Reprinted from www.libertylobby.org, home of The SPOTLIGHT archive
'Fix' Was in for Ashcroft Confirmation
By Michael Collins Piper
There was more to the so-called "debate" over the nomination of John Ashcroft as attorney general than most people realize. Don't be fooled by the mainstream media's treatment of the story. The frenzy over Ashcroft was a charade -- political theater. The fix was in from the beginning.
The Ashcroft affair is best understood as a classic Washington sham, perpetrated by the media with the enthusiastic connivance of professional fundraisers of both the "right" and the "left" who generated lots of money in public relations campaigns either praising or denouncing Ashcroft.
The media-designated "leaders" of both "right" and "left" acted on cue and made the appropriate noises, purporting to speak for their grass-roots followers. In Congress, while Sen. Edward M. Kennedy (D-Mass.) rushed to the TV cameras to denounce Ashcroft, Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) -- who just happens to be Kennedy's best friend in the Senate -- rushed forward to praise Ashcroft.
However, there were some interesting forces at work behind the scenes, as only The SPOTLIGHT dared to point out in its Feb. 5 issue.
The fact is that while blacks, feminists, abortion advocates, homosexuals and others were cowering in fear (as directed by the media) at the prospect of John Ashcroft as attorney general, one particularly influential interest group -- the pro-Israel lobby -- had already given its "okay" to Ashcroft.
The first public sign was when it was widely reported that Abe Foxman, na tional director of the Anti-Defamation League (ADL), had announced that he expected Ashcroft to be a "just" man. Ash croft supporters loudly touted Fox man's effective endorsement.
Insiders who read The New Republic (TNR), a journal known as an influential (and quite strident) voice for the Israeli lobby, got the hint about Ashcroft's "acceptability" from a key source.
Ashcroft's own longtime policy director, Tevi Troy -- an Orthodox Jew who once publicly referred to non-Jews as "goyim" (a racist term) -- wrote an article (first published on Jan. 18 in a TNR issue dated Jan. 29) hyping Ashcroft saying he was "more than tolerant; he's downright philo-Semitic." Troy revealed:
Ashcroft was born to a gentile family in a predominantly Jewish Chicago neighborhood. His mother served as a Shabbos goy, turning ovens on and off as needed ... Ashcroft's father even took a mezuzah with the family when they moved from Chicago to Springfield, Missouri, where he kept it affixed to his doorpost until his death, in 1995. Ashcroft, I'd wager, knows more about Judaism than half the Jewish members of the Senate.
In the meantime, while Sen. Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) was paying lip service to "liberal" interests in opposing Ashcroft, Schumer (like other insiders) knew full well that Ashcroft had been his (Schu mer's) partner in introducing congressional measures in previous years de signed to advance the interests of Israel. Among other things, Ashcroft and Schu mer together:
For his vocal campaign against the Palestinians, the Institute for Public Affairs for the Union of Orthodox Jewish Congregations of America hailed Ashcroft as having "long been on record as a staunch supporter of the State of Israel and its safety and security."
The truth is that Ashcroft is a fanatic supporter of Israel, precisely because he is religiously-driven and believes in "Israel Above All -- Whether Right or Wrong."
In the end, when push came to shove, it was another stalwart "friend of Israel," liberal Sen. Russell Feingold (D-Wis.), who provided the only Democratic vote in Ashcroft's favor on the Judiciary Committee, the key swing vote that turned Ashcroft's nomination over to the full Sen ate. This was a signal to the Zionist community that "Ashcroft is okay with us."
In no short order, the hoopla in opposition to Ashcroft died down. Even Ted Kennedy demonstrated that his bark was worse than his bite and chose not to filibuster against the nomination.