Jewish Journal


November 17, 2008

Apologizing to McCain and Palin for ‘Jewish philistinism’


Dean Rotbart, a former columnist for the Wall Street Journal wrote an absolutely blistering column this week about the decision by 78 percent of American Jews to vote for Barack Obama. I don’t agree with Rotbart, but his sharp tongue—he pairs “Jewish” and “philistinism,” mind you—warrants quoting here. The top of his column follows:

This is my public apology to John McCain, Sarah Palin, Republican voters, Christian evangelicals, Ann Coulter, Sean Hannity, Mike Gallagher and everyone else in the non-Jewish universe who stands four-square behind the State of Israel.

McCain at the Kotel

While you have written, spoken and, yes, even prayed in strong opposition to any retrofitting of American policy on behalf of the Jewish state, nearly eight out of every 10 American Jews failed to demonstrate similar resolve on Election Day.

Those dancing along with the Democratic faithful in Grant Park included Jews from almost all sectors of American life: young and old, Reconstructionist and Orthodox, wealthy and poor. So enamored were the revelers of the symbolism of electing a man of color to the Oval Office that they fatefully overlooked what he stands for and,worse, what he will not stand against.

Who would have ever imagined that it would fall to our non-Jewish neighbors to take up the cause of Israel’s survival and the necessity to be ever vigilant against the gathering clouds of Holocaust II?

In the wake of such Jewish philistinism, how am I to respond to my non-Jewish friends who wonder, with increasingly vocal and justifiable irritation, why Protestants and Catholics and Mormons recognize the threat that electing Barack Obama poses to Israel’s existence, yet the vast majority of American Jews won’t?

All that I can say, really, is “I am profoundly sorry.”

Read the rest here.

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