by Matt Goldberg, Director
Jewish Community Relations Council
As a Jewish Community Relations Council, several of our members and I are often asked which of the two presidential candidates is best for Israel … and this is a very difficult question to answer.
First of all, we do not take sides in elections. We only advocate for issues, not political parties or candidates for office.
Second, we are all well aware that things said in the heat of campaign might sound good, but might not turn out to be concrete policy once elected. In these particularly heated political times, it is difficult to separate rhetoric from policy. However, as far as the “Israel issue” goes, we should have a high degree of confidence that whatever the makeup is of our government, Israel’s very real security concerns will be properly addressed.
Additionally, I am often asked if Israel will bomb Iran or, conversely, will the United States bomb Iran. We must keep in mind again that both Israel and the United States are committed to a nuclear free Iran. But we must also keep in mind that they are on different schedules.
First of all, Israel is naturally more anxious about this. Iran continues to call for the eradication of Israel (and recently specifically called for it by military means). Iran has bombs that can reach Israel (but not the United States), and, due to Israel’s small size, only one bomb is needed to effectively destroy her.
Second, there is a big difference in military capabilities. Israel, should she decide on military action, will have one shot at it. She will coordinate a massive aerial campaign and attempt to bomb several suspected nuclear sites simultaneously. Flying to Iran will stretch the geographical limits of the bombers.
Most experts say that Israel will only be able to do enough damage to delay the nuclear program, not cripple it, and that there will come a point at which Iran’s nuclear program will be so far underground (literally and figuratively) that an Israeli attack like this will do very little damage to it.
The United States, however, can launch a campaign that could last several weeks, involving aircraft carriers, stealth bombers, and unlimited bombing runs, and could thoroughly destroy the nuclear program, even one that is well hidden and fortified.
The U.S. and Israel have very good intelligence cooperation, and a disagreement over a timeline (which has been reported in the news recently) should not be viewed as a fundamental disagreement on the ultimate goal: to deny Iran the means to act on their stated aim of destroying Israel.
These are challenging times, both domestically and in Israel. But we should take heart that no matter whatever the outcome of any election, Israel’s security is both a strategic and a moral goal for the United States, and our leadership will act according to these tenets.
In Other News
Our participation at this year’s Hunger Walk was a huge success. On the “Jewish Louisville” team alone, we had 31 participants and raised approximately $2,125. Other members of our community also participated (including the High School of Jewish Studies), so I would estimate we had close to 60 members of our community attend the Hunger Walk, something we can be very proud of.
The total tallies for the day are still being tabulated, but The Hunger Walk raised a lot of money for an important cause. One out of six people (and one out of four children) in the seven counties is food insecure, and the money raised goes to Dare to Care Food Bank.