Yep… You will probably never see those words again from me, a committed Democrat and strong supporter of President Obama. BUT when people do things that you like or respect it is really important that no matter what side of the aisle they sit on I believe they should get due praise when they do something right and due criticism when they are wrong. In this case, I believe that a note of thanks is in order for Governor Christie.
Now… this “thank you” does not come easy to me. There are many things that I simply don’t like about the Governor (though I do respect him for casting aside partisanship during Hurricane Sandy). That said… I have to appreciate the following about him.
I noticed this headline on the Right Wing “news site” NewsMax (sorry, it’s hard to call what they do “news”).
No Mention of Israel in Christie’s Jewish Gala Speech
Now … why is this something I appreciate about Chris Christie?
Well…. one of the things that anti-Semites like to claim is that Jews are More loyal to Israel (or “their own kind” as anti-Semites like to claim) than their own country. This has been a canard since the beginning of time and it has been used by various regimes to pass measures against their own Jewish communities claiming that Jews are disloyal citizens and “enemies of the State”.
Strangely enough the American Right Wing has also taken on this lie and made it their own. Not only that but even Hard Rightist Jews constantly argue that people should vote for Republicans because they feel President Obama is bad for Israel…. and then they go on to bemoan conservative politics both in the U.S. and Middle East.
Didn’t the Republicans use this commercial in Florida (without PM Netanyahu’s permission) to get American Jews to vote for them over President Obama? Where they feature Israeli PM Netanyahu as an argument against Iran’s nuclear program. Now… why use the Israeli PM to sway Jewish Voters? What? An American voice would not be good enough? Are they implying that Jewish voters wouldn’t listen to an American security expert on Iran?
I find this disturbing to say the least. SO… when I see a Right Wing Headline attacking Chris Christie over that fact that all he did was talk about American priorities and NOT Israel that actually strikes me as complimentary towards Christie.
I mean here is Christie speaking to Jews and treating them like Americans (which everyone should). And here is what NewsMax reported said:
Christie, along with Texas Gov. Rick Perry, shared a table with Adelson on Sunday night. While the New Jersey governor did not mention Israel specifically in his address, he did address another topic Adelson champions — an aggressive American foreign policy that defends American values overseas.
“No one understands any longer who America stands with or against,” Christie said, according to BuzzFeed. “It’s not good enough to say that we tried. We must succeed.”
Christie also slammed Obama for not enforcing his self-drawn “red line,” when he declared there would be retribution for the use of chemical weapons in Syria.
“It is time, in every respect, whether it’s our national debt or an out-of-control entitlement system, our unreformed tax system, or our failure to set a strong clear [message] or more importantly a strong clear action on behalf of our friends around the world,” Christie said. “It’s time for our leaders to stop singing a happy tune to the American people about the condition of our country. It is time for us to tell the truth about that condition.”
Now while I may very much disagree with Gov. Christie about what he said, I think it is very important that what he did here was address the American community with American issues. Not Israeli issues, not particularly Jewish issues, but with American issues.
See this is the thing…. American Jews complain about anti-Semitism (and we should) coming from attacks from the Left. While we don’t vote with the Right, certainly the constant drumbeat and obnoxiously loud commentary from so called Human Rights Activists has driven a number of Jewish Americans away from the Liberal / Progressive side of the aisle.
But that said the Right is offering nothing more than the re-hashed “dual loyalty” canard, and what is even sadder is that some Jewish Americans have accepted that narrative and taken it on for themselves. Lately Rightward leaning Jewish commentators on the web have all been calling themselves “Liberals” but here at home they vote with the Republican Party, a party which stands against almost everything they believe for their country. And why do they do that.. because they don’t like President Obama’s stand on Israel. Period. They claim they don’t agree with the Republicans on anything else.. yet…. they vote for the Republicans anyway.
And here is “the rub”…. They expect that every other Jew will feel the same way, and if they don’t they are somehow less Jewish. But isn’t that what anti-Semites from Rome, to the Islamic Caliphates, to the Spanish Inquistion, to the Czarist Russians, to Hitler and Stalin have argued. That Jews only vote for their own interests and not for the interests of the nation where they live. The nation of which they are citizens.
THAT is the heart of anti-Semitism. Not some BDS Supporting lunatics who have a small (but admittedly growing) presence in both American political parties. No…. it is those in the establishment and on the Right that say: “Don’t vote for your domestic values. Who cares if the Republicans want to eliminate abortion or choice in marriage or measures for gender equality. Who cares that they deny man made global climate change, or oppose Americans having healthcare. Vote for us because the Republicans are better for Israel (a concept that I reject), and that should be your priority”.
SO when I see Governor Christie stand up and NOT address the issue of Israel, but actually talk about what affects Jews as Americans.. I say: “Thank You” because he, unlike the rest of his party and the Right Wing in general seems to be treating American Jews as Americans and NOT as “others” when in our society. I may not agree with Christie on his policies (and I don’t), but I give him credit for standing above the prejudice that affects the Right in general and even affects a minority of Right Wing Jews.