It's hard to imagine something more cynical than the White House exploiting Middle East convulsions -- in which many innocents on all sides are dying in real time -- to divide Americans at home in order to try and squeeze through the Senate confirmation of the pugnacious radicalizer and international de-stabilizer, John Bolton.
For those who have not yet heard, Bolton's nomination is being resurrected by the White House. More here and here on that front. Bolton will appear before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee next Thursday morning at 9:30 on the subject of confirming his appointment and ending his "recess appointment status" as U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations.
Today, several reports have come to The Washington Note that Jay Zeidman, the influential 24-year old White House liaison to the Jewish community, is putting out the call to prominent American Jewish organizations to support John Bolton -- with the arm-twisting innuendo that in this time of crisis in the Middle East, American Jews need to line up behind the guy Jesse Helms said "is the kind of man with whom I would want to stand at Armageddon, if it should be my lot to be on hand for what is forecast to be the final battle between good and evil in this world."
That's exactly the kind of unstable world that Bolton seems constantly trying to stir up.
Zeidman has sent the word out to numerous Jewish organizations asking "What can the White House expect in terms of supporting John Bolton?"
Why would Israelis here or abroad want someone whose best skill seems to be antagonism and fiery, flamboyant stridency that rarely achieves a positive outcome. One would think that Israel and members of the American Jewish community would want someone helping to steward their concerns in the UN who was actually good at achieving stabilizing results that can stand the test of time.
Bolton blows things up. And we've had enough of that in the Middle East.
Zeidman is the son of prominent Greenberg Traurig attorney Fred S. Zeidman who is actively involved in leading Republican Jewish activities in Texas and is Vice Chairman of the Republican Jewish Coalition.
A bio of Fred Zeidman reports these affiliations:
Mr. Zeidman is very active in community and political affairs in Texas and nationwide. He holds leadership positions in the Anti-Defamation League (Southwest Region), the Jewish Institute for National Security Affairs (JINSA), the Republican Jewish Coalition, the Texas Inter-Faith Housing Corp., and the Houston Jewish Community Foundation. He is also Texas Chairman of the State of Israel Bonds and a member of the Board of Development Corporation of Israel.
He formerly served as co-chairman of the finance committee of the Republican Party of Harris County, Texas, and formerly served on the finance committee of the Republican Party of Texas, and is a Ranger for the Bush Campaign. Mr. Zeidman previously served as Vice Chairman, Board of Regents at Texas Southern University. In addition, Mr. Zeidman was vice-chairman of the Dole/Kemp presidential campaign in Harris County and has been a key Jewish advisor to Republican congressional and senatorial delegations nationwide. Fred Zeidman graduated Washington University and received an MBA from New York University.
The Bolton battle will be messy. It is clear that the dynamics of a new Bolton battle are different than March-September 2005, but still -- it will be messy. It is outrageous that the White House would yet again exploit RELIGIOUS IDENTITY and the worsening Middle East crisis just before Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice has gone to the Middle East to hopefully broker a diplomatic effort.
Shame on the White House -- again.
Steve Clemons is publisher of the popular political blog, The Washington Note.