Obama pushes Jews into Republican arms

Barack Obama may yet succeed in doing what no Republican has yet come close to doing, which is to create Republican Jews (yes, some Jews voted for Reagan, but because of his personal magnetism, not his ideology. And then they went back to voting Democratic).

There’s no question that Obama’s approach to Israel has turned off pro-Israel Jews. Starting with the Cairo speech, in which he equated the Palestinian ‘pursuit of a homeland’ to the Holocaust, foundering through the US reneging on commitments to allow building within existing settlements, and coming apart on the rocks of his apparent acceptance of an Iranian bomb, Obama’s Israel policy has been a shipwreck. And it’s obvious that this is just fine with the majority of the Democratic Party that elected him.

Of course not all Jews are Zionists, and there is probably no hope for the anti-Israel J Street — who opposed Israel’s military action in Gaza and even endorsed a performance of the antisemitic play “Seven Jewish Children”. But some relatively centrist Jewish Democrats are beginning to have second thoughts about Mr. Obama.

Recently, the Chairman of the Conference of Presidents of Major Jewish Organizations, Alan Solow — a Chicago native who was a long-time Obama backer — publicly criticized Obama’s stance on Jewish building in Jerusalem. Although Solow was present at Obama’s recent meeting with Jewish leaders, apparently he was not satisfied with the explanations he received.

Maybe the Obamacrats have calculated that few American Jews today, especially young ones, are enthusiastic supporters of Israel. But keep in mind that while the J Street types are vocal in their anti-Zionism, my guess is that the ‘silent majority’ of American Jews still does not want an American policy which is actively hostile to the Jewish state. And that is how the Obama Administration, increasingly, appears.

What is keeping these Jews on the Democratic side today are domestic issues, and of course the impression the Republicans give of hopeless incompetence. It will be interesting to see how far Obama has to go in a pro-Arab anti-Israel direction to cause them to jump.

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2 Responses to “Obama pushes Jews into Republican arms”

  1. Shalom Freedman says:

    It appears now that Barack Obama will be President of the United States for two terms, whether he has the Jewish vote with him or not. The Republican party is in shambles. They do not have one credible national leader. It is an unprecedented situation. Their mediocrity is apparent on every front.
    So the situation is extremely troublesome for Israel.
    Obama does not like to be disliked and he will not be happy being unliked by Israelis and a good share of American Jews. But it is doubtful that this will hold him back.
    If of course he succeeds in realizing his plan and forging a real peace between Israel and his neighbors, then there will be not only no reason to oppose him, but all reason to praise him.
    As it is now however it seems his pressure is all one way and the whole trend is in the direction of weakening Israel.
    But the point is , our political strength to move him to change in any way, is extremely small.

  2. Grandma says:

    Freedman might be right about the Republican Party. I just wrote an email to Michael Steele yesterday telling him I might leave the Party after all these years to become an Independent. I suspect Sarah Palin may emerge as a real contender. The Democrats are terrified of that woman and even some Republicans are afraid of her. Ronald Reagan was not particularly liked by most Republicans; they didn’t like his candor and his “ordinary American” attitude. It’s only been 7 months for Obama and his approval rating is falling. The GOP has plenty of time to find a star. They seem to be pushing Mitt Romney to the forefront. It all depends on the economy, doesn’t it?