Tuesday, July 20, 2004

This past Sunday morning on the Washington Journal (C-span 1), a newspaper article was read about John Kerry's brother, Cam Kerry, going to Israel as his emissary to assert that Kerry was 100% behind Israel's safety and right to defend itself including the building of the wall. What's going on here? Is this really Kerry's position: the Israeli government is right no matter what and the Palestinians are not worth talking to? I'd hate to think so.  That would make it hard for me to vote for him.  But I can't help suspecting that something else is going on here.  With this news coming on the heels of the brouhaha about his being Catholic and supporting pro-choice and also knowing that the rightwing is beginning to vigorously rally its fundamentalist base, I wonder if this info is being promulgated by the RNC or the White House. 
One possibility is that this is just another example of the RNC trying to make the point that there are no differences between Bush's positions and those of Kerry. Another possibility is that this is the RNC playing the religion card in a different, and very strange, way. First they come after Kerry as a bad Catholic. Then they make him out to be a closet Jew, even suggesting that he like his brother, might convert to Judaism. Are they here hoping to tap into what is a not-very-latent anti-semitism in some parts of this country? What is worse for these people? Being Jewish, being French, or perhaps being a French Jew? For myself I don't care what religion he is as long as he keeps it out of government.
Interesting aside: They characterize Kerry as Jewish even though only one of his grandparents was Jewish. Reminds me of how a person is characterized as black even though that person has only a small proportion of African-American heritage, the implication being that the least "taint" permeates the whole. It sounds racist to me! Finally, unless I am mistaken, Orthodox Jews do not consider a person Jewish unless his mother is Jewish. As I understand it, Kerry's Jewish heritage comes from a grandfather who converted to Catholicism. So, what is the RNC up to? Are they trying to make a point or just muddy the religious waters?
Jeannette Ward 


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