Playing the Hebrew card in Florida


Ami’s already referred to the Forward story about how Jeff Greene, the zillionaire hoping to best Rep. Kendrick Meek in the race for the Democratic nomination to Florida’s open U.S. Senate seat, has roped his Yiddishe Momme into the campaign.

Lyn Payne at the Heritage Florida Jewish News now does yeoman’s work digging up more on Greene: He worked his way through Johns Hopkins, and speaks it with a credible Israeli accent. Lyn reports:

In a phone interview with the Heritage on Sunday, Greene said he’s been to Israel “numerous times,” the first being a six-month high school program through the Reform movement in the early 1970s.

He perfected his Hebrew living among ordinary Israelis—he demonstrated a credible accent during the interview. He’s traveled all over the country, and maintains a friendship with the son of the Israeli family he stayed with on that teenage trip.

Lyn also solicits a blunt diss from Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz, who explains why Florida’s Democratic establishment backs Meek over Greene, who ran for Congress in California in 1982 as a Republican:

U.S. Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz from Florida’s 20th district said she and other Florida Democratic leaders back Meek because he’s fought to protect the interests of children, seniors, natural resources and other issues that matter. Greene “hasn’t really given us any reason to support him. It doesn’t appear to me that this is a person who exercises very good judgment, and he’s not a Democrat.”

The fact-checking website examined voter history records in California and Florida back to 1992, and concluded that the first time Greene voted as a registered Democrat was in 2008. Greene says he’s always subscribed to the Democratic values he learned at home, and has said his youthful foray into the Republican party was brief.

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