I am the wife in a “mixed marriage” (American-Israeli), and the politics of both countries have always been a topic of conversation. This year is no exception. While my husband and I both agree that John McCain is an honorable man and supportive of Israel, the thought that Sarah Palin is but a “heartbeat” away from the presidency fills us with dread. Not only her positions on abortion, stem cell research, sex education, capital punishment – all the evangelical embroidery on the present Republican mantle – her ignorance of foreign affairs in general and the Middle East in particular is the most terrifying. Not only can she not “see Jerusalem” from her window, she has exhibited no concern for the problems of this region and in all probability doesn’t know the difference between Hamas, hummus, and hu-moose! At her public appearances her insinuations about Obama’s patriotism have incited violent responses from the crowd, and violence is something that the Palestinian-Israeli situation has had quite enough of. Our many friends and family in Israel have strenuously supported the idea of a Democratic presidency in 2008, knowing full well that the U.S. Congress will always support the Jewish state, its most fervent ally in that part of the world. While good looks might be an important qualification for a beauty contest, it’s hardly a necessary asset for the White House.
Having endured eight years of an administration that seemed infected with religious ideology, it is certainly time to remember the constitutional demands for a wall between church and state. This election is not a “blinking” matter, and I for one would be delighted with an elite, intelligent, thoughtful, and scholarly President Barack Obama.