Why Jews Should Vote for Dole: College Republicans Address the Issues (Vol. 62, Issue 3)
In 1992 Bill Clinton won a resounding 85 percent of the Jewish vote in his victorious Presidential campaign. As Election Day nears, the Jewish community must take a careful look at the past 4 years and ask itself: Has Bill Clinton truly been a friend to Israel and to the overall Jewish community? Or could we do better with a Bob Dole Presidency?
An examination of five key factors points overwhelmingly towards support for Dole. Here they are:
1. Jerusalem: To most Jews Jerusalem represents the pinnacle of our religion. In 1992 Bill Clinton campaigned on the issue of moving the American Embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. Yet four years later the Embassy remains outside of Israel's capital. In 1995 Bob Dole introduced legislation in Congress demanding that the American Embassy be moved to Jerusalem, with construction on the new building to be finished no later than May 1999. Although huge majorities in both Houses passed the bill, Bill Clinton refused to sign it, thus allowing it to become law without his approval.
As a result of this new law, 25 million dollars was set aside for construction, to start this year, but Bill Clinton has refused to use this money and allows this large sum to sit in limbo. Is this the behavior of a true friend? Under President Bob Dole, the Embassy will finally be relocated in Israel’s eternal undivided capital.
2. Relations With Netanyahu: We perhaps saw Bill Clinton at his worst during the recent Presidential campaign in Israel. During this time Clinton openly campaigned for Shimon Peres, thus setting himself up for some tough times to come with the new Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu. Is that the action of a true friend of Israel? Bob Dole said it best last month when he called Clinton’s intervention in the lsraeli election as“embarrassing and harmful”.
Dole has pledged to work with whoever is Prime Minister to increase the close friendship between the two countries. Dole extended his hand of friendship to Netanyahu with a personal phone call of congratulations after the Israeli elections. Last week the State Department asked Israel for clarification on its settlement policy. This is a preview of the type of pressure to expect from the State Department should Clinton win re-election. On the other hand, Dole has pledged never to pressure Israel into trading any land for peace.
3. Terrorism: Bill Clinton has tried to talk a good game when it comes to fighting terrorism but the facts tell us a different story. The noted terrorism specialist Steve Emerson recently published an op-ed in the Wall Street Journal in which he exposes the White House for hosting a reception attended by Muslim groups which support radical Islamic terrorist movements. According to the article, Hillary Clinton allowed the American Muslim Council (AMC) to draw up the Muslim guest list for a White House reception marking the end of Ramadan. The AMC, according to the article, is a “radical group that supports radical Islamic terrorist movements”. Is this the action of a Jewish-friendly White House? Furthermore we have seen Warren Christopher visit Syria over twenty times arid even Bill Clinton went to Syria to visit its dictator Hafez Assad. Yet Syria remains on the State Department terrorism list, it continues to allow arms to reach Hezballah fighters in Lebanon and it still is one of the world’s major drug traffickers. Just last month The Jewish Week called for America to bomb Syria. Certainly our leaders do not belong in Syria.
4. Jack Kemp: While most people tend not to take Vice Presidential nominees into consideration this should be an exception. Rarely do you come across a politician who is so committed to pro-Jewish and Pro-Israel issues. It is also important to consider the Kemp factor for another reason: it is Kemp who has an excellent friendship with Netanyahu and it was Kemp who insisted on meeting with Ariel Sharon when both were heads of Housing for their respective governments.
That meeting took place over the objection of James Baker. Jack Kemp would be an incredible asset for the Jewish community as we try to keep pressure off Israel and allow the Netanyahu government to govern as it sees fit.
5. School Choice: It is on this issue where the biggest gap lies between Clinton and Dole in relation to the Jewish community. Bob Dole strongly supports a plan which would give school vouchers to parents to pay for private schools, including religious schools. Thus hundreds of Jewish parents who send their children: to Jewish Day Schools or Yeshivot would gain a partial relief from the great financial burden that school tuition has become. This would be, in short, a financial bonanza for the Jewish community. President Clinton has repeatedly asserted that he is very much against any such voucher plan.
These issues and factors are simply too important to ignore. It is imperative for our community to be heard on Election Day. Stand up and demand that the Embassy be moved to its rightful home in Jerusalem. Choose the candidate who takes the security and sovereignty of Israel seriously, the candidate who will battle for the issues close to the Jewish heart. Choose Bob Dole.
Elliot Ganchrow is a senior political science major who works for the Dole-Kemp campaign in New York.
Editor's Note: The Commentator invited both the College Democrats and the College Republicans to submit columns supporting their candidates, The College Democrats failed to respond.