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Monday, August 10, 2009

A Very Revealing Poll on Jewish Democrats and Obama

Dick Morris cites a poll of Jewish Democrats and their views of Obama's policies towards Israel. Here is a summary. Jewish Democrats reject nearly in wholesale every specific policy that Obama has produced vis a vis Israel. They reject his tough policies on settlements. They reject his policy toward Iran. They reject his view that a Palestinian state is key for peace. In fact, by a 52-20 margin Jewish Democrats believe that.

the Arabs will never live in peace with Israel and that giving them a nation of their own will just make them stronger

Only half believe that Obama is pro Israel while the other half believe he is anti Israel or neutral. Yet, despite this wholesale rejection of the individual parts of Obama's Israel policy, Jewish Democrats by 58-16 believe that Obama is doing a good job of promoting peace in the Middle East. Beyond this, 92% of all Jewish Democrats approve of the job Obama is doing overall. Yet, here is how Morris concludes the sum total of this survey.

The fervency of their support for Israel suggests that Obama may suffer real political damage among a core Democratic constituency if he continues policies that differ so fundamentally from those of the Israeli government.

Now, if you have been reading my work for a while, you know that I find Morris to be one of the most astute political observers around. That said, I totally reject his conclusion here. In fact, this poll further proves my original point about Jews and the Democratic party. The Jewish people have ceded their vote to the Democrats and they aren't nearly as pro Israel as one may think. Of course, Jews are pro Israel, however, try and put this poll into perspective. On the one hand, Jews reject each and every specific policy coming out of the administration. They overwhelming affirm their support for Israel. Yet, they overwhelmingly support Obama's Middle East policies as a whole and even more support his job overall.

In fact, this goes to show that 1) Jews have sold themselves out to the Democrats on the issue of abortion and 2) that this sell out also sells out Israel. In fact, at this point, I would say the issue of Israel is more important to the Evangelical vote than it is to the Jewish vote. In reality, the Jews have nearly given Obama carte blanche vis a vis Israel according to this poll. Obama is their guy and so they overwhelmingly support his overall policy even though there's no part of the policy, specifically, that they support. The Jewish people in America have decided that abortion is more important to them than Israel and as a result, they have sold their votes to a party much less friendly to Israel than they claim to want.


Anonymous said...

After reading both your previous post from January and this current one, I'm left with the unmistakable feeling that you just summarily denounced American Jews as self-hating. And all because they don't vote for the party you want them to.

Its entirely possible that when Republicans react to getting relentlessly pounded on the Jewish vote by saying "they should vote for Israel if they know what's good for them", its interpreted as "they should leave America for Israel if they know what's good for them." Not to mention the overwhelmingly obvious facts that Evangelicals care about Israel because they need Israel to provoke a war they think would bring about the Second Coming and because it satisfies their vicious hatred of Muslims in general and Arabs in particular.

Who knows, maybe its also about race. After all, Israel is a country dominated by American and Western European whites in conflict with indigenous Arabs. That would certainly reinforce my theory that Republicans *actively discourage* non-Christians and minorities from voting for them, lest they attempt to change the Party's message. You've mentioned this about Reagan yourself, in previous posts, Mike.

mike volpe said...

Not self hating but very secular. I said why they vote for Democrats and you mischaracterize what I said. They vote for Democrats because as much as they claim to love Israel they really love abortion more. That's not self hating but secular.

Anonymous said...

That might be your answer, but the question of why don't American Jews vote Republican because the Republicans are more pro-Israel (or more accurately, more anti-Palestinian) is predicated on the idea that you don't think American Jews vote their interests. I mean, you just said that protecting Israel is in their best interests because if Israel falls Judaism will too and that Israel's enemies don't care if American Jews are secular or not.

Now, I don't know about you, but from my experience, religion is more than a belief system, it is a culture. So when you say American Jews love abortion more than they love Israel, you're practically saying they'd support abortion to their own destruction.

But hey, if you think I'm mischaracterizing what you're saying, that's understandable. I don't agree with your political beliefs, so it stands to reason you'd think I don't understand them.

mike volpe said...

They do vote their interest but their interest in abortion supercedes their interest in protecting Israel. I don't think it has to do with self loathing. I think they take the security of Israel for granted. There's no question that Jews don't vote their self interest. They are predominantly wealthy and yet it's the Democrats that want to raise taxes on the wealthy. Furthermore, it's the Democrats that are far less pro Israel.

Soccer Dad said...

I am no fan of Dick Morris. And I wouldn't read too much into a single poll. However, I think that you're right here.

I do think that there's a difference between the support that comes from groups like J-Street or Americans for Peace Now. Their fundamental focus is on pressuring Israel. I have no problem calling such people anti-Israel, because they are. They think that Israel is the main obstacle to peace and that the President should pressure Israel.

NJDC presents a different problem. NJDC itself is not anti-Israel. More than anything it's pro-Obama. And since they presume to be talking for the Jewish community, they are pro-Israel. They don't necessarily agree with pressuring Israel. (No doubt they loathe James Baker - J-Street types and APN admired him.) However since Obama is President and Obama is always right, Obama is by definition pro-Israel regardless of the positions he takes.

NJDC then has to explain why actions or positions by the administration that are objectively anti-Israel are really pro-Israel. When Israeli columnist Aluf Benn exhorted the President to talk directly to Israelis. NJDC's response was to blast Benn rather than acknowledge that he had a point.(Benn probably agrees more with the President than with PM Netanyahu; but NJDC has no patience for those who don't drink the Kool Aid.)

My hope is that the unsustainable position of the NJDC will start to become clear to liberal leaning but lest politically active Jews and make them question the commitment of the President to Israel.