Geraldo Rivera wanted to run for Knesset

Ron Kampeas

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 - Union Society)

Geraldo Rivera speaks in 2010. (Justin Hoch – 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 piece and elsewhere, has faced some rough crowds. The Knesset though — that might have been something. What, for instance, would the halachically minded have made of his Magen David tattoo?

ADVERTISEMENT: Looking for a Jewish camp? Visit and see if your child qualifies for $1000 of their first summer or introductory rates through BunkConnect, programs of Foundation for Jewish Camp.​

The Rep - advertisement

Ron Kampeas is JTA’s Washington bureau chief, responsible for coordinating coverage in the U.S. capital and analyzing political developments that affect the Jewish world. He comes to JTA from The Associated Press, where he worked for more than a decade in its bureaus in Jerusalem, New York, London and, most recently, Washington. He has reported from Northern Ireland, Afghanistan, Bosnia and West Africa. While living in Israel, he also worked for the Jerusalem Post and several Jewish organizations.