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Geraldo Rivera wanted to run for Knesset

J Street, the dovish Jewish Middle East policy group, is plugging this talk by Fox News star Geraldo Rivera because of his unexpected endorsement of the group:

Geraldo Rivera speaks in 2010. (Justin Hoch - www.jhoch.com/Hudson Union Society)

Geraldo Rivera speaks in 2010. (Justin Hoch – www.jhoch.com/Hudson Union Society)

As someone who loves Israel, I beg you to see that organizations like “J-Street” in D.C. are more reflective of the view of a majority of progressive Jews than many of the more traditional organizations that claim to speak for us.

But there’s plenty else in his May 14 address to the Jewish Federation of Northern New Jersey’s Women’s Philanthropy luncheon, posted on the Fox Latino website, that’s surprising, including aspects of his Puerto Rican-Jewish upbringing, and this nugget:

Erica [Rivera's wife] and I are also great lovers of Israel, and Zionists to the core. I’ve covered every conflict there since the 1973 Yom Kippur War. Indeed, for a time in 2002 I had the notion of our moving to Israel so I could run for the Knesset, the Israeli Parliament. The problem with my scheme for Erica’s parents was its timing, coming as it did in the midst of the Second Intifada, when bombs were exploding there daily.

Rivera, as he recounts in this talk and elsewhere, has faced some rough crowds. The Knesset though — that might have been something. What, for instance, would the halachically minded members have made of his Magen David tattoo?

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