My Name Is Bill Kristol — and How I Became a Renegade Jew

Forward: I’m a Renegade Jew. It didn’t start out that way. I was just an ordinary Jew, putting in my Jewish time, observing the Jewish calendar, mostly blowing off my Jewish responsibilities except for lip service to the faith on Yom Kippur and Passover.
But I still did what I thought was right, for Judaism and for my country, by helping George W. Bush become president, because he was “good for Israel.” I wrote influential op-eds, I went on TV, I obfuscated and I apologized for war crimes.
It’s what I’d been raised to do, as a conservative Jewish intellectual. But then one Sunday morning, I went out for bagels. I shouldn’t have gone to Zabar’s; it wasn’t safe. Then I came home to a nightmare. They’d gotten to my family, the monsters. Everyone — my father Irving, my uncle Schlomo, my second cousin Leon Epstein, my daughter Shoshanna — had been viciously slandered on the Internet. Like dogs, our opinions meant nothing anymore.
After all I’d done for Judaism, for the cause, for America, my Republican colleagues had betrayed me by supporting Donald Trump.
I had no choice…

About Luke Ford

I've written five books (see My work has been covered in the New York Times, the Los Angeles Times, and on 60 Minutes. I teach Alexander Technique in Beverly Hills (
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