Special All-Jewish Senate Edition

Three years ago, Daniel Pipes, the (fill-in-the-blank) scholar who has become a firebrand on the subject of bias against Israel in the American academy, wrote that the golden age of American Jewry was coming to a close, in part because of the security threat posed to Jews by Islamists:

"American Jews may not have been conscious of it, but they have lived these past 60 years in one of Jewry's golden ages, arguably more brilliant than those in Andalusia, Aragon, Germany, Hungary, Lithuania, and Prague. But now, in a milder form than in Europe, Jews face similar currents swirling through American life, especially the Islamist surge coddled by leftists. The golden age of American Jewry, therefore, is ending. American Jews have had the relative luxury of worrying about such matters as intermarriage, coreligionists around the world, school prayer, and abortion; if current trends continue, they increasingly will find themselves worrying about personal security, marginalization, and the other symptoms already evident in Europe."

I worry about security, of course, but I haven't been so worried about marginalization. Now comes the inestimable Shmuel Rosner, who reports that the number of Jews in Congress, already a record, might actually rise in November. Right now, there are thirty Jewish members of the House (twenty-nine of whom are Democrats), and there are thirteen Jewish senators, nine Democrats, two independents who caucus with the Democrats (Bernie Sanders and Joe Lieberman -- see if you can tell them apart), and two Republicans. The real surprise, of course, is that there are so many Jewish Republicans.

Rosner reports that American voters continue to be uninterested in marginalizing Jews, to the point that Alaska might actually send a Jew to Congress, which would make Michael Chabon's great book The Yiddish Policemen's Union at least a little bit prophetic. And you can count on Rosner to dig up information of interest only to obsessive Jews and web-based neo-Nazis, including the fact that Congressman Tom Udall, who is not Jewish, is nevertheless a longtime member of Temple Beth Shalom of Santa Fe, New Mexico, on account of his Jewish wife.

Contrast this picture of Jewish enfranchisement with the troubling notion that it is a "smear" to allege that a certain presidential candidate might be a Muslim, and you get the sense that we're not so terribly marginal, at least when compared to the Muslims Daniel Pipes worries about.

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Jeffrey Goldberg is a national correspondent for The Atlantic and a recipient of the National Magazine Award for Reporting. He is the author of Prisoners: A Story of Friendship and Terror. More

Before joining The Atlantic in 2007, Goldberg was a Middle East correspondent, and the Washington correspondent, for The New Yorker. He was previouslly a correspondent for The New York Times Magazine and New York magazine. He has also written for the Jewish Daily Forward and was a columnist for The Jerusalem Post.

Goldberg's book Prisoners was hailed as one of the best books of 2006 by the Los Angeles Times, The New York Times, The Washington Post, Slate, The Progressive, Washingtonian magazine, and Playboy. He received the 2003 National Magazine Award for Reporting for his coverage of Islamic terrorism and the 2005 Anti-Defamation League Daniel Pearl Prize. He is also the winner of the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists prize for best international investigative journalist; the Overseas Press Club award for best human-rights reporting; and the Abraham Cahan Prize in Journalism.

In 2001, Goldberg was appointed the Syrkin Fellow in Letters of the Jerusalem Foundation, and in 2002 he became a public-policy scholar at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars in Washington, D.C.


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