Mitz-Vote

He's Baa-aack!

By Nathan Guttman

  • Print
  • Share Share

Connecticut Independent Senator Joe Lieberman has felt his share of Jewish rage in the past years. Many Jewish Democrats never forgave him for running independently after loosing the Democratic primary in 2006, and Jewish liberals forcefully disagreed with his support for the Iraq war.

Things took a turn for the worse when Lieberman was a deciding voice on allowing healthcare reform to move forward in the Senate and insisted not to let it pass as long as the plan included a public option. This approach led rabbis and members of the Connecticut Jewish community to protest outside Lieberman’s home and to write a letter denouncing his refusal to allow healthcare reform to move forward. Jewish groups expressed their dismay with Lieberman’s insistence, which at the time was seen as potentially derailing the entire reform.

Eventually, Democrats dropped the public option, Lieberman lifted his opposition and the bill passed Congress and was signed into law.

That particular healthcare debate is over, and now Joe Lieberman is emerging as a hero of liberal Jewish values, thanks to the leadership role he played in repealing “Don’t Ask Don’t Tell” (DADT).

It wasn’t only the decision of Lieberman, who is an Orthodox Jew, to attend a special meeting of the Senate on a Saturday. It was his forceful push for the repeal, which included public speaking, one-on-one meetings with Senators opposing the repeal, and the use of his hawkish defense credentials to make the point that doing away with DADT will not have a negative impact on the military’s ability to carry out its missions.

Jewish groups, as well as gay and lesbian organizations, praised Lieberman for his work. “We particularly thank Senator Joe Lieberman and Representative Patrick Murphy for their steadfast leadership and commitment to this legislation,” said the Jewish Council for Public Affairs in a statement issued Sunday.

Mark Pelavin, associate director of the Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism, said Lieberman was among the few who led the way in repealing Don’t Ask Don’t Tell. The group was at odds with the senator over healthcare, but Pelavin noted that it is not unusual to agree with lawmakers on certain issues and disagree on others. “We always said that he is an extremely effective lawmaker and that it is best to have him on your side,” he added.


Permalink | | Share | Email | Print | Filed under: Don't Ask Don't Tell, Joe Lieberman, Mark Pelavin

The Jewish Daily Forward welcomes reader comments in order to promote thoughtful discussion on issues of importance to the Jewish community. In the interest of maintaining a civil forum, The Jewish Daily Forwardrequires that all commenters be appropriately respectful toward our writers, other commenters and the subjects of the articles. Vigorous debate and reasoned critique are welcome; name-calling and personal invective are not. While we generally do not seek to edit or actively moderate comments, our spam filter prevents most links and certain key words from being posted and The Jewish Daily Forward reserves the right to remove comments for any reason.




Find us on Facebook!
  • What do you think of Wonder Woman's new look?
  • "She said that Ruven Barkan, a Conservative rabbi, came into her classroom, closed the door and turned out the lights. He asked the class of fourth graders to lie on the floor and relax their bodies. Then, he asked them to pray for abused children." Read Paul Berger's compelling story about a #Savannah community in turmoil:
  • “Everything around me turns orange, then a second of silence, then a bomb goes off!" First installment of Walid Abuzaid’s account of the war in #Gaza:
  • Is boredom un-Jewish?
  • Let's face it: there's really only one Katz's Delicatessen.
  • "Dear Diaspora Jews, I’m sorry to break it to you, but you can’t have it both ways. You can’t insist that every Jew is intrinsically part of the Israeli state and that Jews are also intrinsically separate from, and therefore not responsible for, the actions of the Israeli state." Do you agree?
  • Are Michelangelo's paintings anti-Semitic? Meet the Jews of the Sistine Chapel: http://jd.fo/i4UDl
  • What does the Israel-Hamas war look like through Haredi eyes?
  • Was Israel really shocked to find there are networks of tunnels under Gaza?
  • “Going to Berlin, I had a sense of something waiting there for me. I was searching for something and felt I could unlock it by walking the streets where my grandfather walked and where my father grew up.”
  • How can 3 contradictory theories of Yiddish co-exist? Share this with Yiddish lovers!
  • "We must answer truthfully: Has a drop of all this bloodshed really helped bring us to a better place?”
  • "There are two roads. We have repeatedly taken the one more traveled, and that has made all the difference." Dahlia Scheindlin looks at the roots of Israel's conflict with Gaza.
  • Shalom, Cooperstown! Cooperstown Jewish mayor Jeff Katz and Jeff Idelson, director of the National Baseball Hall of Fame, work together to oversee induction weekend.
  • A boost for morale, if not morals.
  • from-cache

Would you like to receive updates about new stories?




















We will not share your e-mail address or other personal information.

Already subscribed? Manage your subscription.