Monday, October 25, 2004

Dems out to clinch the Jewish vote



By Maggie Downs
Enquirer staff writer

BLUE ASH - When he married a Jewish woman 21 years ago, Cam Kerry converted to Judaism - for his children, he said.

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Election 2004 section

"Twenty-one years later, this is about the children again," Kerry said to a rapt crowd that organizers put at more than 750 at the National Jewish Democratic Unity Rally here Sunday.

Kerry said his big brother, John, is just the person to make wise decisions about the environment, women's reproductive health, stem-cell research, fighting terrorism, nominating moderate Supreme Court judges and more.

"Those are the stakes in this election," said the sibling of the Democratic presidential candidate. "We have nine days until the most important election of our lifetime - and not just because my brother is running."

The event, hosted by Cincinnati attorney Stanley Chesley, included speakers Jay Footlik, senior adviser for Middle Eastern and Jewish affairs for the Kerry campaign; and Sen. Charles Schumer, D-N.Y.

Harvard Law Professor Alan Dershowitz brought the crowd to its feet with an enthusiastic, pro-Kerry speech.

"Can any of you think of a time where Jews have thrived under a fundamentalist regime?" he said. "We cannot endure a change of this country into the change George Bush and his administration wants for this country."

According to the American Israel Public Affairs Committee, Kerry has a 100 percent pro-Israel voting record. He supports Israel's right to build a security fence to protect West Bank and Gaza Strip borders. He also supports moving the American Embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.

Every voter should be interested in our relationship with Israel, a place of heated religious and territorial disputes, Dershowitz said.

"Israel is a bastion in the Middle East, a bastion in the fight against terrorism," he said. "A strong Israel is the key to a strong America."

The crowd, many wearing stickers that said "Kerry/Edwards" phonetically in Hebrew, clapped wildly.

E-mail mdowns@enquirer.com




ELECTION 2004
Blackwell revels in the hot seat
Edwards preaches to faithful
Levy vote puts in question Drake's long-term prognosis
Lawmakers get in position for leadership
Dems out to clinch the Jewish vote
Record high of 9 women hold governor's offices
Senate campaign heats up
Jefferson Co. Republicans won't use poll challengers
Butler County tax levies face a host of unknowns
N.Ky. a stronghold for Bush, poll says
Bush, Kerry hammer home themes
Ohio Supreme Court opponents disagree on revealing views
Math professor challenging county treasurer
Franklin voters consider merger
Election 2004 section

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