Ann Coulter is welcome in my Orthodox synagogue anytime

Ben Shapiro

12/3/2003 12:00:00 AM - Ben Shapiro
This week, Ann Coulter caught flak from the liberal Jewish community for her latest column, "The Party of Ideas." In her column, she deconstructs the Democratic presidential candidates and exposes them for the panderers they are, especially with regard to the Jewish community.

"In addition to having a number of family deaths among them," she writes, "the Democrats' other big idea -- too nuanced for a bumper sticker -- is that many of them have Jewish ancestry. There's Joe Lieberman: Always Jewish. Wesley Clark: Found Out His Father Was Jewish in College. John Kerry: Jewish Since He Began Presidential Fund-Raising. Howard Dean: Married to a Jew. Al Sharpton: Circumcised."

As Coulter points out, claiming that you have a Jew in the family or Jewish blood running in your veins doesn't mean anything when push comes to shove: "The Democrats' urge to assert a Jewish heritage is designed to disguise the fact that the Democrats would allow the state of Israel to perish as Palestinian suicide bombers slaughter Jewish women and children." Coulter rightly criticizes the Jewish community for falling for this ridiculous campaign ploy: "And that, boys and girls, is how the Jews survived thousands of years of persecution: by being susceptible to pandering."

Of course, an assertion like that arouses liberal Jews, who feel that they fulfill their Jewish obligations by eating bagels and lox, and only proclaim their Jewishness when they sense any hint of anti-Semitism from the political right wing.

Never mind that Coulter is clearly on target with regard to the Jewish community. In the distant past, the Democratic Party earned the respect of Jewish voters by representing religious tolerance while maintaining moral values. Today, the Democratic Party buys the Jewish vote with a few pints of Jewish blood. Democrats secure the Jewish vote by suddenly discovering a Jewish relative or appointing a Jew to a position of power.

Coulter is clearly correct to point out that Jews must be aware that just because someone has friends who are Jews does not assure pro-Jewish policies. Current Democratic front-runner Howard Dean, who claims Jewish sympathies because his wife is Jewish, refers to Hamas baby-murderers as "soldiers" in the Arab-Israeli war, says that America should not take sides in the Arab-Israeli conflict, and states that Israel must abandon Judea and Samaria to Arab terrorists.

Joe Lieberman, a semi-observant Jew, falsely averred on "Larry King Live" that Judaism has no core convictions about abortion; rather, he lied, abortion is "a matter of personal judgment. And like everything else in Judaism, ultimately, it's up to each of us to decide what we think is right." Hillary Clinton, who attempted to establish Jewish lineage, kissed Yasser Arafat's wife after Suha Arafat claimed that Palestinian-Arab children were being poisoned by Israeli troops.

Yet liberal Jews continue to kvell whenever any Democrat discovers Jewish identity. When Hillary decided that she was Jewish-by-long-lost-relation, New York political consultant Hank Sheinkopf explained that "Jews will now feel that she's almost one of their own. It will make it easier for Jews to connect with her." When Joe Lieberman, a semi-observant Jew, announced his 2004 campaign, Jewish groups immediately rushed to support him, despite his wavering support for Israel and outright misrepresentation of authentic Jewish values.

But for most liberal Jews, authentic Judaism is an afterthought. These Jews are born Jewish, but they don't think Jewish, and they certainly don't act Jewish. When American Jews are identified as a demographic group, observers should note that the vast majority of them do not practice authentic Judaism -- they practice secularism.

Why are liberal Jews susceptible to pandering? Because it validates their anti-Judaic lifestyle. Deep down, every Jew still has a spark that resonates to authentic Jewish values and attitudes, values that are clearly in line with the politically conservative position. When prominent Democrats identify themselves as Jewish, or Jewish-sympathizing, it becomes easy for liberal Jews to justify their own betrayal of authentic Judaism. "What's wrong with being liberal? Howard Dean's wife is Jewish, and he's a liberal! He can't be bad for the Jews!" "Look at Joe Lieberman! He's observant, and he's a liberal! Leftism can't be anti-Judaic if Joe champions it!"

Liberal Jews may not like what they hear, but Ann Coulter is right. The Democratic Party has played the demographic Jewish community like a gefilte fish. If liberal Jews want the right to start screaming anti-Semitism, they need to start acting in concert with authentic Jewish values first.