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  • 23


     
    An Exercise in Political Epistemology: Mukasey, Schumer, Chertoff, and AIPAC
    Philosophy; Posted on: 2007-11-21 10:38:58 [ Printer friendly / Instant flyer ]
    Travis Woodson

    Epistemology – the critical study of what we know (or think we know) and how we know it – is a distinctive and admirable aspect of Western culture. From Socrates to the proponents of scientific method we learn the importance of caution in reaching conclusions. In Anglo-American law, with its rules of evidence (especially its rejection of hearsay) and presumption of innocence, we see a similar restraint. But caution in reaching conclusions is not always a virtue. In some contexts, it can be a fatal mistake.

    I was thinking recently about what we know and don’t know while reading about the confirmation of Judge Michael Mukasey as Attorney General. Here are some things we know with reasonable certainty:

    1. We know from Jewish sources that Mukasey is an Orthodox Jew and political conservative, whose “Judaism is . . . deeply felt.” He is a lifelong congregant at Kehilath Jeshurun in New York City. He attended the Ramaz School, a Modern Orthodox Jewish prep school; his wife was headmistress there, and both his children attended the school. The Mission Statement for the Kehilath Jeshurun Congregation includes the following:

    “[W]e are deeply committed to our religious traditions, to the study of the Torah, the observance of Shabbat and kashrut, the love of, and support for, our fellow Jews and an unbreakable bond with the State of Israel and its citizens.

    “Our identification with the State of Israel and our fellow Jews extends well beyond the more conventional UJA/Federation, Israel Bonds and tree-planting campaigns . . . KJ participates in and sponsors political action groups around the world, and runs several well-attended missions each year to Israel for the primary purpose of demonstrating solidarity and support to our brethren, especially in these incredibly difficult times for the State and its citizens.

    “KJ sponsors and supports an array of other programs . . . a partial list includes: ... The Israel Action Committee [which] is the vanguard of the growing grassroots movement among American Jewish communities to incubate local, regional and even national initiatives designed to support the beleaguered State of Israel.”

    2. We know that Mukasey’s sponsor for the Attorney General Position was Senator Charles Schumer of New York. Schumer is Jewish, a supporter of the Iraq war resolution, a member of AIPAC, and a strident advocate for Israel. Schumer was one of two Democrats on the Senate Judiciary Committee – Senator Feinstein of California was the other – to cross party lines and vote for Mukasey’s confirmation as Attorney General, despite Mukasey’s political affiliation with Rudy Giuliani and his refusal to declare that waterboarding was illegal torture. Previously, Schumer had supported the neoconservative Republican John Bolton as U.S. Ambassador to the U.N. primarily because Bolton was aggressively pro-Israel.

    3. We know that Michael Chertoff, the head of Homeland Security, is the son of a rabbi, that his mother was apparently an Israeli national, that his wife was co-chairwoman of the regional Anti-Defamation League’s civil rights committee in the mid 1990s, and that his children attended Jewish days schools. And we know that Senator Schumer was a leading advocate for Chertoff’s appointment.

    Continue
    News Source: The Occidental Observer

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