Skip to comments.The Jewish Dilemma of Barack Obama
Posted on 07/31/2012 2:36:37 AM PDT by pistolpackinpapa
The Democrats have a Jewish problem, and his name is Barack Obama. Reluctantly, many Jews, loyal Democrats by birth and tradition, have concluded that hes not The One they thought he was.
With even greater reluctance, the White House has concluded that their Jewish problem is real, growing, and they better do something about it.
Mitt Romneys dramatic declaration Sunday in Jerusalem that preventing Iran from building a nuclear weapon is Americas highest national security priority and military force should not be excluded, and that he regards Jerusalem as the true capital of Israel, puts in stark relief the difference between what the two candidates think about Americas only real ally in the Middle East.
Mr. Romney is willing, even eager, to give heartfelt, emphatic, unadulterated, full-throated support for the Jewish state in its hour of greatest peril since the founding. Mr. Obama cant do that because he doesnt feel the love. He sprang from a culture of radicalism where Israel was regarded as illegitimate, if not evil. He gives the clear impression that he doesnt like Jews very much.
Mr. Obama repeats only empty, bland assurances that everything is OK, that the friends of Israel shouldnt worry because the messiah from Chicago is on the watch. U.S.-Israeli ties, he told a rally the other day in Palm Beach, are stronger than ever. Thats bunk, as Sen. John McCain bluntly told a television interviewer: Everybody knows that relations with Israel have never been worse.
Bland assurances are no longer enough to satisfy betrayed true believers; the monolithic Jewish support for Democrats, any Democrat, is fraying around the edges. Merely telling skeptical and suspicious Jewish voters not to believe their own eyes and ears is no longer effective. No one expects Mitt Romney to win a majority of Jewish voters on Nov. 6, or anything close to it. He doesnt have to. If he can peel away three or four percentage points in certain swing states, particularly Florida and Ohio, that would change the game.
John McCain spent a lot of time, attention and money to attempt this four years ago. George W. Bush made such an attempt in 2004. Neither worked. But 2012 is a different ball game.
Jewish voters, like others of various passions and persuasions, have had four years to confront buyers remorse. Four years of Barack Obama have taught even slow learners to pay attention.
The proof is that a group of the slow learners, Jewish liberals still in love with Mr. Obama even if he isnt in love with them, are putting together a campaign to answer the Republican Jewish Coalitions successful work to get the friends of Israel to wake up and sniff the odor of harsh reality. This is not, a Democratic operative told Politico, the Capitol Hill daily, a case of Obama being swift boated. Nobody is telling stories about the president. His Jewish critics are merely laying out what everybody who has been half-awake during the past four years already knows.
Aaron David Miller, who has worked for several Democratic presidents over a quarter of a century, warns Democrats of turbulence ahead in a commentary in Foreign Policy magazine that has shaken up Jewish assumptions. Ive watched a few presidents come and go on this issue, he writes, and Obama really is different. Unlike [Bill] Clinton and George W. Bush, Obama isnt in love with the idea of Israel. He has a harder time making allowances for Israeli behavior he doesnt like. . . the president doesnt emote on many policy issues, with the possible exception of health care. But on Israel, he just doesnt buy the tiny state living on the knifes edge with the dark past argument.
Alas, the knifes edge is exactly where Israel lives, like it or not, and Israel must act accordingly. Mitt Romney, like his constituents some Jewish, most not, and many of them evangelical Christians understands that. Mr. Romney, like that constituency, is not embarrassed to emote about it. Barack Obama cant emote because to him Israel is not a natural friend and ally, bound to America by considerations of blood, faith and circumstance, but a nuisance. Why cant Israel just go away? This is hard for Jews, who have been voting Democratic since their grandfathers rallied to FDR and the New Deal, to accept as the new reality. It has been easier to pretend theres no problem. But now there is a problem, and its too big to hide with convenient pretense.
More accurately, "...many Jews, loyal Democrats by brainwashing and addiction..."
This is true only of American-style Fundamentalist Protestants and (to an extent) moderate Catholics. Outside that orbit the vast majority of chrstians--Catholic, Eastern Orthodox, Non-Chalcaedonian, Non-Ephesene, liberal/mainline Protestant--are at best indifferent to Israel and at worst downright hostile. And no chrstians are more hostile to Israel than Middle Eastern chrstians. Naive American politicians spend a great deal of time lamenting the fate of ME chrstians at the hands of moslems but those ME chrstians tend to be pro-islamic themselves and certainly have no use for Judaeophilic American-style chrstians.
Father Coughlin maybe, but if Aimee Semple McPherson was anti-Semitic this is the first I have ever heard of it. In fact, I've heard that she was close to Jack Benny and had an affair with either him or Milton Berle.
Also, don't forget how some Baptist groups tried a decade ago to organize a Jewish conversion period. These are the things that drive Jews bonkers.
No one is more opposed to chrstian prosylitization of Jews than I am, but so long as Fundamentalist chrstians remain Fundamentalist chrstians they will be trying to convert everyone, Jews included. As insulting as it may be (and it is), it's nothing to be afraid of. Just say no. No one's going to force anyone to convert and Fundamentalists don't work that way.
The ironic thing though, is that it is the SAME Israel that has gone out of its way to PROTECT the major Christian shrines very dear to these same Chrstians.
Yes, Roosevelt's administration's performance on the "Jewish Question" (which translates into doing what was possible to save the European Jewish victims of Nazism from genocide) was abysmal. This is documented in a book by Arthur D. Morse published back in the 1960s titled "While 6 Million Died," as well as the film "Voyage of the Damned."
For those of you in Rio Linda, check out Secretary of State Cordell Hull and Ambassador Joseph P. Kennedy, Sr.
In addition to Hull and Kennedy, perhaps even more damaging in that regard was an an Undersecretary of State named Breckenridge Long.
I'm not chrstian (nor Jewish either), but that was nothing to cringe at. Naturally chrstians would prefer a "real chrstian" to be president. That's only natural and there's absolutely nothing hateful about it whatsoever.
As to the issue of Mormonism, you said you don't care less - but that point is essential among Christians. To many Jews, Mormonism is simply another "He's Not-Jewish" category - but to Christians, Mormonism is an apostate cult.
To non-Orthodox Jews mormons are just another "he's not Jewish category," but to Orthodox Jews and Noachides like myself chrstianity itself is an apostate cult. I'm not offended by chrstians fighting against what they regard as a false form of their religion but I wish they would try to understand that to some of us the whole spectacle is just one bizarre apostate cult condemning a small subset of its members for being too bizarre. How would you feel if you lived in an area with a high moslem population and the candidates were arguing about who was a "true" moslem and who was an "apostate," when to you they're both wrong???
Another issue with me personally is the notion many evengelicals have that the USA is THE special, chosen holy country, chosen specifically to be ruled by evengelicals as the "true religion." Unlike most non-chrstians who point out that most of America's founders weren't orthodox chrstians, I don't take any joy in pointing that out. We'd probably be better off today if they had been orthodox, at least in the evengelical Protestant way. But this notion that G-d chose or created the USA just so Baptists could create a "city on a hill" to show the rest of the world the "true religion" is a form of "identity" chrstianity--not as nasty as the neo-Nazis, but "identity" just the same. It is a parallel narrative to the election of Israel and that just won't wash.
Furthermore this type of national religion doesn't take long to degenerate into idolatry. "God" soon morphs from the Universal True G-d into a local deity, an idol. Evangelicals who think G-d inspired the Constitution (which is actually a mormon belief) are no different than those Black nationalist chrstians who think J*sus was one of them--Soul Brother Number One, J*sus X, the First Revolutionary.
This radical localization is not at all unique to American evangelicals, however. Traditonally chrstian nations have always localized G-d. Each chrstian nation likes to think it is the "new Israel." Why do the Ethiopians claim the Ark of the Covenant? Why do the Armenians believe that "the chrstian race is the Armenian race?" Why do Greeks insist that only Greeks can truly understand chrstian theology since it was originally formulated in Greek? American evangelicals are no worse than these other groups (in fact they're a considerable improvement), but it's still frustrating to see the same old story ("we're Israel now!") repeating itself.
Pinging wideawake to this post simply because he understands what I'm trying to say here and nobody else probably will.
That pretty much sums it up, as far as the relationships of the major candidates to Israel and the Jewish people as a whole are concerned. No surprise that Zero's favorability rating in Israel is near Zero.
Wes Pruden might have also added that Romney is willing to attribute the superior performance of the Israeli economy vis-a-vis the Palestinians' economy to superior cultural values, at the risk of offending the Obots.
Every Jewish person I’ve ever met is well-aware that some kind of Nazarine is going to be the President of the USA, and what kind matters very little, unless it is the kill-the-Jooos kind that Obama is.
Is the jam-Jesus-down-your-throat type (who also so often happen to be Republican) stomach churning in their annoyance-factor? Sure.
Medveds suggestions are bizarre, to say the least.
Medved himself is bizarre. I quit listening to him long ago. He’s the type of person I’d like to buy for what he’s worth and resale him for what he thinks he’s worth.
Zero’s favorability rating in Israel is near Zero.
Someone correct me if I’m wrong, but, didn’t Romney raise some campaign cash during his Israel visit? If so, I wonder how much he received.
That's an easy one. Because I've never, ever, at least that I can remember, experienced it. That is why I find I find it so bizarre and can we leave "established history" prior to say the last 50 years out of it? We are discussing current events, after all.
Those Jews who are Jew by ethnicity but completely reject Judaism and are themselves openly atheistic or secular express much more hostility towards the notion that Christ is the Messiah but embrace the notion that Christians are out to harm the Jewish people.
Those Jews, in my experience, have probably never even thought about the concept of Christ the Messiah and most likely wouldn't have the faintest idea what was being discussed (I have little, myself). This is where I think Medved is out in left field somewhere. It's not hostility so much as apathy. OK, if you ask them on a survey if they are 'hostile' to the concept, they'll take 5 seconds to respond as that'll be the first and last 5 seconds they will spend on it.
Also I think a lot of Christians overstate how much Jews really think or care about Christian beliefs and principles. It's true (much less so now than a few generations ago) than some Jews, not all that many, feel threatened by Evangelicals but that fear is of their actions, not of Jesus or worship of Him. I've had relatives - we're talking generations ago - say some negative things about Christians, but about Jesus Christ? Can't recall His name being mentioned once.
I would say you and I can agree to disagree on this.
Certainly. Good way to leave it - I just wanted to clarify where my thoughts on this subject come from.
As I've posted here before, due to the geographic distribution of the diverse segments of the Jewish community, it is extremely difficult, tedious, inefficient, and time-consuming to come up with and implement a strategy calculated to get an accurate estimate of the true national Jewish vote.
You mentioned Brighton Beach, Brooklyn, which is an area dominated by relatively recent Russian Jewish immigrants and their descendants, a subset of the Jewish population which undoubtedly will vote overwhelmingly GOP for president this year. But you can be assured that just about every pollster trying to estimate the "Jewish vote" will undercount or underweigh this subset in their sampling, largely because of language and social and cultural barriers. These people, because of their recent history in the USSR, will be relatively unlikely to be forthcoming with pollsters or even to participate as a polling interviewee at all.
Please, let's not distort history as Democrats like to do. Father Coughlin publicly endorsed Democrat Franklin D. Roosevelt running against Republican Herbert Hoover for president in 1932. In 1936, he endorsed the Union Party candidate running against Roosevelt and Alf Landon. So to imply that Coughlin was a Republican is a huge stretch. And it turns out that Henry Ford, also very scary to Jews, ran unsuccessfully once for the US Senate as a Democrat.
BTW, Hoover compiled a significantly better record on Jewish matters than Roosevelt did over their respective careers, with Roosevelt's Administration being marred by its multiple failures to aid European Jewish victims of Nazism. (Please see my post # 25).
Never confuse liberal Jews with facts. Voting Democrat is about grievance, not logic.
If you are going to claim I am distorting history then don’t distort what I wrote. I did not say Coughlin was a Republican, I said that the Jews of that time found him threatening to them. This has been handed down to me by relatives (I am Jewish) who lived through the time. It has nothing to do with Roosevelt how they felt about Coughlin and McPherson. Many people who endorsed Roosevelt in 1932 turned against him in 1936.
And believe me, Jews remember Roosevelt’s actions on Jewish victims, they just decided the US economy was the bigger issue in the elections. And unfortunately most of them gave him a pass on it because of WWII, and even gave him a pass on the Schechter court case for the NRA.
But that doesn’t mean ANYTHING when it comes to their feelings of Coughlin and McPherson.
Grievance against what or whom, and why? If there's any historical grievance, it should be against Franklin D. Roosevelt, not in his favor.
I'm trying to see where you're coming from. You state, "Younger Jews are far more likely to be Republican than their parents and grandparents." I'd agree with "more likely" on that, but would quibble with "far more likely." But I'd say that the reasons behind that are more demographic than lack of bad experiences in youth with radio "evangelists." It's that younger Jews tend to be (1) less urban and more suburban and exurban than the immediately preceeding generations and (2) are and will continue to be increasingly more religiously observant as a group because of much higher birth rates and relative lack of assimiliation within the Orthodox subgroup.
I suppose you are saying that older Jews who had heard or been told about the "radio evangelists" of the 1930s are associating today's Christian Right with those old "radio evangelists" and thereby associating today's GOP with them.
Yes, Father Coughlin was very scary as an on-air voice of antisemitism during a time when Nazi Germany was on the rise in Europe, but I don't think he'd be called an "evangelist," but rather a rogue Roman Catholic priest. I never heard of Aimee McPherson being linked to antisemitism but I don't know all that much about her.
--- That's hitting it on the head. Even today my Dad's generation brings that up in conversations. I think both of your other points are pretty much accurate too. Don't forget that Jewish doctors are a pretty big subset too and they ARE FURIOUS with Obama. Some are clients and the conversations I have with them are almost vicious in their disgust.
Though the percentage of doctors that are Jewish is several times the percentage of the general population that is, and many Jewish doctors may be furious over Obamacare, the unfortunate facts remain that Jewish doctors as a group have never had much political clout within the Jewish community, and that doctors in general have been treated with contempt by the ruling left-dominated political class for many years because the profession as a whole is thought of as being politically impotent (except for the traitorous AMA, but that's another story).
If the medical profession was treated with any kind of respect by the leftist political class - anywhere close to the way the trial lawyers are - ObamaCare would never have come close to happening.
What “dilemma”. Life is full of self-imposed obstacles, unless you stop imposing them on yourself. There is no dilemma. Obama sucks. Don’t support him. If you feel guilty about voting against a Democrat, or supporting a Republican, don’t worry. Romney’s a RINO. Problem solved.