02 October 2007

McCain's Friends

Jews slam McCain for Christian remarks

Oct 2, 2007 9:06 | Updated Oct 2, 2007 15:50 JPOST

Several Jewish organizations criticized Republican presidential candidate John McCain on Monday for saying he would prefer a Christian president over one of a different faith.

In an interview with Beliefnet, a multi-denominational Web site that covers religion and spirituality, McCain was asked whether a Muslim candidate could be a good president.

"I just have to say in all candor that since this nation was founded primarily on Christian principles ... personally, I prefer someone who I know who has a solid grounding in my faith," McCain said. "But that doesn't mean that I'm sure that someone who is Muslim would not make a good president."

Later, McCain said, "I would vote for a Muslim if he or she was the candidate best able to lead the country and defend our political values."

He added that "the Constitution established the United States of America as a Christian nation."

The interview was published Saturday.

The American Jewish Committee, an international think tank and advocacy organization based in New York, issued a statement criticizing the senator, arguing that McCain should know that the United States is a democratic society without a religious test for public office.

"To argue that America is a Christian nation, or that persons of a particular faith should by reason of their faith not seek high office, puts the very character of our country at stake," Jeffrey Sinensky, the group's general counsel, said Monday in a statement.

A partisan organization, the National Jewish Democratic Council, also called McCain's comments repugnant.

Amid the criticism, independent Sen. Joe Lieberman, an Orthodox Jew, came to his Senate colleague's defense.

"I have known John McCain very well for many years, and I know that he does not have a bigoted bone in his body. I know that he is fair and just to all Americans regardless of their faith," said Lieberman, formerly a Democrat.

Over the past few days, McCain has sought to clarify his remarks.

While campaigning in New Hampshire on Sunday, he said the most qualified person could be president, no matter his or her religion.

"It's almost Talmudic. We are a nation that was based on Judeo-Christian values. That means respect for all of human rights and dignity. That's my principle values and ideas, and that's what I think motivated our founding fathers," McCain said.

Also Sunday, in a statement, his spokeswoman Jill Hazelbaker said: "The senator did not intend to assert that members of one religious faith or another have a greater claim to American citizenship over another."

I wasn't going to post during Chol HaMoed. In fact, I have stayed away from the computer for the most part. Until I happened to pop in online and caught this story, sort of story. Sen. McCain is running for President of the United States again. I have not been a supporter of McCain for president in the past and not now. However, I have met the Senator and on gut feeling, I would agree with the comments from Sen. Lieberman. McCain's record of support for Israel speaks for itself. That he would prefer a Christian president is his business. Quite frankly, I do not believe that a Jewish president would be a good idea either {too much to lose, too few opportunities, other reasons too.} (sorry Joe).

For McCain, I would bet that he was specifically thinking more about Gov. Romney than more generally about Jews and Muslims. Romney is the immediate target for McCain to make his way into the top tier in the GOP presidential nomination race. Anyhow, take it easy on McCain, he will not win the nomination.

Why bother making excuses for McCain? To start with, he is an American hero and patriot. McCain knows hate better than those who are criticizing his comments. I would like to see any of those nagging McCain last a day in the Hanoi Hilton. McCain is genuine and does not deserve to have his career marred by a political year comment which is reality is benign and irrelevant.

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What Words Offend Arabs? The Truth.

Children's Poetry Booklet Recalled After Arabs Complain
(Israeli censorship kowtows to Arabs.
When Will We Tell The Truth Without Fear)

(IsraelNN.com 7 Sivan 5768/June 10, '08) Ynet's web site and Arab complaints against a ten-year-old boy's poem about terrorists has resulted in the recall of all of the Nes Ziona municipality's children's poetry booklets.

Ynet boasts that its coverage of the poem resulted in its being recalled.

The text of the poem (Ynet's translation):

Ahmed's bunker has surprises galore: Grenades, rifles are hung on the wall. Ahmed is planning another bombing!What a bunker Ahmed has, who causes daily harm.Ahmed knows how to make a bomb. Ahmed is Ahmed, that's who he is, so don't forget to be careful of him.We get blasted while they have a blast!Ahmed and his friends could be wealthy and sunny, if only they wouldn't buy rockets with all their money.

Poetry competition director Marika Berkowitz, who published the booklet, was surprised at the protests and told Ynet: "This is the boy's creation and this is what he wanted to express. Of course there should be a limit, but I think the there is no racism here. 'Ahmed' is a general term for the enemy. These are the murmurings of an innocent child."

The Education Ministry told Ynet: "The local authority that published the booklet should have guided the students in a more correct manner through the schools. The district will investigate the issue with the local authorities."
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