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author biography
Alan Caruba has been writing a weekly column of commentary for a decade at anxieycenter.com
He frequently addresses issues involving the rise of Islamism, but writes most often on energy issues and others affecting the U.S. His commentaries are widely disseminated on leading news and opinion websites around the nation and the world.
A former journalist and active as a public relations counselor, Caruba has authored several books including in most recent years two collections of his commentaries.

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More Dead Jews
The Nausea Factor
The Arab’s Bad Mood
Kristallnacht
Yankee Go Home!
Prelude to a Palestinian Bloodbath
Mr. Bush Goes to the Middle East
Terrorists? Not Us Say Muslims



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Obama and the Jewish Vote
Filed under Israeli politics, Jewish diaspora, Opinion Editorials, Israeli Palestinian relations, USA foreign policy, US elections, Lobby Groups, Zionism – on Sunday, May 11, 2008 – By: Caruba, Alan

Assuming that Sen. Obama is the Democrat nominee, it is going to be very interesting to watch the Jewish vote in the forthcoming national elections.
 
As Richard Baehr noted recently in a commentary on American Thinker.com, it “has got Jewish Democrat activists worried” and well it should. The notion of a Jew—any Jew—voting for someone named Barack Hussein Obama approaches the realm of fantasy.
 
The notion that all American Jews are Zionists is a fantasy as well. Whether significantly or merely nominally committed to the survival of Israel, it is well known in the U.S. Jewish community that it is Republicans who are the strongest support for Israel while many Democrats tilt, like Jimmy Carter, toward sympathy and even support for the Palestinians.
 
Jews know that it is the large evangelical community, a mainstay of the Republican Party that is Israel’s most staunch supporters, alongside of the Jewish community. While the economy, illegal immigration, and Iraq are likely to be the major issues of the 2008 elections, the theological alignment of both evangelical Christians and Jews should not be discounted. They share some important values.
 
American Jews have been polled and surveyed for a long time. Their political history is well known. I have many friends who ask, “Why are Jews so liberal?” A look at the way Jews have voted reveals that, “The Democrats’ 50 point win over Bush with Kerry is now but a 29 point lead for Obama over McCain (61-23 with 7% undecided.). Baehr points out that a state like Florida with approximately 400,000 Jewish voters in presidential election years represents a net shift of about 85,000 voters.
 
Recall now, the thin, but decisive margin that gave Bush his first-time victory. These days, McCain is ahead in virtually every poll in Florida.
 
Obama’s problem is compounded by his statements that he would meet with someone like Mamoud Amadinejad, the president of Iran, a nation that threatens the very existence of Israel. His view that America must meet with its enemies is not borne out by history that has many examples of the failure of such policies, though the long, patient negotiations with the former Soviet Union can be cited in its favor. The open hatred of Israel throughout the Middle East and elsewhere suggests this is a failed approach in these times.
 
His affiliation with a Chicago church led by a pastor whose views on Jews are not likely to be friendly is another concern of the Jewish community. That pastor, too, is a longtime admirer of Minister Louis Farrakhan of the Black Muslim movement, a fact that does not go unnoticed in the Jewish community.
 
It is, however, his heritage of being sent initially to an Indonesian madrassa in his formative years that will remain another significant concern to the American Jewish community.
 
The fact that Sen. McCain has a long record of support for the U.S.-Israeli relationship, plus his greater experience, will also play a large role in the way the American Jewish community will vote in November. At least nine key states with significant Jewish populations will determine that outcome of the 2008 elections.
 
Jews have a long history of identifying with American ideals. They have been in America ever since their arrival in New Amsterdam and their right to settle here was supported by the Dutch West India Company. From Washington to Lincoln, they found support in a nation that is based in part on the separation of church and state. Until the election of Franklin D. Roosevelt, Jews voted overwhelmingly Republican. Their long association with progressive ideas led to the change in their affiliation to the Democrat Party.
 
Today, however, they are no longer the guaranteed 90% Democrat vote. It is closer to 75% to 60% depending on the candidate. Their voting clout, too, is in decline as can be seen in states such as New York, New Jersey, Maryland, Illinois, and California. They constitute around 4% of voters.
 
The rise of anti-Semitism around the world will be on their minds in November and events in the Middle East will play a role in how they vote. When they step into the voting booth, most will hesitate to vote for Barack Hussein Obama no matter what their party affiliation may be.
 
The opinions and views articulated by the author do not necessarily reflect those of Israel e News.

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