Protecting Medicare and Social Security, fighting for good jobs and a clean environment, standing up for women’s rights and equality are Jewish values.
By Melanie Nathan, October 21, 2012.
When Anne Romney had the audacity to tout her husband’s religious escapade as ‘The Mission,’ as if akin to serving in the U.S. military, she gave us license to throw in our religious card and hence justify the assertion that no good Jew should cast a vote Mitt Romney’s way. And there is much more..
Ann Romney squirmed in stone faced discomfort on the popular TV show, The View, as Whoopi Goldberg questioned her about mothers of service members whose sons come home in body bags in relation to her husbands dodge of service in Vietnam and the fact that her five sons have never enlisted in the United States Military.
My jaw dropped when she drew the flagrant analogy that Mitt had served two years pounding the pavements of Paris trying to convert people to Mormonism instead of serving in Vietnam.
Yes it is an admission from Mitts’ wife, that his service was to his religion instead of his country.
Ann Romney demonstrates the cloudy attitude toward life that is clearly the soul of the Romney family and likely to impact the White House if her husband were to be elected. She provided an open window to how they think. If she can insert the Romney “Mormon Mission” into the conversation in this context, I wonder what her response would have been had Whoopi challenged her on the question of Mitt’s admission that he had baptized dead Jews.
It is widely reported that In 1994, an Israeli genealogist researching her family in the Mormons’ computerized International Genealogical Index discovered that her grandfather, an observant Jew killed in the Holocaust, had been posthumously baptized as a Mormon, as had Anne Frank, Theodor Herzl, David Ben-Gurion, Albert Einstein and 380,000 Holocaust victims.
It seems that Mormons believe deeply that they have this duty and Mitt is no exception. The religious rite is proxy baptism for the dead. According to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, or Mormon Church, these posthumous “blessings” are intended to “save” ancestors and others who weren’t baptized in life or were baptized “without proper authority.”
When Newsweek magazine asked Romney if he personally had performed posthumous baptisms on anyone, author Jonathan Darman wrote, “he looked slightly startled and answered, ‘I have in my life, but I haven’t recently.’
Although the Church has agreed to stop these baptisms, it is clear that they continue and Mitt Romney has never apologized to Jews, the specific families of those he baptized and nor has he spoken out against the offense to others.
This is not the only reason that I cringe at the thought of my fellow Jews voting for Romney and my suggestions are not intended to denigrate his religion, or his right to practice it, but rather to remind voters about Jewish values and that Romney does not share them.
I believe that Mitt Romney’s political principles and the comments he has made along the path of his campaign demonstrate the lack of core principles that Jews hold essential to their values.
Voting for Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan is voting for the pronouncement that 100 % of Americans do not matter, that a woman’s right to equality is buried somewhere in a binder, that same-sex couples are not entitled to parity under the civil law, that immigrants are only worthy if they are degreed, and laborers so integral to our infrastructure are unworthy, that much of our critical aid to the third world will be cut, that women should not have the right to make decisions pertaining to their health and bodies, that so many Americans, including us Jews in high risk cancer categories with pre-existing conditions will be denied medical insurance. Oy!
The Torah teaches us about Mitzvot and as Jews we hold especially dear the principles of Gemilut Chassadim; charity and loving kindness, as the very foundation, cornerstone and pillar of the universe. Biblical and Rabbinical writings abound with references to the significance, and imperative qualities of these mitzvoth, without which humanity and society cannot exist.
While Republican policy tends to detract from the implementation of these values in government, Romney’s policy goes further to assault these core principles. Social justice helms our consciousness and for many if us voting for officials who turn their back on communities less fortunate is just not a virtuous option.
I respect good business and success, and the Torah teaches us not to do it at the expense of others.
While Social justice is taught in our Synagogues, and steers our consciousness and our zest for a good life, the Romney political path asserts the opposite. Barack Obama has spent his adult professional life in public service and Mitt Romney has spent his getting rich at the expense of others.
Mitt Romney has not stated one thing different that he would do for Israel than President Barack Obama has already done or will do. The fear, though is that an over zealous and inexperienced Romney, who is of the Bush military preemptive war- makes- some-Americans-rich- mold, would likely jump to a premature war with Iran, causing enormous harm to Israel. If one listens to Republican run Fox News chit chat on Iran and hears between the lines – the Republicans are already planning for a preemptive war with no attempts at diplomacy.
“Despite the clear facts and substantial evidence, political partisans and opponents of the president continue a coordinated campaign to sow seeds of doubt about President Obama’s support for Israel. The effort is not new. It began in 2008 when people stressed his middle name and used it as a weapon. From there, they began to call then-Senator Obama a Muslim. With the Muslim myth debunked, these same critics moved on and began questioning the president’s place of birth.
While sitting in the Oval Office not long ago, President Obama looked me in the eye and said, “My commitment to Israel’s security is bone-deep.” It is reflected in his actions; it comes from a passion to secure the Jewish State, and it traces through his roots.” (Edgar M. Bronfman is the former CEO of the Seagram Company Ltd. and the former president of the World Jewish Congress.
I have no doubt that Obama, who demonstrated his prowess and brilliance in the demise of Bin Laden, will strive absolutely to protect Israel from Iran without any qualm. Obama will not allow Iran to obtain nuclear arms for the sake of the entire world and nor will he burden the world with a war designed for profiteering with preemptive strikes. Heck, we do not even know what Romney’s foreign policy is at this time? Are we going to wait until after the election? On the subject of the Middle East and Israel I squirm at Romney’s demonstrated disrespect for Arabs and Muslims as well as that of his Tea Party supporters, noting such will certainly not serve critical diplomacy. While Romney and Ryan attack the Obama administration on the Benghazi attacks, they fail to mention Republican congressional votes to cut security spending.
So to my fellow Jews, do not fall for the fear tactics and Romney rhetoric. We are all safely in the hands of a President who cares about our issues and we know he has not let us down. We are in the safe hands of a President who does not make the most basic of gaffs on foreign soil. Obama is the consummate diplomat while Romney insults while on foreign soil.
When it comes to the economy we are on the mend and to think it will take less than four years to clean the warmongering Bush mess is unrealistic. Common sense dictates we remain on this safe path.
What we need to do in the United States of America over these next few weeks is fight for our President and a supportive Congress; one that will not compound America’s problems with four more years of purposeful obstruction. We need to elect members to Congress who care about people more than they care about tainting the Obama presidency via their refusal to work in a bipartisan fashion for the issues that Americans and the World care about.
So looking forward to four more years of ‘L’Chaim’ from Barack and Michelle; a safe Israel, lighting of Menorahs, Pesach Seders and Happy Rosh Hashanah’s from a progressive and Democratic White House.
By Melanie Nathan
Obama: real actions, not bluster, in support of Israel
Obama has not adopted the swagger and bravado of his predecessors in terms of his support for Israel – he has simply done it. His practical and deliberate support for Israel make redundant the verbal attacks and innuendos about him spread by his opponents. http://www.haaretz.com/opinion/obama-real-actions-not-bluster-in-support-of-israel-1.456414 )
- Whoopi shut down by Ann Romney on ‘The View’ (abc4.com)
- Sorry Mrs. Romney, Comparing Serving In Mormon Missions To Military Service Is Insulting (crooksandliars.com)
- Whoopi Presses Ann Romney On Sons’ Lack Of Military Service: Does Mormonism Not Allow It? (mediaite.com)
- Whoopi Goldberg faces Twitter hate after Ann Romney ‘View’ interview (thegrio.com)
- Ann Romney Thinks a Mormon Mission is the Same as Serving in the Military (politicususa.com)
- Ann: Mormon missions are just like military service! (salon.com)
The Torah compels us to feel a sense of duty and obligation toward our homeland, which is now our country, and our people. Above all, these two obligations should be foremost in our minds as Jews when voting in a foreign country. In the past four years, Obama has done more to undermine to Israeli-Arab peace process third only to the Oslo Accords and the Gaza Disengagement. His diplomats have isolated Israel on the world’s largest stage, the UN. He and his surrogates have repeatedly declared our efforts to build on sovereign soil illegal and has condemned our building even in areas not considered beyond the “Green Line”. In regards to Iran, Obama has himself stated that it would be wrong for Israel to “outsource” her security, but that is exactly what Obama is asking her to do. Relying on American diplomacy or even America’s military to solve our problems for us is outsourcing our security to a foreign power. To have America’s support would not hurt, but to allow them to fight our battles in disgraceful. The following video details fairly well how the Obama Administration has treated Israel. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0wbH5KVPrPo
To vote for anyone in America because of their views on economics, social justice or anything not relevant to the state of our people in our homeland is to sell out the permanent home of your people for the good of your temporary home. Regardless of what the Torah says about social justice, Jews should only vote based on the best candidate for Israel and in this case the President has proven himself not to be that man. When a candidate is a social justice advocate and has shown themselves to beanti-Israel, as a Jew, which agenda should triumph? We as Jews first and foremost vote for Israel. Now is that selfish? Yes. But everyone votes for selfish needs. The man who can’t get a job after looking for 9 months will probably vote for Romney because he feels Obama’s policies have not been working for him. Sandra Fluke will be voting for Obama because his plan will allow her not to pay for contraception and that is what is important for her. As Jews, we must realize that our top priority is Israel’s independence and security and it is with that in mind that we must go to the polls in November. America is our temporary motel and in living here we must always be looking forward and our votes must reflect that vision. The vision of an independent Jewish state on our ancient soil.
I disagree with the notion that Obama has done more to undermine. I also urge you to look at the choices, Romney is inexperienced and a proven flip flop liar. Obama is a friend to Israel and you are presuming that Jews in the disapora agree with your internal politics as being what is BEST for Israel. Obama has been dealt his hand by Bibi and that is the card he has had to play. You presume that your notion about what is BEST for Israel is what others agree is best for Israel. That is not the case. So indeed if as you say Jews must place Israel’s well being at the fore of their vote I disagree that Romney will of their vote, I submit that Romney is a dangerous replacement for Obama.
As for social justice issues in the USA – I stand by my assertion that as Jews we must reject the man who rejects the programs that help us survive. We send money to Israel – we the rich, the middle class and even the poor Jews. We all need to survive here in the diaspora. The reality is Israel needs us out of Israel. Hence our standing in the world and our comfort is imperative to Israel’s existence. So do not marginalize the social justice aspects as you do as it in the big scheme of things does not serve Israel to do so.
As for your outsource argument – that does not wash – it is rhetoric nothing more ….
Romney is more BUSH and Bush F’ed up America, and the stability of the ME. Romney will continue that path and he will make it worse….
Good Jews vote for what keeps the Universe a turning and according to Torah Romney does not fit the bill!
What you wrote about me believing what is best for Israel is true. If someone believes that a two-state solution is the only solution or that settlements are truly an obstacle to peace, then Obama is both your candidate and pro-Israel. So when you say something like, “Obama is a friend to Israel” I assume those are the positions you take. I believe those to be anti-Israel positions seeing as they run counterproductive to our 2,000 year cause of fighting for freedom in our homeland.
I don’t understand what you mean by “Israel needs us out of Israel”. I also don’t see how our comfort in the Diaspora is imperative to Israel’s existence. The only thing imperative to her existence is her independence. Existence by definition implies separate from but still interacting with. Israel, just like any sovereign country must be independent of foreign influence over major decisions to survive. She can be friends, but she cannot be a puppet.
I’m curious though as to what you mean when you say that the outsourcing argument does not wash and is rhetoric. It would not be the first time that America has strong-armed and pressured Israel into doing something against Israel’s best interests due to something America did for Israel. To give America another bargaining chip is just asking for trouble down the road.
The real discussion that should be happening is what the Torah says about the situation in Israel. Does the Torah support a two-state solution or a one-state? How does the Torah feel about taking foreign aid or sitting down to talk with the Arabs? These are the questions Jews should be asking and voting based on the answers found throughout Tanach.
I will answer in more detail after the debate. Obama is strong on Israel. Obama is strong on Iran. Keeping Israel safe is the answer in the immediate. I trust the status quo more than I do flippity floppity Romney who is unchartered water. Obama is safe. Romney is a huge risk. His foreign policy is the same as Obama with a touch of preemptiveness that should scare the Israelis. He is another cowboy in the waiting. Its way to risky for Israel. I cannot get into the debate about 2 state solution o=r about what is right for Israel according to Torah. All I can say for now is I do not trust Romney and I trust Obama.
SO what do you see about Romney that will be any different? A hardcore policy that may end up screwing Israel in the big scheme of things.
The answer rests with Hashem…..
Obama is strong on Israel. He was very forceful when demanding that the Israelis agree to a settlement freeze as a precondition for talks with the Palestinians. He was very adamant when he demanded that Israel apologize to Turkey for the Mavi Marmara flotilla incident. He showed no restraint when condemning Israel’s building in the Gilo neighborhood of Jerusalem, a neighborhood over the “Green Line”. Obama has been very strong and tough on Israel. In regards to Iran, the effects of the sanctions are undeniable but I am convinced that the Ayatollah couldn’t care less about his country’s economic woes. He has a goal and propelled by his God, he sees no reason to stop until Allah Himself tells him not to. Obama has also been very strong in refusing to draw a red line for Iranian enrichment. So strong in fact, that Netanyahu had to draw a literal red line at the UN to show Obama what he meant.
Keeping Israel safe is not just the immediate goal but an eternal goal. But when Obama asks that Israel make it’s borders based on the ’67 Armistice Line, he is compromising that safety. A border 9 miles wide with the hostile party controlling the overpowering hills is indefensible and unreasonable. (To be clear, I believe that the indefensible border argument is weak in that it backhandedly seems to recognize that we do not truly have rights to the West Bank, but rather we need it for defense. We do have the right, defense is just a plus.)
All this above and my previous comments, I believe detail how Obama is not safe rather he is dangerous. Romney, will most likely not be much better. Regardless of party affiliation, American policy toward Israel has changed minimally over the past 64 years. I do think that the personal relationship between Romney and Netanyahu is a small plus. By contrast, Obama and Netanyahu are not the closest of pals and some sense of comradery would be a nice change of pace. I trust Obama to fulfill what he believes and in this case, that scares me. So what I see about Romney that will be different is to be honest likely not much. But his comments on the situation that were filmed at the infamous “47% Dinner” give me a hint. He doesn’t believe the Palestinians really want peace. I share that belief. He doesn’t think a two-state solution is likely. I agree and take it a step further adding it is unjust. But as President what is most likely is that he will abandon those beliefs for the policy held by the State Department for 64 years. But I do not think Romney would force Israel into a 10 month settlement freeze, force Israel to apologize for a self defense operation, or hold a veto over Israel’s head at the UN.
But you are right. There is something I always say to friends of mine when discussing politics and Israel. “There is no salvation in American politics.” One theme, if not THE theme of Tanach is that salvation does not come from the human domain. All is in the Hand’s of God and in His loving hands does our future lie.
Nothing different is going to happen in Israel – it will always be the same indeed because the Palestinians do not want peace and Obama gets it,… he knows that. So posturing with whatever policy “on display” makes no difference, Bottom line Romney will screw up domestic America – and that screws up the world. we saw it with Bush. Romney does not know a battleship from a submarine or a bayonet from a warhead – . He has not had any foreign policy experience and he is of the pre-emptive mold. Jews must vote for Obama – the wholistic approach is ultimately the best for Israel. It could not be clearer to me. A weak America is a weak Israel. On all levels.
Thanks for your comments and insights,
Melanie, you are a pig. You misquote everyone on the view and you slant this to your personal political views. Some of us actually saw the episode, and some of us actually read. Those that do know that Obama is not a friend of Israel or the Jews. Sincerely, A member of the tribe.
Yes and ‘wat wys n chaza van LoKshein?’ Or should I say coming from you that is a compliment? Not sure of the spelling but I tried – However Ben let it be known that I moderated this comment and decided to put it up so people can see the excellent argument you make! Pity you are too much of a coward to note your full identity. Ehud Barak, amongst many noteworthy Jews of great esteem think President Obama is a friend of the Jews and that he has done a great job re Israel. Many know Obama as a great friend of the Jews. You make no argument at all = other than blither what is apparent hate. Enjoy this week’s Torah portion buddy! Do you think Romney who baptized dead Jews is a true friend to the Jews? LOL really!
PS I did not give any quote from anyone on the view. Show me a single quote?
Here is transcript from another site *Whoopi Goldberg touched on a soft spot when Ann Romney came and sat with the ladies on “The View.”
Originally both the Romneys were to appear on the show together, after the Republican candidate made some unflattering comments about the show’s hosts.
But the meeting ended up being a spectacle of sorts.
At first it seemed a bit tense, but Whoopi morphed the conversation into totally awkward when she asked Ann Romney about her husband’s refusal to serve in the military for religious reasons.
“Now, I believe that your religion doesn’t allow you to go fight,” Goldberg said.
“No, that’s not correct,” Romney responded. “We have many, many members of our faith that are serving in armed services.”
“OK, um, well I say that because when I read about your husband, what I had read, and maybe you can correct this, is that the reason that he didn’t serve in Vietnam was because it was against the religion,” Goldberg asked.
“That’s what I read, I’m sorry.”
“No, that’s not correct,” Romney said. “He was serving his mission. My five sons have also served their mission.” Romney later added, “I sent them away as boys and they came back men.” (((Melanie’s Note here mission meant mormon conversionb calls and she is clearly drawing the analogy to service in military given the question by Whoopi)))
Whoopi hammered in hard on this topic; asking Romney what does she say to those mothers who are sending their sons and daughters off to war?
“So when you’re facing these mothers whose children have not come back, how will you explain to them that your sons haven’t gone? Or will you talk about the missions they’ve gone on?” Goldberg asked.
“I would say that it’s probably the hardest thing that a president and a first lady probably do,” she said. She added that while governor of Massachusetts, her husband “went to every funeral of a returning veteran…and it was the hardest thing [he] had to do.”
Oh and it didn’t end there.
Twitter-ers posted a slew of hate tweets after the interview with Ann. Conservative sites were totally ablaze with outrage over the intense moment on “The View.”
One writer called her a “friggin Marxist c-t,” and another a “racist.”
But her followers came to her side and defended their favorite controversial icon.
And of course Whoopi, in all of her coolness, took the comments in stride and kept positive spirits.
“I have been retweeting the ugly tweets I’ve been getting because I want All 2 see how far we have slipped down the chain, the racist name calling by folks claiming to represent a different party than mine, Claiming the Republican Party as kin, I want us all to see this and figure out if in fact this is ok. I don’t think so, and wondered if anyone else cared on this Tge anti-bullying day. Good night sleep in the light.”
Watch as Whoopi starts going in on Ann Romney at at approximately 4:45.
Read more at http://www.eurweb.com/2012/10/whoopi-whoops-on-ann-romney-in-the-view-convo-twitter-responds/#Op5FvCoukxcs3xLI.99