Bush and the Jews
When President Bush spoke before Israel’s Knesset on May 15, 2008- the day of the 60th Anniversary of Israel’s creation as a Jewish State-he gave an inspirational speech reflecting on what Israel meant to him, and what its existence means to the United States as a nation. One can say that it was certainly the most pro-Israel speech ever given by an American President.
Bush noted that the fight against terror and extremism was not just a clash of arms, but “a clash of visions, a great ideological struggle.” And he explained how Israel was a necessary ally in that fight, and why the United States could not capitulate to the demands of terrorist groups like Hamas and Hezbollah. And, perhaps most important of all, he told the Israelis: “America stands with you in firmly opposing Iran’s nuclear weapons ambitions.” Israel, he assured them, “can always count on the United States of America to be at your side.”
George W. Bush’s commitment to Israel and his solidarity with the world’s Jews led me to reflect on a great irony. Within the United States, a high percentage of Jews, who are overwhelmingly Democrats, have been opposed to the policies of the Bush administration and bear an animus to Bush personally.