Cross Posted at The Progressive Zionist
While perusing stories over at Haaretz (an Israeli Daily) I came across this happy news:
According to the polling data taken between July 1 and September 10th, 70 percent of registered Jewish voters plan to vote for President Obama. Only 25 percent of voters stated they were planning to vote for Mitt Romney, with 5 percent undecided. These results indicate a decline from earlier this spring, when 64 percent of registered Jewish voters said they would vote for Obama and 29 percent said they would support his Republican contenderand at Buzzfeed:
President Barack Obama is closing extending his lead with Jewish voters, leading among registered voters 70-25 percent according to unreleased Gallup daily tracking poll data .As the Haaretz article goes on to state...
The data, obtained through a Democratic source, shows Obama up from leading 64-29 in polling this spring — and on par with his 2008 performance at this point when he led 69-25 over John McCain in Gallup polling. The data is drawn from tracking polls taken between July 1 and September 10th.
Despite a heated debate on Israel, most Jewish voters are Democrats and align closely with the Democratic Party on domestic issues from abortion to taxes and spending, and Republicans have tried without success for years to pry the group away from the Democratic Party. The Israel debate, meanwhile, often aims at a broad national audience that sees Israel as an ally, rather than specifically at American Jews.
The rise in Jewish support for Obama, seems to indicate that the American Jews are less concerned with Israel than might be thought as accusations Romney has been making charging Obama with "throwing allies like Israel under the bus," and with failure in dealing with Iran's nuclear program don't seem to be helping garner Jewish support for the Republican candidate.Two things:
The first is that first and foremost American Jews are American citizens. We vote for things that are in the interests of America. A more fair tax system, better education, better infrastructure, a better environment, a social safety net that works are in the interests of all Americans Jewish or otherwise. Also, the Presidents support for the Jewish community here as well as in Israel has been exemplary.
Second, the assumption that only the Hard Right in Israel represents Jewish interests in the U.S. is nonsense. Thinking that not agreeing to the YESHA policy and the concept of an Israeli One State solution is somehow against Israel is complete and utter bullshit. Just because President Obama doesn't subscribe to that doesn't mean he is "rolling Israel under the bus", it means that he (and most American and Israeli Jews) don't buy into a meme promoted by right wingers - and that is pretty much it.
The Republicans and their supporters just don't get this. At worst they assume (like many on the Far-Left as well) that Jewish Americans hold some sort of loyalty to Israel above all else and vote only that way. AND it is true that there are a small minority of people that do feel this way, but they are only a small minority. I personally resent this implication.
Well here is some cold hard advice. We are Americans, not Israelis and while we overwhelmingly support (and I think love) Israel and it's people we vote on issues that primarily serve Americans (both Jewish and non-Jewish). This poll and others like it show that the Israeli Right and Christian Zionists ARE not speaking in American Jewish interests but rather their own.
Until the Republicans can realize that their reactionary and heartless economic, social, and destructive environmental policy positions are at odds with American Jewish voters, they will never, ever, ever earn our votes.
Shabbat Shalom and Shana Tova!