Take The Hint

Friday, October 15, 2010 - 02:28 PM

Karol Markowicz

Dick Morris likes to say that if you're a candidate running for office and you're pro-choice, but don't want to make abortion an issue in your election, just say you're pro-environment. People will make the connection on their own. In other words, there are issues in politics which are predictors of other issues.

For me, that issue was always guns. I'm a life-long New Yorker, so I have no hope of ever owning a gun. In fact, I’ve never even shot one, yet I consider gun rights to be in my top 5 issues. I'm pro-gun and a staunch defender of the Second Amendment, because I believe in the concept that more (legal) guns equals less crime.

But I use it as a litmus test too. If I want to know whether someone is a real conservative, whether they'll stand up for issues I care about like lower taxes and a strong foreign policy, I always start with guns. Not everyone who is pro-gun will be a conservative -- I learned this while living in Georgia -- but every conservative will be pro-gun.

Similarly, support for Israel becomes an issue that I don't just care about for its own sake, but as a predictor of other issues. This one is much more personal, of course, as I am a Jew who cares about the Jewish state. Still, if I want to know whether a candidate is serious about defense of America, whether they care about American values and American success, I will look to their attitude on Israel. I've never met an anti-Capitalist or an American-apologist who also loves Israel and wants to see it survive. Israel-hatred, or even indifference, always goes hand-in-hand with Socialism and a culture of cowering and surrender.

Nathan Guttman in The Jewish Daily Forward asks whether Israel will be a "big" issue in the upcoming Congressional races. Guttman concludes that people differentiate between a presidential race, which would set the tone of either party on Israel, and the more domestic work of Congress.

Still, one doesn't have to see support for Israel as some sort of barometer for other issues to understand that this support is important. Guttman points out that Republicans support Israel more than Democrats do, but Democrats aren't at all afraid of losing the knee-jerk Jewish vote.

“The issue of Israel never comes up in campaign strategy meetings or in focus groups,” Democratic pollster Jim Gerstein added. Jewish voters who see Israel as a deciding issue are, according to Gerstein, a small minority that in any case leans toward the Republican side.

“Every two years, Republicans say this is the year in which Israel will be an election issue, and it is never so,” Democratic political consultant Matt Dorf stated."

The glee of Democrats that they don't have to support Israel to win is obvious: "But national polling data, to which Democrats happily point, prove that Israel is not a deciding factor for most Jewish voters."

Democrats don't have to support the Jewish state, and can openly say so, to maintain Jewish support. Perhaps these Jews see support of Israel the way I do, as a symbol for support of many other things, but not to vote your own interests because of this is lunacy.  If Israel is to exist, it needs American support. When one party checks out of that support, as the Democratic leadership flippantly has done, it must be Jewish voters who send the message that this will not stand. I hope Jews prove the Democrats wrong in their smugness that the Jewish vote won't leave them because of their abandonment of Israel. Now is the time.

Born in the Soviet Union and raised in Brooklyn, Karol Markowicz is a public relations consultant in NYC and a veteran of Republican campaigns in four states. She blogs about politics at and about life in the city with her husband and baby at http://www.212baby.comShe can be followed on twitter:


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Comments [19]

Dave from Boston, MA

Great article
wow a second amendment supporter that never shot a gun?
Thats not should definately get your license.
New York is strict but if you have a clean criminal record you should have no problems getting your license.
There are racists and facists in America, we jews must be prepared to defend ourselves.

Jan. 25 2012 12:50 AM
AP from USA

To Mathew Neville from UK

You are appallingly ignorant of the true history of Israel. King David was king of what people? How about King Solomon? The terrorist Arafat invented the term Palestinians to apply only to arabs. The word Palestina was given by the brutal Roman conquerors who brutalized the Hebrew people two thousand years ago and renamed the place TO ERRADICATE Jewish presence in Israel. There were no arabs in Israel before the 7th century (read Joan Peters' From Time Immemorial.) If anything, modern Israel was built on the foundations of ancient Israel, you cretino. The League of Nations resolution included Trans-Jordan in the British Mandate, latter given exclusively to the arabs - forming modern Jordan. Are you just ignorant or just an ordinary jew-hating antisemite?

Oct. 17 2010 08:24 PM
Mathew Neville from UK

"The short sighted step of creating Israel on the ruins of Palestine and its innocent people has resulted in the creation of such terrorist groups who are ready to sacrifice their own bodies in a holy war against Israel and the countries that support its apartheid regime.

Once we stop our unlimited support to the Israeli military ,once all Palestinian refugees return home to their stolen land under UN resolution 194 which Israel arrogantly refuses to implement, once a secular state is established on all the land of Historical Palestine for Jews, Muslims and Christians with equal rights and responsibilities and without any kind of discrimination, most all the "terror" in the world will disappear .

The need of the Israeli right for perpetual war is what guides neocons , Zionists & the Israel-firsters that seemingly run American foreign policy in fostering perpetual war on Americans."

Oct. 17 2010 05:48 PM
Dan from NYC

You make the (false) assumption that Democrats have 'abandoned' Israel.

You also make the assumption that any action not in step with Likud party politics is somehow contrary to Israeli interests. If Israel is to remain strong, it's going to take frankness from her allies, like the USA.

Oct. 17 2010 12:38 PM
Betsy G from Maine

Awesome post. The main point is about the Jewish vote, but to the gun issue, I would like all you non-gun owners to think about this. If you are pro-gun, it is not just your right to own arms, but your duty to do so. Any right that is not exercised will be lost. I realize depending on where you live may make this difficult, but get involved, fight for your right and BUY GUNS AND AMMO! Do you realize that there has been attempts in congress by liberals to stop AMMO production? This would render our guns useless. We must be ever vigilant and also exercise our rights frequently.

Oct. 17 2010 09:38 AM
Yehudit from NYC

I took an NRA beginner course at a range in NJ - the instructor was a rabbi who runs an Orthodox Jewish gun club in Teaneck - and among many other things we learned that it is all but impossible to get a permit license in NYC. But you can shoot pistols in NJ which I don't think you can do at West Side Range.

As for whether the Israel-US alliance depends on American Jews, Instapundit linked to this today:
It's an interesting complement to your article.

Oct. 17 2010 03:05 AM
William R. Barker from USA

What percentage of the Jewish population of Germany 1933 thru 1939 attempted to flee?

If memory serves, it wasn't a high percentage.

Did lack of resources impact the decision of many to "stick it out?" Sure. No doubt. Unless one is fairly wealthy - wealthy enough to have enough resources "staged" overseas so as to ensure the continuation of an upper class lifestyle "wherever" - the thought of leaving one's home and the life one has know is terrifying to most.

But did a false belief that "this too will pass" have an even more profound effect upon the great majority of German Jews of the Nazi era? From what I know of history the answer is unavoidably "yes."

If your average German Jew of say 1935 couldn't bring himself to bail out of Hitler's Germany... well... what are the odds that in 2010 the average American Jew is going to bail out of Obama, Pelosi, and Reid's Democratic Party?

Harriman, NY

Oct. 16 2010 11:59 PM
John Bates Thayer from Central Florida

Why Did it Have to be ... Guns?
by L. Neil Smith

Oct. 16 2010 11:48 PM
Russ from oregon

You wrote a wonderful article; the vast majority of points you made I am in complete agreement with. However, with all due respect (doncha hate that phrase), you're mistaken I believe about one thing. You stated that, "If Israel is to exist, it needs American support". Whereas I fervently desire that America supports Israel, it is decidely not required for Israel to exist. God Himself provides 'existence' for Israel, certainly not America, or any other nation, for that matter. The principal reasons America needs to support Israel are: 1) it's the right thing to do and 2) God says He will curse those who curse Israel and will bless those who bless Israel. Kind of a no-brainer, I'd say.

Oct. 16 2010 10:53 PM
Christopher Brooks from Lancaster, PA (born in Brooklyn)


Nice piece. The support of Jews for Democrats in the light of Obama's horrendous position re Israel mystifies me (I'm Jewish and extremely pro Israel).
You really ought to shoot a gun. It's a great experience: easy to to poorly; difficult to do well.

Oct. 16 2010 10:46 PM
Jim in Lehi from Utah

I understand perfectly the idea of being 'pro-gun' but never having fired one. I've always been staunchly pro-gun. But I grew-up in a house sans guns (my parents were pro-gun as well), and didn't really know where to start.

After some post-9/11 realizations about the tenuous nature of civilized society, I thought I'd better figure the whole gun thing out.

I'm still very pro-gun, but now have a variety of guns in my home - all securely locked away, but ready if I should need one.

Oct. 16 2010 09:11 PM
Ian from USA

Actually this entire premise is wrong.
In the Pennsylvannia senate race Toomey, who is pro-Israel, is crushing Sestak who is not. Support for Israel HAS been a big issue in that race, along with many other issues of course.
Poll after poll DO suggest that on balance it IS better for a candidate to support Israel rather than not.
Now that Obama seems to have gone from 78% Jewish support to around 51% lets see how THAT plays out...

Oct. 16 2010 08:44 PM
Diamondback from Colorado

BEAR with us Karol. Your day to own a non overly expensive gun and bear it for self-defense in NY is coming! The Heller and McDonald decisions are just starting to wreak havoc on long standing UNCONSTITUTIONAL gun-control laws around the country.

Your day is coming!

CONSTITUTIONAL CARRY is coming to the whole U.S. and its territories and possessions. The debate is no longer about open vs concealed either! It's simply about CONSTITUTIONAL CARRY (the right acknowledged and protected [not granted] by the 2nd Amendment to the BoRs to keep and BEAR arms for self-defense in case of spontaneous confrontation with a dangerous entity or entities.

Oct. 16 2010 08:33 PM
Jacobite from KS

Well, I'd expect those Jews who cared deeply about their homeland would have gone there long ago.

Oct. 16 2010 06:30 PM
Tom from NJ


Nice piece -- mazel tov! May I suggest yet another way in which support for Israel is an indicator of other important things. It's a variation on the old canary-in-the-coal-mine metaphor in which the Islamic world's hostility towards Israel (Little Satan) is an accurate barometer of its hostility towards the USA (Big Satan). All Americans, including non-Jews like myself, need to support Israel as a critical way of verifying Arab claims to want peace. Those actors -- even the much-ballyhooed Palestinian Authority -- who refuse to accept Israel's existence as a Jewish state cannot be taken seriously as negotiating partners in any "peace process." Such duplicitous double-talk is also a good indicator of the real Islamic attitude towards the Big Satan as well. When Muslim actors are no longer interested in eliminating the Israeli canary, only then can Americans take their alleged peaceful intentions towards the US seriously.

Oct. 16 2010 05:03 PM
Walter Conlon from Muscatine, Iowa

Karol, the question you raise reminds me of a story from the Civil War. On the second day of Shiloh, after Grant turned the tables on the Rebels, a subordinate approached Beauregard, who had assumed command on the death of his boss, asking whether the Confederate lines might be like a sugar cube in a cup of hot tea, outwardly intact, but in a condition where a sharp tap to the cup would dissolve it. The surprising thing to me is how long the cube stayed intact, given the quantity of hot water and taps the left has been administering to it over the years.

Oct. 16 2010 02:00 PM
Karol from NYC

Thanks, Willy, I always meant to go to the Westside Range but never have. It's become my thing that I consider gun rights so important yet have never shot a gun. But I will someday.

And thanks, Terry. I wish the Palestinians well, and hope they succeed in having a functioning culture someday, but they're consistently duped into believing their problems are solely because of Israel when, more often than not, they're because of their Arab brethren.

Oct. 16 2010 11:41 AM
Terry from Maine

Good piece. If I have to choose between Israel and the Palestinians I choose Israel every time.

Why? - I remember pictures of Palestinian children shooting off weapons with live ammunition in them to celebrate 9/11.

I go to, search the archives and find examples of a typical day on Hamas radio for children. (try it)

I read a copy of the charter of Hamas - they will settle for nothing less than the eradication of the state of Israel.

Guns - I live in Maine, I have a .30-.30 in the closet and I bought it privately and openly.

(I can also pee outside without getting in trouble but that's because I am a hick!)

Oct. 16 2010 10:09 AM
Willy from Brooklyn, NY

It’s actually not difficult to get a gun in NYC. It’s tedious and expensive…but not difficult. As long as you’re not a criminal, you’ll get the license. If it’s something you’re really interested, Westside pistol range can help.

Oct. 16 2010 04:40 AM

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