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May 28, 2016 / 20 Iyar, 5776

Posts Tagged ‘Super Tuesday’

Sanders Keeps His Judaism Silent, Israel at a Distance

Tuesday, March 1st, 2016

As residents head to the polls for Super Tuesday 2016 to choose a nominee for president in 12 states, Democratic U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders is fighting to stay in the race against former Secy of State Hillary Clinton.

Folks in Vermont know their U.S. Senator likes to keep his Jewish faith on the “q.t.” and they have accepted it with equanimity.

But not so the American Jewish community at large – and that fact may now be creating a backlash at the polls, when Bernie Sanders most needs the support of The Tribe.

After his February 9 win in New Hampshire – the first Jewish candidate to win a major party presidential primary – Jews outside the country have been watching his progress closely. It was more sluggish than one might expect, given the swashbuckling performance he turned in last month.

Part of the problem is while most candidates are wide open about their personal backgrounds – they have to be for transparency’s sake – Bernie Sanders has been dismissive, almost brusque, about his own Jewish faith.

And in America, faith is very much an issue. There is still plenty of anti-Semitism, which Sanders is obviously trying to avoid, but most voters prefer some belief in the One Above. Complete secularism is not popular in the United States at election time.

After all, even on the U.S. dollar it says, “In God We Trust.”

Yet Sanders works hard to evade the issue. He does not identify himself as a Jew publicly even in the “cultural” sense. In fact, in 30 years as a politician he has totally avoided the issue, colleagues say.

He was heckled in Vermont during Operation Protective Edge in 2014, and was among the few senators who did not co-sponsor the Senate resolution supporting Israel in the war. It passed with a voice vote.

As a presidential candidate, Sanders said he consulted the far-left ‘J Street’ lobby and the Arab American Institute founded by Jim Zogby on Mideast Policy. Last year he was one of the first who announced they were skipping the historic address to Congress on Iran by Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

Even Malcolm Hoenlein, executive vice chairman of the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations, is skeptical about Sanders as a candidate. “He’s never really been that identified that strongly with pro-Israel advocacy,” Hoenlein said.

Coming from Hoenlein, who is more of a centrist himself, that is a whopping red flag.

Perhaps all this is not as surprising as one might think, however, given his family background and the fact that his second wife, Jane, was raised a Roman Catholic. Sanders grew up in Brooklyn as the son of immigrants; much of his father’s family was wiped out in the Holocaust. In fact, he once told still remembers the call his father received in the middle of the night, telling him a relative had arrived at a DP (displaced person’s) camp.

From that, he told Margaret Talbot at New Yorker magazine, he learned that a 1932 election had led to the murders of 50 million people. From that, perhaps he left unsaid, he also learned early on that Jews could die when identified as Jews.

His brother Larry was quoted by PBS in an interview in England where he lives, as saying that being Jewish is “very important to us. There was no problem of debate, it was just a given in our lives, just as being Americans was a given in our lives. But Bernard is not particularly religious. He doesn’t go to synagogue often. I think he probably goes to synagogue only for weddings and funerals, rather than to pray.”

Hana Levi Julian

Romney Appears to Win Ohio: NYT

Wednesday, March 7th, 2012

The NY Times reported early Wednesday morning Mitt Romney appeared to win narrowly in the Ohio Super Tuesday  primary, but lost at least three other states to Rick Santorum, which challenges Romney’s claim to the Republican presidential nomination.

Mitt Romney and Rick Santorum each won three states in Super Tuesday primaries, and Newt Gingrich took Georgia, CNN projected.

Santorum’s victories showed his continuing strength among conservative voters. Gingrich’s win in his former home state may keep his campaign going.

Jewish Press News Briefs

Santorum to AIPAC on Super Tuesday: US Must Give Iran an Ultimatum

Tuesday, March 6th, 2012

At a speech before the American Israel Public Affairs Committee conference, which coincided with the Super Tuesday primaries, Republican presidential candidate Rick Santorum accused President Barack Obama of appeasement of Iran and urged an ultimatum demanding that it put a stop to its nuclear production immediately, or the US will “tear down” its plants.

“I have seen a president who has been reticent. He says he has Israel’s back. From everything I’ve seen he has turned his back on” Israel, Santorum told AIPAC.

Mitt Romney, Rick Santorum and Newt Gingrich took a break from their race for votes in the high-stakes primaries to speak to the pro-Israel lobby. Romney and Gingrich appeared by satellite, while Santorum spoke to the group in person.

“We need to do more than talk,” Santorum insisted, voicing his mistrust of the announcement by the US and five other powers that they will resume negotiations with Iran over its nuclear program in the near future.

“We need to say to the Iranian government, the time is now. You will stop your nuclear production now,” he said to a cheering crowd that was showing a great deal more enthusiasm than they had when President Obama was in the house.

GOP frontrunner Mitt Romney, at his own appearance before the AIPAC crowd, also mocked Obama’s promises that the United States “will always have Israel’s back” on issues of security, particularly the Iranian nuclear threat.

“Hope is not a foreign policy,” Romney said, speaking from Ohio, where he was campaigning. “The only thing respected by thugs and tyrants is our resolve, backed by our power and our readiness to use it.”

Ron Paul, who proclaims an isolationist foreign policy position, did not request an appearance at the conference.

AP reported Tuesday that the head of the U.N. nuclear agency Saeed Jalili said his organization has “serious concerns” that Iran may be hiding secret atomic weapons work.

But on Tuesday Iranian news agency Mehr said Iran would grant U.N. inspectors access to the Parchin military complex southeast of Tehran where the nuclear agency suspects secret atomic work has been carried out.

The statement explained that Parchin is a military site and accessing it is a time-consuming process, and therefore, visits cannot be allowed frequently. However, an access to the site will be given once again “after a modality is worked out.”

It was also mentioned that Parchin was inspected by the agency twice in 2005.

Tehran had previously banned UN inspectors from visiting the Parchin facility, which is why Jalili and his researchers left the country recently.

Jacob Edelist

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/santorum-to-aipac-on-super-tuesday-us-must-give-iran-an-ultimatum/2012/03/06/

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