McCain/Palin Need to Leave The Israel/Holocaust Tactic Alone

In both the presidential and vice presidential debates, the McCain/Palin ticket has employed what I find to be a cheap, disgusting scare tactic to try and garner empathy votes from Jewish voters, likely Florida Jewish voters who can help swing that critical state to their favor.  Both John McCain and Sarah Palin have said we must support our Israeli allies and help defend them from Iran’s aggression. Why? Not simply because it’s the right thing to do – but because we cannot allow another Holocaust. This kind of foul, disingenuous rhetoric has to stop. Now.

Firstly, the Holocaust occurred in a nation state where Jews were practically powerless to defend themselves. You better believe Isreal will kick the pants off Iran if provoked. Remember Egypt? That’s why we’ve been so successful helping to negotiate peace with the Egyptians for Israel, as Governor Palin alluded to last night.  Secondly, the ticket is talking out of both sides of its mouth when it tries to sound like a militant protector of Israel and then, within the same breath, supports an independent Palestine. Thirdly, this tactic makes the ignorant strategic assumption (there is a difference between a tactic and a strategy, as we learned in the first debate!) that being Jewish is synonymous with being Israeli. The use of the Israeli flag as a representation for American Jews (and the blue/white colors of that banner) has long been a misnomer. You can be a Jew and not support all of Israel’s policies. You can be a Jew and have absolutely no familial ties or loyalties to Israel. Jew does not inherently equal Israel.

If the McCain/Palin ticket was truly profoundly concerned with ceasing genocide in the world, they would be equally strong in advocating U.S. diplomatic and military action in Darfur, where there IS an actual holocaust taking place as my fingers hit the keys to finish this sentence. If the McCain/Palin ticket was profoundly concerned, they would not have supported actions and elections that empowered Hamas in the Middle East. Support Israel, we must. But please, for the love of all this is right, do not try to play upon decades-old catastrophe as a political play to scare up support among Jewish Americans.


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