Inertia

There has been a bit of chatter as to how American Jews may be deserting Obama this time around (e.g this story in Politico). Big donors jumping ship; general dissatisfaction with Obama’s mis-handling of Israel in the “peace process” (which ought to be labeled the “why don’t you Jews just go back to Europe and leave those poor Palestinians alone” process).

Unfortunately, I believe that Jews will continue to overwhelmingly support liberal Democrats, including Obama, regardless of his actions. History may be to blame.

Often forgotten, by American Jews and many others, is that at its creation, Israel was given a great boost by a liberal Democrat, Harry S. Truman. Truman was an evangelical Christian, a Baptist, and apparently believed that it was God’s will for Israel to be re-formed in its original homeland.

On May 14, 1948, Israel proclaimed its independence. That same day, over the objections of our State Department (the purview of country-club Republicans), President Truman officially recognized the State of Israel.

At that time, the Republican Party was largely the party of “country-club Republicans,” with a significant number of isolationists. Not exactly your Zionist crowd.

American Jews, having worshiped Saint Franklin (Delano Roosevelt) were tethered, then and apparently forever, to the Democratic Party. The ghetto mentality, that the state would be their protector against pogroms and anti-Semites, over-rode other factors. Given the history of Jews who lived in the middle of the last century, this was hardly an unreasonable position.

This was passed along, generation to generation, with Jews not noticing (or caring) that today’s Democrats would never nominate an evangelical, pro-Israel pol like Harry Truman. It’s also rather likely that Harry Truman, were he around today, would not want such a nomination.

Are American Jews stupid? No; it’s just inertia; old voting patterns that are hard to break. American Jews do seem to be blind to the clear changes in both Republican and Democrat parties.

Republicans are now pro-Israel; Democrats have fine words, but their deeds show they just don’t care about Israel. Or, as in the case of Obama and his apparent Middle East mentor, Jimmy Carter (or was that Rashid Khalidi?), are actively hostile.

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