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Jewish World Review July 19, 2000 / 16 Tamuz, 5760

David Limbaugh

David Limbaugh
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Consumer Reports

Is Hillary 'Good for the Jews'? -- IN A NEW BOOK, Hillary Clinton has been accused of calling Paul Fray, boyfriend Bill's 1974 congressional campaign coordinator, a "f---ing Jew bastard." I'll tell you the main reason I'm inclined to believe she did it.

It's not because she:

  • has a vicious streak in her;

  • has a notoriously bad temper;

  • warmly embraced Yasser Arafat's wife last November;

  • was extremely late in rebuking Mrs. Arafat for asserting that Israel used poison gas against Palestinian women and children;

  • had long been on record in support of the establishment of a Palestinian state before her New York Senate campaign made her view politically suicidal.

It's not because:

  • Dick Morris made a similar charge concerning a comment Hillary made to him when they were discussing his consulting fees: "That's all you people care about is money."

  • Hillary reportedly was exposed to anti-Semitic language when growing up;

  • Bill and Hillary are pulling all the stops out on this one -- unloading their signature politics of personal destruction against her accusers, which is always their MO when they've been caught red-handed;

  • Bill is smearing the book's author, Jerry Oppenheimer, as a former National Enquirer reporter -- when that fact is obviously irrelevant, considering that Oppenheimer cites three eyewitnesses;

  • Hillary's accusers have absolutely no motive to fabricate a yarn, and in fact, have exposed themselves to the most vindictive defamation machine known to man by doing so;

  • the most disinterested of those accusers, Neil McDonald, has always been a Clinton supporter;

  • Hillary conveniently saved an apology letter from Fray, written in 1997, that she is now using to discredit him;

  • Hillary is telling the patently unbelievable story that she doesn't even remember the altercation with Fray, when even husband Bill admits remembering the fight.

Though all of these factors are probative, there is another, albeit more subtle, reason that makes the charge believable to me. Did you know that Fray, the target of Hillary's alleged slur, is not Jewish? Why would Hillary hurl an anti-Semitic epithet against a gentile? It makes no sense. Au contraire. You must understand that Fray's paternal grandmother was Jewish, and Bill and Hillary knew of his heritage.

Think about it. Why in the world would a person not Jewish concoct a bizarre story that someone called him a "f---ing Jew bastard"? Is it likely that people would believe that? The fact that Fray is alleging such an improbable event is what makes it believable. It's also what makes it quite disturbing. If Hillary truly did say it, knowing that Fray was only fractionally Jewish, does that not reveal a deep-seated antipathy toward Jewish people? Only the most prejudiced of people would obsess on whether someone came from a partially ethnic background.

What is disillusioning is the reaction of certain liberals to the charge. Congressman Nita Lowey defended Hillary "because there's no way Hillary could make a statement like that." This is another unfortunate example of a liberal assessing a politician's moral worth based not on her personal deportment, but on her policy pronouncements. This is not just another garden-variety scandal allegation. Proof of anti-Semitism could be particularly devastating to her campaign, as well it should be.

One thing is clear. The Clintons' handling of this episode serves as a stark reminder of how they have utterly demeaned the office of president. While in the middle of his Camp David Middle East summit, President Clinton personally called the New York Daily News to set the record straight on Hillary. In the process, he "went out of his way to try to discredit Oppenheimer, Paul Fray and the most disinterested of the witnesses, McDonald." Clinton said that McDonald was a business failure who had to move to Dallas to work for his brother because "no one else would hire him." I ask you, what other president would exhibit this classless behavior? Can you even picture George Bush or Ronald Reagan making such a call? I don't think so.

Hopefully, New York voters will consider all of this when they go to the polls in November to decide whether to elect the Clintons as their new co-senators.

PLEASE do something about Jeff's Jacoby's plight!

Speak out. Call your local newspaper and ask for an editorial supporting Jeff. Contact talk-radio stations and, particularly, the New York Times Co. at (212) 556-1981. Urge that The Globe be made to rescind Jeff's suspension. To send a letter to the editor about the ombudsman's shocking column, send a fax to 617-929-2098 or click here to send your letter via e-mail. Remember to keep your communications CIVIL -- they have more impact that way.

JWR contributor David Limbaugh is an attorney practicing in Cape Girardeau, Missouri, and a political analyst and commentator. Send your comments to him by clicking here.



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12/27/99: Al Gore: Bullish on government
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08/16/99: 'W' stands for 'winner'
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08/09/99: Hillary: Threading the needle
08/04/99: What would you do?
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06/10/99: Victory in Kosovo? Now What?