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Harkin is wrong on the size of the Iowa Jewish community

Reader comment on item: A French lesson for Tom Harkin

Submitted by Janet Stevenson (United States), Jan 5, 2004 at 16:47

Dear Mr. Pipes -

I saw red when I read Harkin's comments on the "huge" Jewish community in some parts of his state. I grew up in Sioux City, which has one of the larger populations in the state, with currently about 1000 Jews or maybe less out of a total population of 80,000 (I still have family there). The largest community is in Des Moines, which is maybe 3,000, with smaller communities in Council Bluffs, Iowa City and the Quad Cities. There is also a Chabad community in Fairfield. I would be surprised if there are over 10,000 Jews in the state. In a state with a population of several million, his comments are patronizing at best and appallingly uninformed at the very least. Maybe he thinks all Jews are going to vote Democrat anyway, but I'm a third-generation Jewish Republican and proud of it and I know there are lots more like me in the state.

Thanks for the great work. I heard you speak at a forum in mid-November in LA - I drove in from Santa Barbara and brought my 12-year-old daughter just for the event. All I can say is, I'm thrilled to be on your side. I just wish more of my co-religionists would figure it out.

Janet Stevenson
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