Tuesday, November 04, 2008

Three Elections

I have suddenly been thrust out of obscurity.  Being an American citizen, I can vote in the American presidential elections.  As a resident of Jersualem, I get to vote for the new mayor and city council next week.  Meanwhile, the Israeli national government just fell, and the Prime Minister's unelected replacement, Tzippi Livni, lacked the political skill to build a coalition of her own and now we're going to new Israeli national elections at the beginning of next year. 
The U.S. elections are probably the most worrisome, and with the U.S. wielding a virtual veto over Israel's foreign and domestic policy, there's a great deal of concern in this neck of the woods about the new face coming to the white house.
Of course, this whole election is about Obama, the other presidential and vice-presidential candidates being treated as stage props.  Among the rumors circulating are those of his Islamic upbringing, but that doesn't bother me.  After all, with a Muslim father, according to Islam, he is automatically a Muslim himself, and his nominal acceptance of Christianity carries the death penalty in his father's religion.  This might cause him some difficulty in the fundamentalist Islamic regimes like Iran he threatens to befriend.  There is also concern over his race, as previous black politicians have toted grievance-mongering anti-Semitism, like Jesse Jackson wanting to destroy Israel or Al Sharpton calling for a boycott of Jewish businesses, but I don't think Obama is an anti-Semite.  At least not beyond the fact that his liberal ideology itself, with its belief in a nonracial, irreligious, classless, genderless society is hostile to Judaism's approach of separation between Jews and Goyim, women and men, secular and holy. 
There is great fear of Obama in Israel, partly because of his middle name, and partly because violent terrorism against Israeli Jews has become the latest pet cause of the European states among whom he would like to, "Restore America's image."    His assembling a team of America's premier Israel-haters as Middle East advisors is cause for grave concern.  Given his complete lack of experience, he will likely absorb their politically correct but historically twisted view of the Arabs' century-long Jihad against Jewish emancipation in the holy land as some sort of struggle for Palestinian civil rights.  Even Condoleezza Rice referred to Israel's life-saving checkpoints as reminiscent of the Jim Crow with which she grew up.
McCain, on the other hand, is no savior.  His positions on negotiations with Iran, the creation of a Palestinian State carved out of Israel's bosom, and other issues of regional concern have recently flipped to being reassuringly conservative.  However, the fact that he held views similar to Obama's before he began running for the highest office indicates that he may pitch a steadfast line, but his heart isn't in it.  His failure to run a coherent campaign and his selection of a running mate with almost as little experience as his opponent is hardly inspiring.  Still, as a person having faced true evil in his past, once subjected to the daily intelligence briefings and being confronted with the depravity of the regional regimes, one would hope that at least some sense of moral clarity would seep in. 
By contrast, given the people whom Obama has befriended in the past, having relations with Hamas bus-bombers or Iranian hate-mongers probably wouldn't be such a novel experience for him.  Perhaps Obama is divine punishment to the Jews for some sort of misbehavior.  Of course, I remember, eight years ago, writing that G.W. Bush would be, like his father, a Country Club Republican, sneering and hostile to Israel.  Boy did I have him pegged wrong!  Maybe I've got Obama all wrong too, and he will completely break with the views of his friends and advisors to become a truly noble person.
Based on social positions, and my gut, I have to go with McCain, even though the polls indicate Obama will almost certainly win.  Still, as a person who believes in the unseen hand of the Creator directing events, I am not all that entranced by politicians.  I don't find McCain or Obama, "scary," like some, because I don't see them as being particularly powerful in the long run.  A truly powerful person is one who has mastered his ego and can exercise control of his appetites, which pretty much eliminates politicians by definition.  As for me, all that's left for me to do is fax in my absentee ballot and try to live a decent life, come what may.

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