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Friday, August 18, 2006

Senator Joe Lieberman

Since I moved to Israel fifteen years ago, I have generally stayed out of American politics. But this seems so important and the motivations for opposing Joe Lieberman seem to be so based on Israel, that I cannot sit aside.

Ned Lamont - who beat Lieberman in the Democratic primary - is supported by the hard left of the Democratic party. The anti-Israel, anti-Semitic hard left. Joe Lieberman is one of us and he deserves our support.

The gentleman who sent me this is an Israeli who used to be the consul general in Houston, Texas, and I met him through one of my Houston contacts. We'll call him Yoram in Jerusalem.


A victory in November's Connecticut Senate race by Senator Joe Lieberman is imperative for all of our futures.

If you reject that proposition, read no further. If you aren't sure about it, read "The Reason" section below. If you accept it - here is your chance to make a huge difference!


Senator Lieberman's opponent, already worth up to $300 million, has raised millions more through internet activists. This is our attempt to answer them. The program is called DOUBLE CHAI ON CHAI. The commitment is simple: On the 18th day of August, September and October, go to www.joe2006.com and make a credit-card donation of $36. Our goal is to draw 1,000 participants to the program, and thereby raise $100,000 for Joe's critical campaign.

All that is asked is the following:

1) commit to donating $36 through www.joe2006.com on August 18, September 18 and October 18
2) forward this email to anyone and everyone who might be willing to do so as well, and encourage them to forward it further

Together, we can send Joe Lieberman back to the Senate, and send a message to those who don't recognize the dangers that civilized society faces from the spread of Islamofacism and the polarization of our politics. Please join us in this important cause.


Why is it imperative that Joe Lieberman be reelected? Two basic reasons:

First, as dangerous as the world is today, the stakes are too high to lose from public life someone who understands the nature of the threats that civilized society faces from militant Islam.

Second, and related to the first, Sen. Lieberman represents the politics of civility over the forces of political polarization. Now, here's a broader explanation of both of these premises:

* National Security *

Conventional wisdom was that the primary contest in Connecticut was all about the war in Iraq. That is partially true but the undercurrent was much broader than that. Sen. Lieberman's opponent has zero experience with international relations and has been supported by groups and individuals who reject the notion that there is a serious threat to the safety and security of the free world. Daniel Henninger put it succinctly in the Wall Street Journal on August 11: "From the perspective as of yesterday of getting on a U.S. airliner, who would you rather have in the Senate formulating policy toward this threat -- Ned Lamont or Joe Lieberman?" Henninger adds: "In a better world, the U.S . war on terror, at its core, would be bipartisan. That world was what Joe Lieberman's represented."

We are facing terrorists who very nearly succeeded in bringing down ten airplanes over the Atlantic; we are facing an apocalyptic government in Iran which denies the Holocaust, calls for Israel to be wiped off the map and is not far from achieving nuclear-weapons capacity; we are facing an elected Palestinian government that has a primary platform to promote the glorification of martyrdom.

At a time like this, the stakes are too high for uncertainty and on-the-job training. We need the wisdom, the experience, the strength of Joe Lieberman in the US Senate.

* A Civil Political Culture *

Sen. Lieberman has demonstrated deep conviction throughout his life, whether it was traveling to the South in 1963 to register African Americans to vote, or advocating against the opening of the Artic National Wildlife Reserve in Alaska for oil drilling. But he has also always demonstrated that having strong convictions does not mean demonizing those who don't share them. While he would never compromise his core principles, he believes that progress for the public good involves negotiations and compromise. And when he offers public criticism, as he so often has done, it is not done with personal vindictiveness and it is always done with an eye toward being constructive. A great example of this is the report on the Government's response to Hurricane Katrina - to which he made a major contribution as the ranking Democrat on the Government Affairs committee.

By contrast to this, take the behavior of supporters of Sen. Lieberman's opponent in the primary. Much of their argument centered around Sen. Lieberman being "too close" to President Bush. Given that, according to studies, Sen. Lieberman has supported the Democratic position (which usually means opposing the Administration) 90% of the time, what they were really saying is that Sen. Lieberman did not demonstrate enough invective in his critique of the President, that he did not call the President names. They are very well versed in what Lanny Davis described as "hate and vitriol." Here is one example Davis points out in his Wall Street Journal column from August 8: "Ned Lamont and his supporters need to [g]et real busy. Ned needs to beat Lieberman to a pulp in the debate and define what it means to be an American who is NOT beholden to the Israeli Lobby" (by "rim," posted on Huffington Post, July 6, 2006).


Sen. Lieberman decided to continue the campaign because he does not believe that the country can afford, at this time when we face so many domestic challenges and foreign threats, to devolve further into a polarized political culture. This campaign is now much larger than Sen. Lieberman. It is about two fundamental issues: Do we understand the nature of the threat that we face as a free world? And, are we going to polarize our politics between those who see the threat and those who do not, or are we going to unite in opposition to the threat, and grow a political culture that of course encourages dissent, but which also strengthens us in our struggle to rid the world of those who would carry out and gloat over attacks on innocent human beings? That's what's at stake. That's why Sen. Lieberman needs your support.

[Today is August 18. CiJ]


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