The real election issues
“Post-Election analysis: It’s not Israel, it’s the economy” (Nov. 11) trumpets an unfounded conclusion by willfully discounting the significant impact of the Israel issue on local midterm elections. The article fails to report unprecedented losses and paltry victory margins suffered by 12th district Rep. Rush Holt in heavily Jewish and traditionally Democratic strongholds that could not have taken place without massive Jewish defections to the GOP. Whereas Holt has typically won reelection in these towns by 30 percent or more, he actually lost East Brunswick, Manalapan, Marlboro, and Holmdel, and only won the Jewish retirement Mecca of Monroe by a mere 3 percent. The sheer magnitude of this change could only have resulted from the Jewish community being galvanized into crossing party lines by Holt’s controversial statements and actions regarding Israel.
Accompanying the same article was a photograph whose caption erroneously quoted Republican congressional candidate Scott Sipprelle as having accused Rush Holt of being “anti-Israel.” In criticizing Holt’s signing of the Gaza 54 Letter and his close association with J Street as unhelpful to Israel, the Sipprelle campaign reflected the (still) widely held belief that Holt’s and J Street’s philosophy regarding the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is dangerously naive and counter-productive, but never accused the congressman of prejudice or malice against the Jewish state. NJJN owes Mr. Sipprelle a correction and an apology.
(The writer and his wife were Scott Sipprelle’s Jewish Coalition coordinators.)