#407 Obama and the Jews
Many among us think we Jews have a dual loyalty -- a mix that's one part America and one part Israel. And for those of us for whom this isn't so, which is most of us, the fault may be a mix that's one part translation and one part failure to learn and teach.
The translation problem arises thus: the word "Israel" is used two ways. The first is an umbrella term that covers the historical past, present and future Jewish people, of any ethnicity, of any citizenship and of any era. the second is the country in the Middle East. They are not the same thing. And it's because of that confusion and our failure to point it out that the confusion remains.
It's almost impossible to find a Jew anywhere in the world who doesn't have an emotional soft spot in his heart for Israel, the place over "there." But a soft spot is not the same as a dual loyalty. The Jews of America (or China or India or Italy or Ireland or anywhere else you think we aren't, but we are) is to America (or China or Italy or Ireland or wherever we live.)
Sure, we all want to see Israel continue to thrive and prosper. But that doesn't mean dual loyalty.
Most American Jews are Americans first, and have the same needs and wants and hopes and dreams of any other American.
When an American politician (even a Jewish one) is courting the Jewish vote, what does he or she do? Promises aid and security to Israel. Good.
Now, what about the price of gasoline?
Far away places don't rate nearly as high as the cost of health insurance, the education of our children, the price of fuel or the price of vegetables.
Barak Obama has the same problem grasping this as Hillary Clinton and almost every other candidate for every other office, including guys named Bloomberg or Schumer.
The question for Jews and for everyone else is can this guy get us out of the down-spiral that we've been in for the last eight years? Can he do something about the shrinking value of the US dollar, the hugely inflated costs of food, energy and health care? Can he end a futile and stupid war and keep America safe?
The answer to all of the above is "mostly yes, just not in a big fat hurry."
That's where your voting head should be. And his.
Next time you pull up to the gas pump, open the tank, put in the nozzle, squeeze the handle and watch the numbers fly by, remember it's Georg Putch who put it there and John McCain --maverick?-- who will keep the dial spinning merrily away. Fill your tank, drain your wallet. Remember who did that to you.
And who didn't.
--A couple is two of something. It's not "some" or "a few." And it's an "it," not a "they."
--If you're more than a couple of years older than I, you're an elder statesman. But you're too old to serve as a first term president. We've had those, and should know better.
----Now, what say we go for a couple of cold ones. That's two. Pitchers will be okay.
I'm Wes Richards. My opinions are my own, but you're welcome to them.(r)