What is it with Jews and Obama?
“Anita Gunn” is our resident Hollywood Insider PolitiChick. Anita works in the entertainment industry and will be giving inside scoops, offering her unique perspective what it’s like being a Closeted Conservative in Hollywood. Anita has changed her name to protect the innocent (meaning herself and/or her career…). Editor
Being Jewish and coming from a traditional Jewish family, I have many Jewish friends both in and out of the entertainment industry. They go to Temple on high holidays, they raise their children with traditional Jewish values and they support Israel. Many, if not most, of the Jewish people I know are Democrats, as that is traditionally the political party that we Jews have most identified with through the years. And, because many of our past Democratic leaders have strongly supported Israel, we felt like we were being represented. Israel and its security are very important to most Jews.
Hillary Clinton was the chosen one because Jews adored Bill Clinton. But Hillary suddenly got ousted by then unknown Barack Obama. So with nowhere to turn—being that “scary” Sarah Palin was not even an option, even though she was #2 on the ticket–a huge majority of Jewish people took a leap of faith and voted for Barack Obama. After all, Obama seemed intelligent and likable. He said he would “bring us together” as a nation. He talked a lot about “hope” and “change.”This sounded good after eight years of wars and partisanship. Yes there were nagging questions about Obama’s religious leanings after the Reverend Jeremiah “G*d damn America” Wright debacle, but Obama denounced him. And though there were some lingering questions about Mr. Obama’s associations with radicals like Bill Ayers and Frank Marshall, the media seemed satisfied that this candidate was a moderate, so we did too. Plus, voting for the first black President made us Jews feel good.
Barack Obama won 74% of Jewish votes in 2008 compared to 23% for Arizona Sen. John McCain. Obama’s total was 3 percentage points less than Massachusetts Sen. John Kerry’s in 2004, but more than any Democratic presidential candidate from 1972-1988.
Many conservatives wonder why Jews support the Democratic Party, generally, and President Obama, specifically, so strongly. Edward Klein and Richard Z. Chesnoff of the Jewish World Review give a good explanation:
In the nearly 80 years since President Franklin Roosevelt launched the New Deal with a pledge to “help the forgotten man,” relations between American Jews and the Democratic Party have been as close as lips and teeth. Even as Jews prospered and assimilated into the mainstream of American life, most of them remained loyal to F.D.R.’s liberal vision and refrained from following the pattern of other affluent groups by shifting to the Republican Party. Over the course of the past 20 elections, 75 percent of the Jewish vote has on average gone to the Democratic presidential candidate. As the old saying goes, “Jews earn like Episcopalians and vote like Puerto Ricans.”
Bret Stephens, a deputy editor of The Wall Street Journal’s editorial page, wrote:
The black-Jewish alliance was shattered in the late 1960s, and Jews have yearned ever since to restore it. Jews felt good about voting for Obama, for not only were they voting for a guy they agreed with and liked, but they were also voting for a kind of redemption.
As to why Jews still support President Obama so strongly, Ben Shapiro of Breitbart.com wrote:
The answer is deceptively simple: the Jews who vote for Obama are, by and large, Jews In Name Only (JINOs). They eat bagels and lox; they watch “Schindler’s List”; they visit temple on Yom Kippur — sometimes. But they do not care about Israel. Or if they do, they care about it less than abortion, gay marriage and global warming.
I have my own term for JINOs: “Woody Allen Jews.” I work with these types. Their loyalty is to progressivism, as that is their religion. Israel isn’t even a factor. Woody Allen Jews would almost rather skydive without a parachute before they would vote Republican (what would the neighbors think?).
So while our President bows before a Saudi king, gives speeches expressing his support for democracy in the Arab world (while apologizing for perceived misdeeds by the US), meets with the Muslim Brotherhood’s Morsi of Egypt (who has made no bones about blasting Israel off the face of the earth), and actively attempts to overthrow America’s allies of the Arab world, he avoids Israel’s democratically elected Prime Minister Netanyahu like the plague. After all, “The View” awaits. And when Netanyahu sounds the alarm about the impending nuclear threat to America and Israel by Iran, Obama brushes it off as mere “noise.” The fact that Obama has been to Israel exactly zero times since becoming President speaks volumes — to those willing to see the facts as they truly are.
The good news is, some Jews are starting to wake up. No doubt it is tough for a group to give up their lifelong attachment and identity with the Democratic Party. But after the spectacle at the DNC Convention, when the Democrat delegates decided to stick it to Israel and leave Israel (and God) out of their platform, Obama saw his support slip among Jews. That was a big turning point.
Gallup recently reported that Obama was receiving 64% of Jewish votes in its tracking poll, down from 74% in 2008. But 64% still seems high in light of the Middle East implosion and the lack of support to our most important ally in the region. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is not perfect, but for an American president to disrespect an ally like him is truly disturbing. Obama treats our enemies with more dignity.
Israel is, and has been, an important American ally and a vital resource in American national security. This alone is significant; as well as what Obama is saying by implication about U.S. security in tossing Israel to the wolves.
As a Jew and as a supporter of Israel, I hope my fellow Jews will think about what is best for America when they go into the polling booth on November 6. I hope they realize that a vote for social issues and political correctness could be a vote for condemning Israel to being a sitting duck surrounded by the Arab Spring (turned Winter), the Muslim Brotherhood and a soon to be nuclear Iran.