Why did a Democratic congressman’s aide speak of ‘Jewish money’?
(Mondoweiss) -- by Philip Weiss --
This is interesting. Mike McMahon, a first-term Democratic congressman from New York, fired a staffer after she said that McMahon's Republican challenger was getting a lot of out-of-state donors and "Jewish money." NY Observer:
The file, labeled "[Mike] Grimm Jewish Money Q2," for the second quarter fundraising period, shows a list of over 80 names, a half-dozen of which in fact do hail from Staten Island, and a handful of others that list Brooklyn as home.Haaretz details the wrath that came down on Nelson:
"Where is Grimm's money coming from," said Jennifer Nelson, McMahon's campaign spokeman. "There is a lot of Jewish money, a lot of money from people in Florida and Manhattan, retirees."
Republican Jewish Coalition Executive Director Matthew Brooks said on Friday in a statement that "in more than 25 years in politics I have never seen anything more despicable and offensive than this”...But if Jewish money is a stereotype, god knows it's one that many political people employ. It is often noted that more than half of Democratic campaign-giving comes from Jews; and just the other day, Martin Indyk raised the "Jewish factor" in campaign spending with that same Haaretz reporter, to explain Obama's collapse on confronting Israel: "American Jews...provide a good deal of funding for political campaigns. So the Jewish factor is always a critical factor for Democratic candidates. I don't think it's telling any secrets that there are a lot of people who have been upset with President Obama. And I think that the White House came to the understanding that they have a real problem there and they are going out of their way trying to show they are friendly to Israel and committed to peace. Republicans will try to exploit the anger."
"Congressman McMahon has fired his communications director, but what about the other staff involved? Who asked for that list to be compiled? Who approved that action? Congressman McMahon needs to do more than apologize for 'inappropriate comments' - he must be held accountable for actions that his campaign staff took to count Jews supporting his rival," Brooks said. “I don't think this is something that should be swept under the rug. Seeing such bigotry from a sitting congressman's campaign is deeply troubling."
Even the National Jewish Democratic Council (NJDC) President and CEO, David Harris, had to denounce the McMahon campaign’s lapse.
”It is never acceptable to 'count Jews' in this way or to perpetuate age-old stereotypes about the Jewish community”, he said.
Exactly: Republicans like Mike Grimm. So I don't think Jennifer Nelson is an anti-semite, a lot of people in American politics think hard about this question. Despite their claims, the NJDC and RJC both count Jews; and they do so because the Jewish community is still monolithic on the Israel question, big Jewish givers tend to be extremely conservative on the question; and these organizations can use the idea of Jewish money just as Indyk does, to try and impose a pro-Israel line on all candidates...MORE...LINK