BBC Homepage World Service Education
BBC Homepagelow graphics version | feedback | help
BBC News Online
 You are in: World: Americas
Front Page 
World 
Africa 
Americas 
Asia-Pacific 
Europe 
Middle East 
South Asia 
-------------
From Our Own Correspondent 
-------------
Letter From America 
UK 
UK Politics 
Business 
Sci/Tech 
Health 
Education 
Entertainment 
Talking Point 
In Depth 
AudioVideo 

Monday, 7 August, 2000, 22:27 GMT 23:27 UK
Lieberman: The Jewish factor
Lieberman
Lieberman: The first Jew to be nominated to the post
By Johnny Dymond in Washington

Al Gore's choice of vice-presidential nominee has attracted much comment for one particular reason - Senator Lieberman is a practising Jew.


The biggest selling paper in New York ran as a banner headline the Jewish exclamation 'Oi Veh'

Across the newspapers, news bulletins and in conversation with Americans, there has been no escaping Senator Lieberman's religion.

Few people seem to know quite what it will mean for the election itself.

Jewish-Americans vote Democrat by a large majority, and Senator Lieberman's presence on the ticket is not expected to change the Jewish vote by much.

But in the same way that John F Kennedy's Catholicism was significant, Senator Lieberman's nomination has an important symbolic quality.

Sceptical

"At first, there will be a euphoric feeling, a feeling of 'We never expected this'," says Ken Bricker, spokesman for the American Israel Political Action Committee.

"Certainly, I don't think anyone in the community did, in spite of Senator Lieberman being named on the shortlist for a couple of weeks now already," he adds.

"I don't think people realistically thought it would happen, at least the more sceptical among us. The fact that it has I think speaks volumes for the progress the country has made."

Others have been less subtle. The biggest selling paper in New York ran as a banner headline the Jewish exclamation "Oi Veh".

Sabbath

There is some concern that the nomination could stir anti-Semitism.

No-one expects direct criticism of the senator's religion.

But there has already been comment about his strict observance of the Jewish Sabbath.

However, most Americans will wait and see how the senator performs as a candidate for vice-president before they reach any conclusions.

Search BBC News Online

Advanced search options
Launch console
BBC RADIO NEWS
BBC ONE TV NEWS
WORLD NEWS SUMMARY
PROGRAMMES GUIDE
See also:

07 Aug 00 | Americas
Joe Lieberman: Moral crusader
14 Jul 00 | Americas
Bradley endorses Gore
14 Jan 00 | Vote USA 2000
Q&A: Big bucks politics
05 Aug 00 | Americas
What makes a great president?
04 Aug 00 | Americas
Bush eyes White House
Internet links:


The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites

Links to more Americas stories are at the foot of the page.


E-mail this story to a friend

Links to more Americas stories