Jewish physicians who perform abortions are not being singled out for attack by anti-abortion extremists, although some anti-abortion literature does contain a frightening amount of anti-Semitic references, spokesmen for abortion groups and Jewish organizations agree.
As Jewish supporters of both Sen. Alfonse D’Amato and Rep. Charles Schumer milled around their respective campaign headquarters Tuesday night, they all spoke of the “defining moment” that cost D’Amato his Senate seat — his now-infamous “putzhead” gaffe.
“It was a defining moment,” said former Democratic Deputy Mayor Abraham Biderman at the Schumer victory party at the Waldorf Astoria hotel in Midtown.
A newspaper ad by a Yeshiva University-linked Orthodox rabbinical group is denouncing the Wye agreement as a violation of Jewish law that threatens the lives of all Jews in Israel.
But the rabbinic group called Ichud Harabonim, or Union of Rabbis, is itself being criticized for using language some say evokes the violent rhetoric used against the late Israeli Prime Minister Yitzchak Rabin — who was assassinated three years ago this week.
While a religiously split Jewish community was verbally sparring over which U.S. Senate candidate to support, many notables were putting their money where their mouth was.
They were contributing to what is being considered the most expensive Senate race in history, with about $33 million being spent. At the same time they were looking to support the candidate they felt meshed best with their own interests, whether it be the ultra-Orthodox Jews of Brooklyn or the Conservative and Reform Jews of Manhattan.
Rabbi Rene Samuel Sirat, Europe’s chief rabbi emeritus, wasn’t pulling any punches. The 68-year-old former chief rabbi of France, who is Orthodox, used his recent visit to New York to assail the current state of Orthodox Judaism — particularly for its continuing mistreatment of women, the peace process, and “strangers” within its community.
Rabbi Sirat, a respected educator, also said that the Jewish community could learn a thing or two about repentance from the Catholic Church.
by Lawrence Cohler-Esses |
The defeat of Republican Sen. Alfonse D’Amato Tuesday was also a big defeat for controversial campaign strategist, Arthur Finkelstein, the reclusive D’Amato protege who has made one-note attack ad on “liberals” his specialty.
Similarly, Democratic Rep. Charles Schumer’s triumph over D’Amato heralds the rise of newer campaign guru, Hank Morris, a feisty strategist who specializes in helping Democratic centrists repulse the often disabling liberal label.