One Advantage of the Republican Party, 1982:

Why, it "is not in the hands of the Jewish lobby in America." The Democratic Party, on the other hand, "must look quite often to Jewish money to finance candidates." And Israel, of course, "has become very much like adolf Hitler's Germany." That's Rep. Pete McCloskey, in an interview with Spotlight magazine (published by the Liberty Lobby), Oct. 11, 1982, at 14:

The Republican Party is not in the hands of the Jewish lobby in America as the Democratic Party must look quite often to Jewish money to finance candidates. If you look at "Scoop" Jackson, and Alan Cranston, and Teddy Kennedy -- any Democratic candidate for national office has more or less go to look to Jewish money, Republicans don't -- they are more business-oriented....

The battle [over Reagan's peace plan for the Mideast] will be for public opinion in the United States, whether the Congress will be willing to back Reagan and stand up to the Jewish lobby in this country. Congress has invariably knuckled under to the Israeli lobby in the past, and for Reagan's plan to succeed, Congress is going to have to be willing to cut off aid to the Israelis if they continue the West Bank settlements....

That's the same man who has referred to the "so-called Holocaust," in a speech before the Holocaust revisionists at the Institute for Historical Review. That's the same man who called Yasser Arafat a "man of peace" in the same exchange in which he harshly condemned Menachem Begin, Ariel Sharon, and Yitzhok Shamir.

It's also the same man who's running in the Republican primary for a House of Representatives seat, and who has been endorsed by the San Francisco Chronicle and the Los Angeles Times. The Times tells us he's "the best thing that could happen for the district, the state, the nation and possibly the Republican Party."

There's no doubt that Jews, like others, participate in the political process, and promote causes that they care about -- which sometimes include Israel. It's quite legitimate to discuss that. It's quite legitimate to criticize Israel; for all I know (not being particularly knowledgeable on the subject), Rep. McCloskey's substantive criticisms of Israel were quite sound, though the claim that Israel was "very much like Adolf Hitler's Germany" makes me skeptical of his other views.

But when someone suggests that the Democratic Party is "in the hands of the Jews," because it is beholden to "Jewish money" (the money of 2% of the U.S. population, a group that's somewhat but not vastly more prosperous per capita than the average person), that suggests a pretty serious lack of perspective. And when coupled with the more recent talk of the "so-called Holocaust" and the shocking double standard in evaluating Arafat and the Israeli leaders, it makes one wonder whether Mr. McCloskey is indeed quite as good as the Times and the Chronicle suggest.