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In six weeks, Americans will be going to the polls in what could prove to be one of the most fateful elections in decades.
Mired in a weak economic recovery with mounting debt, the challenges America faces at home are no less pressing than those abroad, where instability in the Middle East and rising Islamic fundamentalism pose a growing threat to the nation’s interests.
In times such as these, real leadership is needed, the kind that will guide the United States through the perilous waters ahead.
Americans must think through the issues carefully, assess the two candidates for president, and make an informed choice about who can best steer the ship of state.
Despite our small numbers, Jews will play a critical role in this process, whether as donors, opinion-makers or residents of key swing states.
Given the critical importance of the upcoming vote, I would like to highlight five reasons why I believe American Jews should not cast their ballots for President Obama in November:
Jerusalem: At the recent Democratic National Convention in Charlotte, Jews were stunned to learn that references to Jerusalem as Israel’s capital had been removed from the party’s platform. Only after widespread protests did Obama seek to have the language reinserted. But even then, it was clear from the floor vote that a large sector of the party opposes recognition of Jerusalem. This sad turn of events laid bare for all to see that the Democratic Party has shifted away from its traditional support for Jerusalem. This alone should give Jewish voters pause before entering the ballot box.
Israel: Under Obama, relations between the U.S. and Israel have been more tense that at any time in recent memory. Who can forget how in May 2010, the president made Israel’s prime minister enter the White House through a side door in an act intended to humiliate him? Or how Obama has now refused to meet with Prime Minister Netanyahu this month in New York, citing a busy schedule, even as he finds time to appear on TV with David Letterman? The public spat between Israeli and American leaders in recent weeks has underlined the unprecedented strain between the two countries. Rather than standing by Israel at this perilous juncture, Obama has chosen to distance himself from the Jewish state. Jewish voters should respond in kind and distance themselves from Obama.
Nuclear Proliferation: On Obama’s watch, the ayatollahs in Iran have made huge gains in their nuclear program, stringing along America and the West as they move ever close to building atomic weapons. As a result, various other countries ranging from Saudi Arabia to Egypt have also indicated that they too might proceed down the nuclear path. In recent weeks, Washington has refused to set “red lines” for the Iranians, and has allowed them to play for time until the clock runs out, even as they threaten to wipe Israel off the map. This dangerous development could destabilize the entire Middle East, threaten Israel’s existence, and set back decades of nuclear non-proliferation efforts. Obama’s policies have singularly failed to make the world safer. Clearly, a new and more robust course is needed.
Assisting the elderly: Respect for seniors and caring for their needs is firmly rooted in Jewish tradition. When a person reaches an advanced age, he deserves dignity. Unfortunately, the Obama administration has chosen to sacrifice the interests of the elderly on the altar of political expediency, deciding to pull some $716 billion out of the Medicare system in order to finance Obamacare. Moreover, under the president’s health care plan, hospitals, hospices and nursing homes will be paid less to treat the elderly, thereby reducing their incentive to provide older people with top-notch care. Whatever one thinks of the president’s comprehensive health care approach, it is clear that the elderly are going to be short-changed as a result. From a Jewish perspective, this is simply unconscionable. A vote for Obama means a vote against the interests of America’s seniors.
Diversity: In 2008, many Jews took pride in the fact that they backed Obama, helping to elevate the first black man to the presidency in the nation’s history. The 2012 election presents us with a similar opportunity: to elect the first Mormon to the highest post in the land. Mormons, like Jews, are a religious minority in America. Though often viewed as somewhat unconventional and incongruous, they are part of the rich fabric of American life. The election of Obama underlined America’s racial diversity. Voting for Romney can highlight its religious diversity too, demonstrating that no matter what way a person chooses to serve the Creator, he will not be judged by the electorate based on his faith.
About the Author: Michael Freund is the Founder and Chairman of Shavei Israel. He writes a syndicated column and feature stories for the Jerusalem Post, Israel’s leading English-language daily, and he previously served as Deputy Director of Communications & Policy Planning in the Prime Minister’s Office under Benjamin Netanyahu. A native of New York, he holds an MBA in Finance from Columbia University and a BA from the Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs at Princeton University.
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Wye would be seen to have set the groundwork for the creation of a Palestinian state
Blaming Israel for the violence in Gaza, he ends up justifying Hamas’s terrorism.
In the Thirties it was common for anti-Semites to call on Jews to “go to Palestine!”
“This arbitrary ban is an ugly stain on our democracy, and it also undermines the rule of law.”
We take US “aid” for psychological reasons-if we have an allowance, that means we have a father.
ZIM Piraeus isn’t Israeli-owned or flagged, incidentally, it is Greek operated.
Foolish me, thinking the goals were the destruction of Hamas thereby giving peace a real chance.
The free-spirted lifestyle didn’t hold your interest; the needs of your people did.
And why would the U.S. align itself on these issues with Turkey and Qatar, longtime advocates of Hamas’s interests?
Several years ago the city concluded that the metzitzah b’peh procedure created unacceptable risks for newborns in terms of the transmission of neo-natal herpes through contact with a mohel carrying the herpes virus.
The world wars caused unimaginable anguish for the Jews but God also scripted a great glory for our people.
We were quite disappointed with many of the points the secretary-general offered in response.
Judging by history, every time Hamas rebuilds their infrastructure, they are stronger than before.
Speaking in his native German, Schulz used the opportunity to blast Israel.
Ever since he vanished, the American government had repeatedly asserted that Levinson was a private businessman — his own safety.
For the second time in the past three months, Israel on Sunday declared its intention to build over 1,000 housing units in areas beyond the 1967 lines.
Nearly seven decades since the end of World War II, Poland is once again turning on its Jews.
In a stunning move last week, the lower house of the Polish parliament rejected a bill that would have restored the legality of shechita, or kosher slaughter, by a vote of 222 to 178.
Last Friday, the Western Wall underwent an unwelcome transformation from sacred site to media circus as the group known as the Women of the Wall sought to hold a decidedly non-traditional prayer service.
The state of Israel this week turned 65, defying history and the odds to celebrate its continued existence in a very dangerous part of the world.
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