The retrospectives on Governor Ed Rendell’s twenty-four years of service to Philadelphia and Pennsylvania are starting in earnest now. As he marks his last weeks in the governor’s mansion, there is no question that Rendell has made his mark on the Keystone State and the City of Brotherly Love.
What will likely go unevaluated, however, except perhaps in this small space, is how much Rendell hurt the cause of Israel, and the cause of United States, due to his approach to Islamic radicals and their allies.
In two important instances — one when he was mayor of Philadelphia and one while serving as Pennsylvania’s governor — Rendell’s infamous tendency to act and speak without considering the full ramifications did significant damage. Remarkably, Rendell almost never incurred a word of criticism for these acts of direct aid and comfort to the enemies of America and of Israel — perhaps because of his Jewish roots, but more likely because he is a Pennsylvania Democrat.
Here is how Seth Gittell, writing at National Review in September 2001, described Rendell’s contribution to preparing Israel’s “peace partners” for war:
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