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Bachmann the Kibbutznik

The rising GOP candidate has a history with Israel

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Rep. Michele Bachmann on Monday.(Steve Pope/Getty Images)

Well, if an increasing proportion of Jews really are going to vote for the Republican candidate in 2012—and there is heated discussion over whether that’s the case—then we should consider who that person is likely to be. In the past weeks, Rep. Michele Bachmann, of Minnesota, a relative newcomer to the national scene, has enjoyed momentum. She is a darling of the Tea Party, and some conservatives have already cast her as Palin-with-substance, which seems to be fair. And Jewish voters will be interested to know she is a member of Christians United For Israel—a group that columnist Lee Smith has profiled—and actually found herself, after high school in the mid-‘70s, on a kibbutz! Reports Matthew Continetti,

She wanted to see the land for herself. What she found wasn’t a high-end vacation destination. She remembers the hurly burly of Ben Gurion airport, 1974: heat, soldiers with guns, customs officers at card tables on the tarmac. Chickens were everywhere. “It was pretty grubby,” she said.

The youth housing on the kibbutz was called the ghetto. Lizards climbed the walls. She would wake up at 4 a.m. and get on a flatbed truck that was pulled by an old diesel tractor. Occasionally Michele operated the rig: “It was my first time driving a clutch.” They would drive out to cotton fields to pull weeds. Armed soldiers escorted them wherever they went.

Bachmann has been accused—most deliciously by Christopher Hitchens (“All politics is yokel?”)—of the sort of foreign policy isolationism in vogue with the Tea Party. (In the New York Times today, David Greenberg traces isolationism’s remarkable hardiness in the Republican Party over the past century; it ususually finds its base, he notes, in the Midwest.) While in cases like that of Rep. Ron and his son Sen. Rand Paul, this has led Jewish Republicans (including the Republican Jewish Coalition) to back away due to concerns over the commitment to Israel, in Bachmann’s case her specific bona fides when it comes to the Jewish state should be more than enough to compensate for a foreign policy that generally would like to see the United States play a less active global role. Her biggest applause line at an event in South Carolina last night, reports The New Yorker‘s Ryan Lizza? “I stand with Israel.”

The Bachmann Surge [Ben Smith]
Queen of the Tea Party [The Weekly Standard]
Has Bachmann Met Her Waterloo? [Slate]
Related: Obama May Be Losing Faith of Jewish Democrats [Politico]
Friends In Deed [Tablet Magazine]
G.O.P. Vs. World [NYT]
Earlier: In Search of a Better Palin

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fred lapides says:

What does I Stand with Israel Mean? No two state solution? Settlements wherever and whenever? More money sent to Israel? Boycott all things Arab?
Take over the West Bank and Gaza?
Cliches not sufficient coming from political figures.
If she also tells us that God wants her to be president (or at least to run), what other messages about Israel has she from God?

Bennett Muraskin says:

Right wing nut jobs love Israel these days. Years ago, it was the humanist left. That tells you something, doesn’t it?

I just love how this Tea Party ninny keeps bragging about the time she spent on a SOCIALIST kibbutz named for the founder of LABOR Zionism.

Paul Brandon says:

Remember, the reason that that evangelicals like Bachmann support Israel is that their theology says that the existence of a state of Israel is a necessary condition for the coming of the Messiah, who will then lead the true believers to heaven (the Rapture) and consign the Jews to hell.
In other words, we’re cannon fodder for them.
With friends like this ….

Rabbi Tony Jutner says:

Bachmanns attempts to win over Jews to ziofascism is futile, especially since 80% of all US Jews are adhrerent of NewJudaism, which has replaced traditional Judaism with our 3 tenets of Economic Justice, Social Justice, and Right of Return of Endogenous Inhibitants, especially the Palestinians. American Jews need to avoid the isral distraction, unite and vote a second term for Obama, when he can toss the “special” relationship with israel and establish a real relationship with Iran, which has never harmed anyone

Well well, Is this the audience attracted to the Tablet? People who hate Israel and hate Israel’s supporters because they are Christian Evangelists? It is interesting that your writer left out the most favorable Bachmann quote in the Continetti story. And then the comment above by a Rabbi who calls support of Israel Ziofascism. I suppose I shouldn’t be so shocked. When Hitler took control of Germany and began the government’s campaign against the German Jews, 30,000 left. When he briefly seemed to mask his anti-semitic program 10,000 returned. I guess the same gullible ratio remains among our people.Thankfully Christian supporters of Israel outnumber Jewish supporters by far. Whatever their reasons, they are Israel’s friends.

Daniel Klein says:

Warren the guy calling himself Tony Jutner is, if we were going to put it in a nice way, kodding

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Bachmann the Kibbutznik

The rising GOP candidate has a history with Israel

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