Friday, July 04, 2008

Jesse Helms

America lost a great patriot with the death of Sen. Jesse Helms.
I knew him quite well,and considered him a friend both in a personal sense and on behalf of the US -Israel relationship.
I was considered one of two or three individuals who helped him shape his turn-around to a Pro-Israel position.The other was Bobbie Jacobs,then of Staten Island who took him ,Sen Hecht and Sen. Symms to Israel .As described in my book,I invited him to a Capitol luncheon ,which with an assist from the White House turned out to be a turning point.
My son Elli served as a summer Intern for Helms.Over the years, I spent time with him,and most often he responded positively to my requests.
During the MEPFA (Middle East Peace Facilitation Act) debate, I went to him with a series of objections, which at that time AIPAC knew nothing of.A few nites later, HE WALKED ONTO AN ALMOST EMPTY SENATE FLOOR AND INTRODUCED THESE AMENDMENTS,WHICH THE FORWARD CALLED "THE GANCHROW AMENDMENTS"AND WHICH PASSED UNANAMOUSLY.
The next weeks Forward page 1 headline read "Helms , Ganchrow set trap on funds".
He was severely criticized by the left, yet he was however a man of convictions and principles.
Sadly we have few such patriots in leadership roles. today