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But contrary to the conclusion of Avishai and the pessimistic Republicans, if Democrats have held their own among the Jews since then, it is not because they have chosen to flout the sensibilities of supporters of Israel but because they have never allowed themselves to be wrong-footed on Israel as they were in 1980.
In line with this insight, throughout this year’s campaign Obama has wisely never allowed much daylight between his positions and that of the pro-Israel community. His goal was not to prove that he had a better record than McCain, but to show an inherently sympathetic audience of Jewish Democrats that his pro-Israel stance was plausible enough to allow them to vote for him, and against his opponent, on the basis of other issues.
Growing assimilation is altering the demographics of the Jewish community, and most American Jews are still more afraid of Pat Robertson than they are of Hamas, Hizbullah or even Iran. But it would be dead wrong to think that most don’t care about Israel.
Republicans may question Obama’s sincerity, and point to his personal history and waffling on issues, such as Jerusalem, to back up their cynicism. But his consistent statements of support for Israel have effectively parried the claim that he is another Carter, which is all he really needed to do to hold on to the Jewish vote.
The proof, of course, will be in the pudding. Should a President Obama prove his critics right and go back on his word on Israel, he will discover that Jewish voters, including many Democrats, are every bit as capable of punishing him as they did Jimmy Carter 28 years ago.
About the Author: Jonathan S. Tobin is senior online editor of Commentary magazine and chief political blogger at www.commentarymagazine.com, where this first appeared. He can be reached via e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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Responsibility lies with both the UN and Hamas, and better commitments should have been demanded from both parties in the ceasefire.
But the world is forever challenging our Jewish principle and our practices.
If this is how we play the game, we will lose. By that I mean we will lose everything.
Reportedly, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, and the United Arab Emirates have formed a bloc that seeks to counter Islamist influence in the Middle East.
One wonders how the IDF could be expected to so quickly determine the facts.
While there is no formula that will work for everyone, there are some strategies that if followed carefully and consistently can help our children – and us – gain the most from the upcoming school year.
We risk our lives to help those who do what they can to kill to our people .
Twain grasped amazingly well the pulse of the Jewish people.
The entertainment industry appears divided about the conflict between Israel and Hamas.
Israelis in Gaza border communities need to get out; who will help them?
The contrast between the mentality of Israel and the mentality of Hamas was never so loudly expressed as when the Arab killers became heroes and the Jewish killers became prisoners.
There is a threat today representing a new category of missionary:They call themselves “Hayovel.”
Just as we would never grant legitimacy to ISIS, we should not grant legitimacy to Hamas.
But I have a question for the Palestinians and their foreign cheerleaders. What if, instead of devoting all of their resources and cash to an effort to turn Gaza into an armed fortress, bristling with thousands of rockets and honeycombed with tunnels and shelters where only Hamas members and their dangerous toys are allowed, the […]
Nothing short of a stroke that will decapitate the leadership of this group will convince the Arabs that Hamas has made a mistake.
Z STREET will have the ability to compel IRS officials to testify as to their practices and produce all records.
“Death of Klinghoffer” opera frames the issue as Israel’s existence being the real crime.
Palestinian leaders claim the kidnapping is an Israeli hoax or the act of Jewish criminals rather than terrorists.
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