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Friday, January 5, 2001 | return to: editorial


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George W. Bush’s Judenrein cabinet

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President-elect George W. Bush is getting a lot of credit for selecting one of the most diverse cabinets in history. He has nominated two African-Americans, one Asian-American, one Lebanese-American and two Hispanics.

It is a cabinet that, while largely conservative, is ethnically diverse. But one minority group is missing -- Jews.

While the designated Labor secretary, Linda Chavez, is married to a Jew and raised her children Jewish, she reportedly doesn't consider herself a Jew.

Some readers may say we're too parochial in making an issue of the lack of Jews in Bush's cabinet. But the Bulletin has an obligation to examine who the leaders of our nation are, and to urge that Jews be among them.

Jews are still a minority in America. There are more Muslims here than there are Jews.

With the selection of a Lebanese-American, outgoing Sen. Spencer Abraham (R-Mich), it makes it just that much harder to accept the absence of a Jew.

We want a Jew in the cabinet not only because it promotes minority representation but because it gives our children something to look up to and aspire to. We all need role models.

In recent years, we've seen a number of Jews in the cabinet, including Republican cabinets. Who will ever forget the critical role Secretary of State Henry Kissinger played during Republican presidential years?

Perhaps it was an oversight that Bush didn't nominate a Jew. Or perhaps he believes American Jews are so much a part of the mainstream they no longer miss having one of their own in the cabinet.

Or maybe Bush's inner council wanted to punish the Jewish community for supporting Vice President Al Gore by a 79 percent plurality.

We would hope that is not the case.

Rather, we believe Bush wants to win over the Jewish vote in time for his re-election effort. But this doesn't seem the way to go about it.

All we can do now is hope that Bush appoints Jews to some other high-level jobs in his administration.


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