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Ash Attacks Giffords’s Faith

After the jump is a post on Doug Martin’s blog. Martin is with Good News Communications, the folks that bring you KVOI and KGMS. The post was written by Republican National Committeeman Bruce Ash, who, of all things, takes a shot at Gabrielle Giffords for not being Jewish enough:

After all , Congresswoman Giffords , who claims to be a Jewess, has foolishly done much to destabilize the security of Israel with her votes and alliances with others who want to force Israel to make treaties with enemies who do not even recognize the existence of the state.

(“Jewess”? Do people still use that word? I haven’t heard it since the last time I saw a remake of Ivanhoe.)

Yep, Gabrielle Giffords, who makes frequent trips to Israel, whose grandmother was president of Hadassah and…well, who the heck is he to declare who is Jewish and who isn’t? Does he run our local rabbinical court?

And Giffords hasn’t been supportive enough of Israel? Puhleeze.

He also, by the way, takes her to task for supporting the auto bailout, which she voted against. Ash, check your facts, dude. (He may also want to check them on Raúl Grijalva as well: he voted against the bank bail out that Ash castigates him for. Eh, facts!)

Also after the jump is a response from several members of the Jewish community, including former Chief Justice Stanley Feldman and developer (and Republican) Donald Pitt.

Also note that Ash takes Grijalva on for allegedly being anti-Israel as well. Never calls him out for not being Jewish enough though.

Fellow Southern Arizonans

Will we grant another term to Gabrielle Giffords & Raul Grijalva to represent us in Congress?

If not, what are we doing to help our candidates Jesse Kelly in CD 8 and Ruth McClung in CD 7? Specifically what is our religious/ spiritual community doing to oppose the Democrat candidates who do not represent our values and views? At this time there does not seem to be much recognition of the change we can make in this election through the Christian communities coming together to support Mr Kelly and Ms McClung.

As a Jew I am disheartened that more of my fellow Jews do not support Jesse Kelly and Ruth McClung. After all, Congresswoman Giffords, who claims to be a Jewess , has foolishly done much to de stabilize the security of Israel with her votes and alliances with others who want to force Israel to make treaties with enemies who do not even recognize the existence of the state. Mr. Grijalva, never a friend of Israel, has supported countless schemes of anti Israel and anti Jewish groups and has voted against most measures which would provide direct support for the people and State of Israel.

I have to admit increasingly, the religion of most modern Jews is not Judaism but it is liberalism and many have embraced these two House members liberal beliefs and policies. Many Jews have been blinded by their liberalism and give broad support to these two incumbents. The major exception is the Orthodox Jewish community which supports most conservatives. Christians and Conservative/Orthodox Jews support the Peace of Jerusalem. I urge all Christian and Conservative/Orthodox Jews to reject Gifford’s and Grijalva’s re election in 2010.

Besides their positions which do not truly favor our strong relationship with Israel and a vibrant national security both of these House members are pro choice. The GOP candidates are fervently PRO LIFE.

I am sure you know Giffords and Grijalva have voted for The Big Bank Bailouts, The GM/Chrysler Government Takeovers & Obamacare. Both voted for Card Check which would end the secret ballot in union
organizing elections. Both voted in support of Cap & Trade which could mean significant increases ( up to $3000 p/family p/year ) in energy costs . Both incumbents support raising taxes on all taxpayers. Their votes to spend at a record level have created over $3,000,000,000,000 in deficits so far and foreign debt to potential adversaries of America. This is before one considers the impact of Obamacare. The regulation which the national leadership has created strangles our economy. More government which Giffords and Grijalva have supported reduces the liberty of all Americans including our second amendment rights.

Of localinterest each of these representatives oppose SB 1070 and Arizona’s anti illegal immigration efforts. Mr Grijalva even supported a general economic boycott of our state. Both Giffords and Grijalva
support the federal lawsuit the The Department of Justice has filed against the citizens of our state.

Many of our fellow citizens have been overwhelmed by the change created by President Obama and the Democrat led Congress and wonder what they can do. We have been deluged with one law after another so here’s what we can do to make REAL change. My first suggestion would be vote for change which means a vote for Jesse Kelly in CD8 and Ruth McClung in CD7. Go to their websites : www.voteJesseKelly.com or www.Ruth4AZ.com and make a gift . Volunteer online to help make phone calls or simply put up a yard sign in front of your home or business. Call the Pima GOP at 321-1492 and volunteer. Or simply talk to your friends at work, in the neighborhood and at church. In order to be successful it will take all of our efforts. I guarantee our opponents are working very hard for their candidates.

Will Washington become the “Shining City on the Hill” again ? It will if we stand up for American values . It will if we recognize the clear choices we have in this election. It will if the religious/spiritual communities join together and actively get involved to support our candidates win this election. Our Judeo Christian values have been under attack for too long. Please join me as we begin a new chapter in our great American adventure together.

Sincerely,

Bruce Ash
Tucson, Arizona

Response to Ash from prominent members of the Arizona Jewish Community:

To our community:

As Jews, we embrace politics because our parents and our grandparents taught us about the tragedies that can occur if we stay silent.

Some of us are liberal. Some of us are conservative. Many of us are moderate. As Americans, we respect one another’s right to differ, to argue, to participate in the political process with the passion and intelligence that G-d has given us. This is part of our tradition as a people, and we are proud of it.

But we know, too, that there are limits. This week, a member of our community has gone too far.

Bruce Ash submitted a letter to a Christian blog, dougmartin.goodnewscommunications.com, attacking our Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords and questioning her Judaism and her support for Israel. His letter is full of insults and lies.

Mr. Ash does not agree with her on the issues and has every right to express his opinion, but to question her Judaism by writing that “she claims to be a Jewess’’ is wrong.

Anyone with an internet connection can see for themselves that Giffords’ record shows tremendous support for Israel. Mr. Ash’s claims otherwise are absurd. Her actions in support of Israel include opposition to the sale of munition technology to Saudi Arabia, condemnation of the Goldstone Report and co-sponsorship of the Iran Sanctions Act. Our Congresswoman was selected as a member of the Bi-partisan Iran Sanctions Implementation Work Group. She is a national board member of the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Council. The first of her bills to become the law of our land was the Stop Arming Iran Act. This is a strong record on Israel; it does not deserve to be attacked from within our community.

On other issues, Mr. Ash has got his facts wrong. Congresswoman Giffords did not vote for the government bailout of GM and Chrysler, as Mr. Ash falsely states. Nor did she support the federal lawsuit against the state of Arizona, which Mr. Ash also falsely claims.

It is also worth remembering that Gabrielle Giffords grew up here in Tucson in a family that has been active in our community for decades. Her grandmother, Ruth Giffords, was a former president of Hadassah. Her grandfather ,’Gif’ Giffords, was a founder of our B’nai B’rith. Her father Spencer celebrated his bar mitzvah at Tucson’s historic Temple Emanu-El, which is now home to our Jewish History Museum. Congresswoman Giffords is a member of Congregation Chaverim. To question her Judaism is an insult to us all.

In our community, we do not lie in order to influence an election. We do not intentionally stir up hatred. We do not measure or judge the faith of other members of our community. And we should not question our Congresswoman’s rock-solid commitment to Israel.

Bruce Ash does not speak for our community and he owes us all an apology.

Sincerely,
Rabbi Stephanie Aaron
Barry Baker
Geoff Balon
Stanley Feldman
Nanci and Doug Levy
Tamir Nicholson
Ron Ober
Esther and Abe Orlick
Donald Pitt
Susan Warmack
Tom Warne

5 Comments

  1. Dave Safier wrote:

    As a Jewisher (I’m guessing that must be the male equivalent of the female Jewess, since Ash clearly thinks the gender of a Jew is an important distinction), let me laugh in Bruce Ash’s sanctimonious face.

    “Claims to be a Jewess?” I think it can make sense in some cases to say someone “claims to be a Christian,” meaning that person is not true to the faith (as a Jewisher, I won’t say for certain I’m right about that), but Ash must know the claim to being Jewish has to do with lineage or conversion, not the particulars or the strength of your faith. And it certainly has nothing to do with whether you think Israel will be stronger and more secure if it works hard to make peace with its neighbors or it adopts a more belligerent stance. Jews in Israel differ on that notion, which doesn’t make them more or less Jewish or Israeli.

    Question someone’s ideas and political positions, Bruce (though you should probably get those ideas and political positions right). But don’t be an Ass and question their Jewishness, or Jewessness, or whatever term you choose.

    Monday, October 18, 2010 at 4:40 pm | Permalink
  2. Walt Stephenson wrote:

    Bruce rightfully questioned both Gifford’s and Grijalva’s voting record in terms of support for Israel. Both of them are vulnerable at that level because they voted against the will of the people in CD-7 and CD-8 which is why they will lose.

    Neither Grijalva, Gifford’s or Obama seem to recognize the significances of a stable Israel and how important it is to world peace.

    No matter how hard you spin it they can not run away from their congressional voting record.

    Monday, October 18, 2010 at 5:38 pm | Permalink
  3. Tedski wrote:

    Walt-

    How is Giffords anti-Israel? If she is, why does AIPAC continue to support her and invite her to speak at their events. It’s a charge as laughable as the “Giffords is anti-gun” charge that Graf leveled at her four years ago.

    Monday, October 18, 2010 at 6:09 pm | Permalink
  4. Barry Kirschner wrote:

    Bruce Ash in his latest hit piece against Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords, bears false witness, promotes values harmful to our community, and spreads traif in the name of upholding his Judiasm. The Ash Judaism is not mine. It is bad enough that I have heard he and his philosophical allies bluster provide momentum for the largest foreign policy mistake in the last 50 years with the invasion of Iraq. Now he expects me and the majority of members of the Jewish community to sit silent while he profanes a hard working representative who is doing her job very well? Ask wants to make kindness and community a crime which leads to “Ash” sentencing a good woman to “excommunication” in his eyes. I have an opinion of who is the criminal here, and it is not Gabrielle Giffords. I write this proudly in support of my Congresswoman, and with tolerance that some members of my faith choose to use their freedom to write foolish and false opinions. Barry Kirschner– attorney at law

    Monday, October 18, 2010 at 8:14 pm | Permalink
  5. Pamela wrote:

    I cringe every time his hit pieces are played on the JOLT because they are always riddled with lies and innuendos. I hope the JOLT charges him big bucks for airing those.

    Tuesday, October 19, 2010 at 1:27 pm | Permalink