Election Day is right around the corner and all the focus is on the Presidential race. But there are other races going on too. In the district that I am from originally and where my parents still live, the congressional race is slightly heating up. First, there was the big primary battle between two incumbent Democratic congressmen and how the main race brings the issue of Synagogue and State to the forefront.
The Republican challenger is Rabbi Shmuley Boteach. Aside from being the late Michael Jackson’s spiritual advisor, Boteach also teamed up with Rabbi David Wolpe to debate Sam Harris and the late great Christopher Hitchens.
According to NJ.com Congressman Bill Pascrell “leads polls by a wide margin,” although I have not been able to actually find those polls. Still, Boteach has gotten the support of former Newt Gingrich supporter and billionaire Sheldon Adelson. He has also gotten an endorsement unsurprisingly from JewishPress.com. In the heavily Jewish district that might mean something, but it probably won’t because it is also a heavily liberal district and Pascrell has a great record.
Pascrell’s record is so good that all Boteach can hit him with is that he is friends with a guy who allegedly said something hateful toward a Jewish person once. In one of the debates, they argued over who supports Israel more and it turned out to be a draw.
While Israel is a very important ally to the United State, I don’t see why it should be such a huge issue in politics when both sides pretty much hold the same position. This is just an example of religious pandering. Religious Jews often dogmatically support anything Israel does even when they do the obviously wrong thing.
Pascrell signed a petition to encourage Israel to stop blocking food and medicine from the Palestinian inhabited Gaza Strip. This seems like a sensible thing and yet this is one of Boteach’s attacks on Pascrell. Fortunately, I suspect that New Jersey’s 9th district has probably figured that out. I think after Hurricane Sandy, more New Jersey voters are more likely to support the candidate who supports FEMA. My parents still don’t have power.