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Monday, August 10, 2009

Chicago rallies for Israel with Caroline Glick

FinanceDoc attended Sunday's pro-Israel rally in Chicago, featuring JPost columnist Caroline Glick, and filed this report:
Hi Carl

Just got home from the Israel rally in downtown Chicago. The turnout was modest but enthusiastic even though it was about 97 degrees with 90%+ humidity here. There were several speakers culminating in an absolutely power-packed pep talk by Caroline Glick. Too bad I didn't have her as a little league coach; we would have won more games!

Caroline noted that her life had in some ways run a parallel course to that of Obama, starting out in Chicago and following on to Columbia (or Beir Zeit on the Hudson as she refers to it!). Of couse, that's where the similarities end and we now have an administration in Washington -- including several Jews in high places -- deeply hostile to Israel. It's nothing personal she notes, but supporters of Israel need to remain strong and continue speaking truth to power. We need to remind Washington that the US-Israel relationship benefits not just Israel but has always benefited America as well. For me, the most powerful part of her talk was when she pointed out that the Jews have paid for the land of Israel three times: with blood, money, and hard work. She really roused the crowd when she said, "the Jews didn't occupy Jerusalem; they liberated it".

There was a small counter-demonstration up the street with the usual "End the siege" and "Honk for Gaza" signs but the police kept the two groups apart. My only misgiving was that the majority of those participating in the pro-Israel rally were north of 50 years-old while those in the counter-rally were largely in their 20s and 30s. This is likely a reflection of the overall demographics of the two sides but I couldn't help but think that as the generation of those who witnessed the Holocaust and WWII die off, Israel will have an increasingly tough time making its case to a new generation of Americans who are often ignorant of history and do not understand the costs of freedom.

What FinanceDoc says about the demographics of the demonstrators is not a good sign, but it's the summer and kids are in camp and families are away on vacation, so I hope that's not indicative of support for Israel. I understand that to some extent it is since we know that intermarried tend to be less supportive of Israel, and that - unfortunately - is where things are heading (Someone yesterday sent me a graphic that claims that 49% of Reform Jews, 33% of Conservative Jews but only 6% of Orthodox Jews of all stripes in the US intermarry. Unfortunately, the majority of Jews aren't Orthodox - yet).

By the way, Caroline graduated Columbia (Bir Zeit on the Hudson - I like that :-) in 1991, which means she's probably 38-39 now. So she's definitely under 50.

Here are some more pictures - thanks to FinanceDoc!


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