, you might have seen people saying Obama's too pro-British, and it'd be the same thing.

          "This world demands the qualities of youth: not a time of life but a state of mind[.]" -- Robert F. Kennedy

          by Loge on Wed Sep 21, 2011 at 09:37:32 AM PDT

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          •  I agree with much of this (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Seneca Doane

            though I am not sure people would agree generally with the idea that a vote in a US Election should be cast based on the interests of another country.

            Jews are hardly the first to do it: See the Irish, the Cubans and even the Poles in 1976.

            But I don't think most Americans would agree that it is right.

            The bitter truth of deep inequality has been disguised by an era of cheap imported goods and the anyone-can-make-it celebrity myth - Polly Toynbee

            by fladem on Wed Sep 21, 2011 at 09:41:25 AM PDT

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            •  well, i'm cutting that gordian knot (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Seneca Doane

              as i think "the interests of Israel" are really "the parochial resentments of some of the least cosmopolitan people around."

              I also don't think it's (a) necessarily a conflict to vote based on the interests of a foreign country as long as one subjectively sees the interests aligned in the U.S., and (b) I don't see how it's necessarily bad, as long as there are competing interest groups that can roughly counterbalance each other.  In the case of Israel, I think the thumb on the scale comes from conservative Christians, but only Jews get criticized for the dual loyalty charge.  Clinton supporting NATO expansion to win eastern european ethnic votes in the midwest in 1996 was pretty awful, too.  Are we really militarily committed to defending Slovakia from invasion?  Should we be?

              "This world demands the qualities of youth: not a time of life but a state of mind[.]" -- Robert F. Kennedy

              by Loge on Wed Sep 21, 2011 at 09:45:16 AM PDT

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