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October 1, 2014 / 7 Tishri, 5775
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Five Reasons Jews Shouldn’t Vote For Obama

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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18 Responses to “Five Reasons Jews Shouldn’t Vote For Obama”

  1. We share two alma maters, so it surprises me that you would accept the Republican myth that Obamacare cut Medicare benefits.

  2. Netanyahu's sanctioning of new settlements in East Jerusalem and the West Bank earned him a snub at the White House. You can't claim to be a partner for peace and then stick it to your adversary without consequences.

  3. Mitchel J. Schapira says:

    Couldn't tell if this was a spoof or not. Reason 5: Vote for Romney because the nominee of the recent GOP convention will promote diversity. Obama has had two shomer shabbos, Orthodox Jews as Chief of Staff. Reason 4: Respect for the elderly. Accuses Obama of taking 176 billion out of medicare, but fails to mention that Romney/Ryan plan would do the same. Seniors are in the 47% that Romney disparaged in Boca Raton. Reason 3: Nuclear non-proliferation. Both candidates agree Iran must not obtain nukes. Obama has used sanctions, sabotage and assassinations to prevent it. Does anyone think Romney would be bold enough to do so? Reasons 2 and 1 are Israel and Jerusalem. The U.S. has greatly expanded the commitment to I.D.F under Obama, and he personally intervened to get the language re: Jerusalem back into the platform.

  4. Mitchel J. Schapira says:

    Respect for the elderly is one of the reasons. Obamacare will save the average senior 5000 dollars in health care costs over the next decade. Romney vows to repeal it.

  5. It's money, myth, and magic vs. the middle class, morality, and mathematics in this election.

  6. I share two alma maters with this guy, so it is a little embarrassing. His previous post comparing the situation in Catalonia and Kosovo to the Occupied Terriroties (or Judaea and Samaria in his parlance) was even more ridiculous. I am happy that we have a President whose first reaction is not to go to war.

  7. Others have already debunked your 5 rationalizations very well. So I'm waiting to hear the first good reason to vote FOR Romney. If the prospect of Romney selecting the replacement for Justice Ginsberg does not scare the crap out of you, nothing will.

  8. I laughed out loud at the "diversity" reason.

  9. If you thought this one was laugh out loud – you should read his previous post comparing the Occupied Territories to Catalonia and Kosovo.

  10. Lynn Sharon says:

    Reading the comments clarifies my opinion that American Jews live in the past and are stuck in their left-wing liberal ideology, and Israel be damned.. Truth and facts are irrelevent, worse, they also suffer from historitical amnesia. They have already forgotten that it's thanks to the Jewish State that they can walk with their heads held high and with pride. I have been around these past 81 years – and I am still amazed at the stupity of so many intelligent people. I have no doubt that they still believe that FDR was the Jewish savior-no matter that his pact with the Saudi's for oil was far more important than saving Jewish lives. Obama is not Israel's friend- and that frightens the heck out of me.

  11. Anonymous says:

    After we, the leftists, takeover the Democratic Party and America with the reelection of Obama, it's only a matter of time until the left-wing, secular ideology spreads through out America in poitical, social, and educational institutions. With Obama being reelected, he will have the power and flexibility to further transform America and downsize America's influence and power around the World and to downsize America economically. Our power within the Democratic Party with removing God and support for Israel from the Democratic Platform shows the extent and power of the left-wing ideology within the Democratic Party. Israel's days are numbered and Obama will see to it. As the recent poll of American Jews voting for Obama indicates, most American Jews do not support Israel as a high priority and will not mourn the destruction of Israel.

  12. Paul, get over it. Iran is not developing a nuclear wepeons to help the Palestinian people. That threat is the issue. If Israel gave up all properties claimed by the Palestinians, Iran would still be doing it dirty business.
    Or are you next going to tell me that the 1948 war was fought because the aggressor countries knew that someday Israel would be building settlements. The current administration, and the State Department had best get their hears out of the asses and learn how things work over there.

  13. Well, since many in Israel, both left-wing and former Mossad and military leaders, seem also to disagree with the Netanyahoo government on the issue of Iran, I guess I am also amazed about the stupidity of many so-called intelligent people – but maybe not the same ones as you. If supporting Israel in the way that you require means that we have to adopt a right-wing conservative ideology, then maybe you are right to give up on American Jews – or at least the two thirds that continue to support President Obama.

  14. I agree that Iran should not be allowed to develop a nuclear weapon. Obama has said so, too. And I certainly acknowledge that a large swath of Palestinians and others in the Arab world are dangerously crazy. However, new settlements in East Jerusalem do not provide Israel greater security, but exactly the opposite. Israel must lead in the effort to establish a two-state solution in order to assure that the Jewish democratic state continues in perpetuity. Otherwise, the Arab demographic overwhelms Israel from the inside within 30 years. Lynn and enida, do you have a vision of the future beyond paranoia? http://jstreet.org/supporters/profile/1/Colette-Avital

  15. Lynn Sharon says:

    Since Israel has been my home for over 40 years and my children have served in the Israeli army, as well as my grandchildren (Sabras ) and I also have 2 Sabra Great-Grandchildren, objectivity may also come with time and age. Perhaps health care may be your major concern, I admit, that my concerns deal with existential issues. Nevertheless, judging Pres. Obama from a distance, and I will admit that hie is charming and charismatic, but IMHO he is also shallow and insiincere, hypocritical and yes, hypnotic, he knows how to play to the crowd, using language as his weapon, and no matter that he has a miniscule appreciation of international affairs.Moreover, his kowtowing to the Middle Eastwen despots, but not visiting Israel or showing a modicum of respect to our PM of the only democracy in the Middle East, says far more than all of the facetious charm and phony flattery in the world.

  16. Lynn Sharon says:

    Replacing Justice Ginsberg is your main concern? Iran threatens to wipe us off the map, and her replacements scares the crap out of you? Well, I see we live in a different world, and perhaps a different planet. Iran scares the crap out of me and 6 million other Jews who live in Israel. But I know that notihng I write will change your world view and your concerns. As for Israelis who don't share my concerns? Obviously you don't know the make-up of our society. There are the Ivory Tower intellectuals and even military types, who live in their own fantasy world, and believe me, they don't speak for the majoritiy of Israelis. And I too can draw up a list of Israelis from all walks of life that share my outlook and my perspective, So what does that mean?

  17. I don't think that there is a clear and certain answer to the Iranian situation. If you are ready for a military strike, i.e. air strikes to take out the nuclear facilities, I respectfully reserve the right to disagree. What scares me MORE than Ginsberg's replacement is Romney's bluster and neo-con advisers, who got us into Iraq on false pretenses and who would give Netanyahu carte blanche.

    Everyone who doesn't share your "world view" is living in a fantasy world? There are REAL consequences to military action, as we found out the hard way in Iraq. And what if the mission to take out the nuclear facilities is unsuccessful, or only partially successful? Bush and the neo-cons thought that we'd waltz into Iraq, take out Saddam and his army for a few billion dollars and little loss of life, and democracy would flourish. Tens of thousands of American lives lost and soldiers maimed over 8 years of war and a trillion dollars later, Iraq's future is still uncertain, and, BTW, Iran's main adversary is now co-opted. Those are the idiots who you want to put in charge of U.S. foreign policy.

    Romney is weak and malleable with virtually no foreign policy porfolio and only superficial understanding of the world outside our shores – just like Bush. Sorry, been there, done that.

  18. Sorry, but I must respond. And forgive me, but you do not seem to be objective. You can have different views than President Obama about what is best for the world and what is best for Israel. But to extrapolate those differences to suggest that he is shallow and insincere – and with a minuscule appreciation of international affairs – flies in the face of reality – and is anything but objective.

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