The Boston Herald’s Virginia Buckingham has caught on to what politically conservative Jews have joked about among themselves: that it’s more important for Jewish voters that Jews be aborted than that they be protected. Which is why Bush’s popularity among Jews hasn’t inched very far, despite his strong, lonely stand in defense of Israel.

Even the embryonic stem-cell debate which, as Buckingham points out is largely symbolic, governs their vote more than Israeli well-being. If a rationale exists, one wonders whether the stem cells aren’t the Jews’ secret hope for Jewish continuity. Is it their hope that cells from discarded Jewish embryos will be implanted into millions of patients, who will then have Jewish genes to pass on?