SENATOR JOE LIEBERMAN
A True American Hypocrite And Danger To Israel
Assorted Excerpts and Comments
A Voice from Hebron -- August 11, 2000
Joe Lieberman, A Danger to Jews
By Gary M. Cooperberg
I watched Larry King Live on CNN as he interviewed Vice Presidential candidate Joe Lieberman. The local media here seems quite ecstatic at the thought of a Jewish Vice President of the United States. I am sure that a great many American Jews are proud and delighted at the prospect as well. I have been living in Israel now for about twenty years. In that time I have never voted in an American election, even though that is my right since I am still an American citizen. I never really found it appropriate to participate in American elections in that my only real political concern is here in my country. But I think that I will make an exception in this election. I am not thrilled with either Presidential candidate, but I am terrified of Joe Lieberman and the negative affect he will certainly have upon Jews both in the United States and the Jewish State. That's right. If I do vote, it will be for George Bush Jr. only because I shudder to think of the affects upon Jews, both in the United States and Israel, should Lieberman become Vice President.
It is not my intention to endorse any political candidate, nor to examine their merits or liabilities. My concern is much simpler. Joe Lieberman presents himself as an orthodox Jew. Although I must admit that his repeated announcements of gratitude to the Creator sincerely touched me, there were other remarks which caused me grave concern.
Ever since the rebirth of the Jewish State the question of conflict of loyalty has haunted Jewish politicians, and American Jews in general. Not that there should be any reason to assume such a conflict, none the less, the question always hung in the air. Lieberman touched upon this concept in his interview and gave the clear impression that his primary loyalty lies with the United States. I do not doubt him for a minute. As a matter of fact, I am convinced that any time a situation presents itself that might in some way cause him to choose between American and Israeli interests, that he will choose American interests every time, if only to prove his loyalty. His hesitance to move the American Embassy before peace is achieved; his verbal reminder that he met with Arafat and Assad and that he found them to be reasonable people; his stated need to violate the Sabbath in order to vote for the Gulf War and participate in other state matters; and his deliberate refusal to address the facts of the Pollard scandal all are clear indications that this fellow will be a danger to Jewish interests both in the United States and in Israel.
On a more personal note, as an observant Jew myself, I will be affected by Joe Lieberman's definition of Jewish observance. By setting the example of what an observant Jew is permitted to do, such as: violating the Sabbath for the good of the nation; appearing without a head covering; participating in prayer in conservative and reform synagogues and even churches, will cause non-observant Jews and non-Jews to question my refusal to behave likewise when I am in the States. It will also present significant difficulties for truly observant Jews in American society.
In addition, the very fact that Lieberman's candidacy is so overwhelmingly viewed by Jews all over the world as evidence that a major barrier to acceptance of Jews in American society has been overcome will only encourage further assimilation and distance Jews from the dream of Zion which we have nurtured for over two thousand years. When a Jew thinks that his home in Exile is his real home, and that Israel is a foreign country we invite tragedy upon our own heads.
No matter how nice a guy Joe may be; no matter how well-intentioned his personal and national goals; should he get elected with Al Gore it will be a disaster for Jews.