Sixty-two percent (62%) of Republicans back Israel’s decision to take military action against the Palestinians, but only half as many Democrats (31%) agree. A majority of Democrats (55%) say Israel should have tried to find a diplomatic solution first, a view shared by just 27% of Republicans.This division in party affliliation and their view of Israel is only startling if you haven't been paying attention. While Democrats have given some lip service to Israel, it is the Republican Party that is far more pro Israel. In fact, there's never been a President more pro Israel than George Bush. In the last election, the difference couldn't have been more startling in the two candidates views of Israel. Not only was John McCain a proven terror warrior but he has long been unabashadly pro Israel. Barack Obama has no foreign policy record at all and his entire Illinois political career was spent in the company of academics that were pro Palestine.
Yet, for as long as I can remember, the Jewish vote has gone overwhelmingly Democrat. In fact, in both 2004 and 2008, the Jewish vote went Democrat nearly 80%.
There are still many Jewish voters that will tell people that Israel is the number one issue or even the only issue. Make no mistake, they are lying. Jews in America are decidedly secular. By this I mean, they are Jewish in name, or often at parties, or even more often when it suits them. Most Jewish people wind up at synagogue no more than three times a year, Yom Kippur, Rosh Hashanah, and Passover.
In fact, the number one issue for most Jewish voters has nothing to do with foreign policy. It is a social issue and it is the issue of abortion. Their secular nature also makes most of the pro choice and often virulently pro choice. In fact, for many Jews, Bush's strong defense of Israel was nothing compared to his even stronger defense of life. That's why despite his being the most pro Israel Presidency, he lost the Jewish vote overwhelmingly.
In my mind, this view is not only ironic but ultimately stupid. It's ironic because it is those in the Democratic Party that often accuse Republicans of appealing to foolish people on social issues. Of course, the Democrats have nothing to offer the Jewish vote besides their unabashed support of abortion. Jewish people are often successful and they are exactly the sort of voters that Democrats punish with tax cuts. The Democratic Party is decidedly more even handed in the Palestine/Israel conflict, just look at the difference between Bill Clinton and George Bush. Clinton offered Arafat 95% of what he wanted whereas Bush wouldn't even meet with Arafat. Yet, because the Democrats are so pro abortion, the secular Jews have thrown in with the party.
It is also stupid because secular or not, Jews risk the extinction of their ethnicity when they get in with anyone that isn't firmly committed to supporting the Jewish state. There is about 12 million Jews in the world. Without a country to call their own, the race faces the real possibility of extinction. Israel is surrounded by 360 degrees by enemies. It is also the scourge of the world. Jews can't count on the rest of the world to support Israel. If the U.S. ever has a President not committed to the safety of Israel, that could be the deathknell for the country. Once the country is destroyed, the religion follows shortly thereafter. Most Jews aren't that religious and so they likely don't feel an affinity to Israel. Make no mistake, enemies of the Jewish religion, of which there are plenty, care not how often we visit a synagogue. They will attempt to destroy each and everyone regardless. It's something for all in the religion to think about next time the get into the ballot box.