Thursday, December 22, 2011

We Can Thank Herbert Hoover For Bipartisan Support Of Israel Today

Rafael Medoff, The David Wyman Institute for Holocaust Studies, writes about Hemi Shalev and Tom Friedman, who warn of the danger of Republicans being too pro-Israel:
Two prominent journalists who are not particularly sympathetic to the Republicans, Hemi Shalev of the Israeli daily Ha'aretz and Thomas Friedman of the New York Times, warned last week of dire consequences if the candidates for the Republican nomination continue to make strongly pro-Israel statements.

According to Shalev, Iowan Republican voters are Bible-thumpin' fanatics so itching for "the war between Gog and Magog" that they do not mind if pro-Israel Republican candidates "inflame" the Arab world. A second problem, Shalev claims, is that Iowan voters and other "ordinary Americans" may start to "wonder about the sway this distant country [Israel] holds over American politics and about the motives of the Jews that support it." In other words, they may become anti-Semitic.
In response, Medoff recounts some history:
Some years ago, as a Herbert Hoover Presidential Fellow, I spent a little time in and around West Branch, Iowa, Hoover's birth place, where his presidential library is located and where I did research on Hoover's interest in Zionism and his response to the Holocaust...

Iowa's most famous Republican likewise championed the cause of Jewish refugees. Herbert Hoover, too, was a devout Christian with a heartfelt concern about the Jews, even if he was not known to wear his Quaker faith on his sleeve. In 1939, ex-president Hoover jettisoned his anti-immigration past and endorsed legislation to admit 20,000 German Jewish refugee children. During the Holocaust, Hoover supported the Bergson Group's rescue campaign and, in 1944, he brought about the GOP's first-ever adoption of a party plank calling for rescue of Jewish refugees and creation of a Jewish State. That forced the Democrats to adopt a nearly-identical plank. Bipartisan support for Israel has been a part of American political culture ever since. [emphasis added]
And heaven forbid that today the Democrats find themselves having to keep up with the Republicans in actually backing Israel publicly.

More to the point, I bet Hoover never felt the need to publicly pat himself on the back for what he did.

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1 comment:

The Stop BDS Team said...

Thanks for sharing that. I didn't know about Hoover's positions at all. Very interesting, indeed.