When Israel is used as a political wedge in contemporary campaigns, it is always done so dishonestly. For as last night's foreign policy debate again demonstrated, nothing engenders bipartisan uniformity than the topic of Israel.
However, sometimes, those among my tribe unfortunately go beyond using Israel as a political wedge, and into the abyss of less-than-helpful fear mongering.
Such is the case with an opinion piece by Varda Epstein now making the rounds entitled "Save The Six Million – Pull A Different Lever" in the English-language Times of Israel, a right-leaning publication that primarily targets Americans.
Now, as a writer, I'm tempted to stop for a moment and tisk-tisk the title's capitalization errors, but that's likely not Varda's fault. What is her fault? Asserting as fact-based that voting for Mitt Romney will avert a second Jewish Holocaust:
Voting for Obama essentially means game over. Voting for Obama means we will soon have a nuclear Iran: an Iran that has vowed to take out Israel and then the U.S. with nuclear weapons.Nevermind the unfortunate angle for her pitch. And nevermind that she intimately knows the internal mechanisms of U.S. diplomacy or the closed-door deliberations in Netanyahu's cabinet about as well as she knows what a squirrel is thinking when zigzagging across a busy street. (I include myself in that camp, by the way.)
Voting for Romney, on the other hand, means a show of military might. And that’s all Israel wants really: a show.
[W]e know that voting for Romney means that the red line will be drawn. Iran will be shown that its race for the bomb will not be tolerated.
All Americans need do to prevent a nuclear Holocaust of 6 million Israeli Jews is to pull a different lever on Election Day.
What's critical to point out is this: such scare tactics, while motivated by historical demons that are quite real, have no place in any sort of rational political discourse, and should be disavowed on site.
And such is what I'm doing at present.
It's too bad Varda didn't focus her piece on the crippling sanctions against Iran and its impact on civilians there, something she mentions in passing. For such a focus would have been reality-based and valid.