Wednesday, May 22, 2024 -
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On what basis not to vote

Andy Levin’s embarrassment

In Michigan, Democratic voters have decided in favor of Haley Stevens over Andy Levin. Differences between them were legitimate and of interest to pro-Israel advocates far beyond the borders of Michigan. What was not legitimate was some of Levin’s rhetoric. It was an embarrassment.

Many other issues strictly of interest to Michigan voters divided the candidates. Of these we have no knowledge. On Israel, Levin took a very liberal approach, while Stevens took a centrist approach. On this we offer no comment here.

We will comment on the way Levin turned his positions on Israel into a referendum on his Jewishness.

Feeling pressured from AIPAC’s strong financial support for Stevens, Levin defended his position on Israel in part on the grounds that he has mezuzzahs on all of his doors. Excuse us? What does this have to do with one’s position on Israel? What does this have to do with one’s suitability for Congress? What is the implication here — that if one does not have mezuzzahs on one’s doors, one is disqualified from serving in Congress or holding a genuinely pro-Israel position?

Religious expression in the public square is legitimate; it is not a breach in the wall of separation between church and state. Religious expression, as well as the lack thereof, should be equally welcomed in the public square. This is wholly separate from exploiting a Jewish ritual to suggest that one’s position on Israel is valid because of one’s mezuzzahs, and that one deserves the vote of Jewish voters because of one’s mezuzzahs. With this comment, Levin did not do any honor to his distinguished family and its long service to our country.

Copyright © 2022 by the Intermountain Jewish News

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