Thursday, November 08, 2007

An Early Endorsement

I know it’s early. Very early. I wasn’t going to do this until after the nominations were all sewn up. But I feel very strongly that the two people who will end up as the nominees for President of the United States are already known. It will be Hillary Rodham Clinton for the Democrats and Rudy Giuliani for the Republicans.

Based on this I want to clearly and publicly state my whole hearted endorsement for President of the United States, the former mayor of New York City, Rudolph William Louis Giuliani.

First let me talk about Mrs. Clinton. The conventional wisdom about Hillary Clinton among most Orthodox Jews is that she would be a disaster for Jews and for Israel. Cited as evidence of that is the infamous kiss of Arafat’s wife Suha just after she delivered a viciously anti-Israel speech.

But I don’t think she is anti Israel at all. That kiss was an error which she fully admitted to. She did not know the content of Mrs. Arafat’s speech at the time and was simply participating in a common Middle East social custom… with the wife of the leader of the Palestinian people. It was nothing more than a misguided political kiss. Her views generally reflect those of her husband, former President Bill Clinton, one of the most pro Israel presidents in history.

While she does have some negative baggage and is very liberal on many issues, she is nevertheless the best of all the democratic candidates. If elected she would not govern from the left… but from the center, albeit with a leftward bias. I don’t see her as too much unlike her husband in many of her social policies either. She has maintained a more or less centrist Democrat stance surviving attacks from the left by her Democratic rivals. We have nothing to fear from a Clinton Presidency.

But she is no Rudy Giuliani.

I consider myself to be a patriot. I am a lover of this great country. And I don’t mind proudly saying so. And I have many times. When I vote for any candidate, I vote on issues that I feel will benefit this country. But I have to admit, that my primary concern is the famous question: “Will he (or she) be good for the Jews?”

In the case of all the top tier candidates on both sides of the aisle, I see no candidate that will be particularly bad for us. Some better… some worse. But none bad. We can survive the election of any of them. And Hillary Clinton is the best of the Democrats in my view. But none of them compare to Rudy Giuliani.

I don’t think there has ever been a candidate as pro Israel and pro Jewish as he is. In fact he seems to be even more pro Israel than Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert! Not only will he be good for the Jews, he will be the best friend the Jewish people ever had in the White House. I am thoroughly convinced of that.

Let us look at some of the evidence that supports my thinking. Two things come to mind.

One is the time Yasir Arafat was invited United Nations to address that ‘august’ body. While he was in New York Arafat managed to somehow finagle a prime seat at Lincoln Center for a performance of Beethoven’s Ninth. When Giuliani saw him, he immediately had him thrown out. Even though Arafat was the darling of the Clinton Administration at the time and everyone had high hopes for him… Giuliani would have none of it. To him Arafat was a terrorist and was to be treated that way. Period.

And just after 9/11 a Saudi prince offered Giuliani a check for $10 million for families who suffered from the attack …and urged America to adopt a more ‘balanced’ approach toward the Palestinian cause. Giuliani threw it back in his face.

He has surrounded himself with brilliant foreign policy advisors who reflect his own view on issues like Iraq and Iran …people who view the world through the same lens I do… people like Norman Podhoretz and Daniel Pipes.

Rudy Giuliani is a clear thinker. And a man who takes decisive action. A man of principle who will not compromise. He is a proven and popular leader who successfully governed one of the toughest cities in the world. Most importantly, as I said, he the most pro Israel candidate in a field of virtually all pro Israel candidates. In fact he is even more pro Israel than our current President, George W, Bush… who is easily the most pro Israel president in our history. It is a no brainer for me. Rudy's the one.

There has been much made of his relatively liberal position on social issues by the social conservatives of the religious right. Most notably his seemingly pro choice position on abortion. But if we examine that particular view carefully, it is exactly in line with where every thinking Orthodox Jew should be. He is in favor of keeping abortion safe, legal, and rare.

But even if I were to concede that his liberal social policies are not in line with Jewish values, which I do not, his position on things important to the Jewish people far outweigh any perceived differences with him on social issues.

When it comes to national security, perhaps the most important issue facing the American people no one is stronger. And that is the reason one of the most socially and religiously conservative leaders, Evangelical preacher Pat Robertson endorsed him yesterday. He cited that as the reason… in spite of the fact that he does not agree with Giuliani’s socially liberal policies. That is quite a statement and a real coup for Giuliani.

The bottom line is that when it comes to policies that are friendliest to the Jewish people and the Jewish State, all the top tier candidates are fine. But none comes even close to Rudy Giuliani. A win for him is a win for all Jews and a win for America.