The Obama administration continues to bash longtime allies of the US who share values of freedom and democracy, like Israel, while showing great patience with those less friendly. Witness the shabby treatment of Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu and the forbearance shown Afghanistan . And yesterday, Obama declared that resolving the Israeli-Palestinian issue was a “vital national security interest of the United States,” codewords for stating that he intends to pressure Israel to accept a peace plan he imposes on them. As if that will magically lead Israelis and Palestinians to make peace. A similar approach – ramming a healthcare bill through Congress – has led Americans to love disapprove of the bill by increasing margins. The policies of the Obama administration towards this loyal ally have prompted great concern from Jewish leaders and politicians who supported him.
Fortunately, there is pushback from Congress. Both the House and Senate sent letters expressing great concern over how Israel is being treated and asking the administration to restore the historically close relationship.
When you look at the signatories to the House and Senate letters, a pattern emerges. The vast majority of Congress, 76% of both Representatives and Senators, signed the letters, but there is a difference by party. Republicans were much more likely to sign – 90% of Senators and 95% of Representatives – than Democrats – 67% of Senators and 62% of Representatives. The Massachusetts delegation came in on the low side – only 4 of 10 Representatives signed and 1 Senator (Scott Brown).
So Republicans emerge as much stronger supporters of Israel than Democrats. Here is the anomaly: American Jews vote overwhelmingly for Democrats despite support for Israel being a critical issue for many Jewish voters. And they voted overwhelmingly for Obama.
Ed Koch said it very well: Supporters of Israel who gave their votes to candidate Obama – 78 percent of the Jewish community did – believing he would provide the same support as John McCain, this is the time to speak out and tell the President of your disappointment in him. I would add that the same goes for lots of Democrat members of Congress. John Kerry, are you listening ?
UPDATE: Hmm, this suggests things may be changing, as a plurality of Jewish voters polled now say they would vote for someone other than Obama.