This is a moment in history when US Muslims must band together.
I speak from my heart when I urge them to vote as a bloc in the presidential race in support of Governor George Bush.
US Jews have demonstrated how handsomely bloc voting in presidential elections pays rich dividends.
In 1992, Bill Clinton got 85 percent of Jewish votes because Jews were upset with the pressure George Bush applied on Israel when he tried to bring about a land-for-peace agreement.
In 1996, Clinton, the most pro-Israel president ever, got 88 percent of the Jewish vote. This year, the Jewish vote for Al Gore may exceed 88 percent.
Al Gore has been solidly in the pro-Israel camp since he served as my colleague in the House of Representatives over 20 years ago. Bush may not realize it, but his chances to win more than a handful of Jewish votes are absolutely zero.
Why will Jews support Gore en bloc? The answer, in a word, is Israel.
Jews disagree on a lot of things, but they are united in support of Israel.
Muslims disagree on a lot of things too. Some of them are Republicans. Others are Democrats. Still others are independents.
They may disagree on reforming the tax code, Social Security, Medicare, school vouchers, and reducing the public debt. But I am convinced that Muslims, to the last man and woman, are united on one thing: the future of Jerusalem.
A vote for Gore = Israeli control of Jerusalem
To me, this means that they should vote en bloc for Bush. A vote for Gore is a vote to let Israel control the future of Jerusalem.
Asked what he would do as president if the Palestinians establish a separate state outside the peace process, Gore recently said, "I would consult with the government of Israel to see what the most helpful response from Israel's view might be."
Richard H. Curtiss, editor of the Washington Report on Middle East Affairs warns: "Until the Jerusalem problem is solved, it is going to be increasingly difficult to be a Muslim in the United States. The Israel lobby, with its incredible influence in the media, is going to continue to depict all Muslims as ?terrorists? to be restricted, thwarted, ridiculed and even deported for the 'security' of the non-Muslim community."
US Jews are united in wanting Al Gore to win.
Amos Elran, writing in the Israeli daily Maariv: "Israel would feel much safer with Gore." The Washington Jewish Week recently had this to say: "Bush has few ties to the Jewish community nor any investment in the peace process, and has picked a running mate who once complained that Ronald Reagan was not tough enough on Israel. If Bush is elected, he won?t be beholden to the Jews the way Gore would."
In a 1989 interview published in the Washington Report magazine, Richard Cheney called himself a supporter of Palestinian statehood since 1982.
Everyone agrees that the presidential vote will be close, and there is no doubt in my mind that Muslims, by voting en bloc, can swing the election to George Bush, the candidate who is not under Israel's thumb.
Paul Findlay is a former US congressman from Illinois (1961 to 1983). He is the author of the bestselling book They Dare to Speak Out: People and Institutions Confront Israel's Lobby.
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