Thursday, February 4, 2010

Arthur Finkelstein is advising Avigdor Lieberman. That Explains a Lot

So apparently Arthur Finkelstein is advising Avigdor Lieberman, and is the one who told him to make the foolish, unnecessary (policy-wise) remarks towards Syria because they would benefit him politically. The 12% or so of the Israeli electorate who voted for Minister Lieberman's Yisrael Beitenu party in the 2009 election is probably not particularly happy with him right now, as he has basically succumbed to the ultra-Orthodox demands on the party's civil agenda (which was a significant factor in getting votes among those who want the civil agenda but aren't left-wing enough on the Israeli-Arab conflit for Meretz), and for that matter, on foreign policy as well, where he has basically been shunned by much of the international community, having Defense Minister Barak and Prime Minister Peres (and, though he had his own issue lately, even to some extent Deputy Foreign Minister Ayalon) take up the slack. "Getting tough on Syria" is presumably expected to help him here, even though the Northern front has, Baruch Hashem been very quiet.

Finkelstein, an American Jewish pollster and campaign strategist, has spent his career working to elect very conservative candidates. He helped elect James Buckley to the Senate from New York in 1970, he helped take down liberal Jewish Republican Jacob Javits and install Al D'Amato in 1980.

Despite being Jewish, he also was probably the guy behind one of the first push polls in the 1978 South Carolina 4th District Congressional race between Republican Carroll Campbell and Democrat Max Heller, who had managed to escape Austria to South Carolina in the 1930s, despite that being very difficult. The campaign made phone calls emphasizing that Heller was "Jewish immigrant" who didn't believe in Jesus. Campbell won.

However, he was probably best known for working for Jesse Helms. This is especially surprising given that Arthur Finkelstein is openly homosexual, having gotten married in Massachusetts in December 2004.

Finkelstein worked for Likud in their 1996 return to power, and it seems now he's moved on to Lieberman, and despite his claims of favoring "freedom," it seems he's doing nothing to get Lieberman to advance the civil agenda in Israel that his party claims to support. Shame on him.

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