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January 17, 2003 - Image 19

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Detroit Jewish News, 2003-01-17

Disclaimer: Computer generated plain text may have errors. Read more about this.

`Run, Joey, Run!'

Local Jews welcome
Lieberman bid.

RONELLE GRIER

Special to the Jewish News

do not sit well with many American Jews, especially
liberal Democrats. And there is some concern that
people throughout the country will equate
Lieberman's position statements with that of the
Jewish community at large.
In fact, on Monday, as Lieberman spoke briefly
about preserving the U.S.-Israeli relationship, two
dozen protesters, calling themselves "Jews Against
the Occupation," chanted that they will not back
Lieberman. "We're here to say that Joe Lieberman
does not represent us as Jews," said Lorne Lieb, who
traveled from New York City to hold signs outside
Stamford High School.
"We wanted to show that there is dissension with-
in the Jewish community and not all Jews support
Joe Lieberman for president."
'Lieberman was also criticized by more hawkish
American Jews after his recent visit to the Middle East,

Lieberman Facts

BORN: Feb. 24, 1942
BIRTHPLACE: Stamford, Conn.
HOME: New Haven, Conn., and Washington,
D.C.
PARENTS: Marcia, Henry (deceased)
WIFE: Hadassah
CHILDREN: Matthew, Rebecca, Ethan and Hana
GRANDCHILDREN: Tennessee and Willie
SIBLINGS: Rietta and Ellen
EDUCATION: Yale University (1964); Yale University
School of Law (1967)
POLITICAL CAREER: Connecticut state senator,
1971-1980, including a stint as majority leader,
1975-1980; Connecticut attorney general,
1983-1988; defeated incumbent Republican
Lowell Weicker in 1988 to join the U.S. Senate,
where he continues to serve. In 2000, he was

named Democratic nominee for vice president,
running with then-Vice President Al Gore.
SENATE COMMITTEES: Chairman of the
Governmental Affairs Committee during the last
Congress; member of Armed Services Committee
and Environment and Public Works Committee.
Chairman of the Democratic Leadership Council,

1995-2000.

• Author of six books, including In Praise of
Public Life, published in 2000, and An Amazing
Adventure, a memoir written with his wife of life
on the 2000 campaign trail.
• Lieberman won the Funniest Celebrity in
Washington contest in 1999.

where he expressed sympathy
for the Palestinians and sup-
port for an Arab-led plan for
peace.

Pro And Con

Above, left to right:

Sen. Joseph
Lieberman
in a childhood
photo.

Marcia and

Henry Lieberman
On the domestic front,
Lieberman's positions in favor with their children
Rietta, Ellen
of faith-based initiatives and
school vouchers have angered and Joe.
many in the Jewish commu-
Marcia Lieberman
nity who worry that such
with her son,
programs blur the line
presidential
between church and state.
candidate Sen.
In his remarks Monday,
Joseph Lieberman.
Lieberman qualified his sup-
port for vouchers, saying he
would only support them for a limited period of
time, and only for people below the poverty line. He
also said voucher funds could not come out of pub-
lic schools' budgets.
Jewish analysts say they are not concerned that
Lieberman will be seen as the voice of the American
Jewish community. They also note that Jews have
been elected to office in the Midwest and other
parts of the country without a strong Jewish popula-
tion.
'Americans are sophisticated enough to know that
the Jewish community is both hydra-headed and
pluralistic," said David Harris, executive director of
the American Jewish Committee. "There are any
number of Jewish voices speaking in America, and
Joe Lieberman will not be seen as the only Jewish
voice."
In the Jewish world, there is also some anxiety
that Lieberman's actions, if he does not succeed or
makes a major gaffe, could reflect poorly on the
community. "There is an anxiousness of how it will
impact the Jewish community if he does well and if
he doesn't do well," ADL's Foxman said.
At the same time, some analysts suggest that
Lieberman will try to separate himself from the
American Jewish community so as not to be seen as
a Jewish pawn or as someone controlled by the pro-
Israel lobby.
While the media is expected to focus somewhat
on his religion, the issue is not expected to be as
profound as in 2000.
"This is not breaking a barrier in the same way as a
barrier was broken in 2000," said Larry Sabato,
director of the University of Virginia's Center for
Politics. ❑

EIE

istory was made this week when Sen.
Joseph Lieberman became one of the first
Jews to run for president of the United
States on a major party ticket. The overall reaction of
Jews throughout metro Detroit was one of pride and
excitement.
"What welcome news — I applaud
the fact that a Jew has a shot at becom-
ing president," said Ann Zousmer, pres-
ident of the Jewish Community
Council of Metropolitan Detroit. "At a
time when Jews feel under attack by
anti-Semitism worldwide, what a won-
derful statement this is for our country."
Lieberman, an Orthodox Jew, was
Ann
presidential candidate Al Gore's running Zousmer
mate in 2000. "People were concerned
that Joe's Judaism would hurt the
Democrats during that campaign, and it was the
other way around," said Lawrence Jackier, Jewish
Federation of Metropolitan Detroit president. He
graduated Yale Law School with Lieberman in 1967.
"It will either be a non-factor or a positive factor
this time," said Jackier. "I've known
him for a long time and he's a solid,
solid citizen. Hell make a good presi-
dent. I think this is a great statement
from the most democratic country in
the world."
"Joe Lieberman running for president
is a beautiful thing for the Jewish com-
munity – for Jews everywhere," said
Lawrence
Rabbi Ka..sriel Shemtov of the Shut-
Jackier
Chabad Lubavitch in West Bloomfield.
"To see a person who is so proud of his
religion, who is publicly a committed and practicing
Jew, make it to a higher office, brings encourage-
ment of a revival of Jewish spirituality in the United
States and makes him a symbol and an influence on
our young people."
Jerry Kunin of West Bloomfield agreed. "The
American people and the Jewish people need a
strong voice and leadership in these difficult times,"
he said. "I'm extremely pleased that Joe Lieberman
is willing to assume that role."
There was some trepidation that Lieberman's reli-
gion would have a negative impact on his ability to
win the nomination and may also adversely affect
the already volatile situation in the Middle East.
"I believe that Joe would be pro-Israel, like most
of Congress," said Eric Adelman, government
affairs director of the JCCouncil, "but I don't think
it would dominate his agenda. I hope that the
American voters will look at the issues and not just
at the fact that he's Jewish."
REACTION on page 20

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1/17
2003

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