web analytics
April 24, 2014 / 24 Nisan, 5774
At a Glance
News & Views
Sponsored Post
Spa 1.2 Combining Modern Living in Traditional Jerusalem

A unique and prestigious residential project in now being built in Mekor Haim Street in Jerusalem.



Israel Not High Voting Priority for Pro-Israel Student Activists

In the 2012 election, many pro-Israel American college students do not feel that their commitment to Israel must override their other passions.
campus studenrs

Photo Credit: Saint Louis University Madrid

Share Button

As college students prepare to hit the polls on November 6 – many for the first time – they will be considering a broad array of policy issues and party platforms. What drives young people to vote? How do they consider various issues? Does Israel play a role in the choices they make on election day?

Israel Campus Beat interviewed pro-Israel students on campuses across the country to gauge the impact their support for Israel has on how they are preparing for Election Day.

In RockTheVote’s latest poll of 18-29 year olds, jobs and the economy were the primary issues young people wanted politicians to address, with education and the cost of college taking second place on the priority list. The first issue of foreign policy, the war in Afghanistan, came in fifth. Based on ICB’s interviews with multiple campuses, it seems that these patterns hold true among pro-Israel young adults.

In the 2012 election, many pro-Israel American college students do not feel that their commitment to Israel must override their other passions. When pro-Israel college students were asked which candidate’s positions make them feel more secure regarding Israel, many were ambivalent.

George Washington University senior John Bennet, who interns for the Romney campaign, said he believes that Gov. Mitt Romney understands the vital importance of the U.S.-Israel relationship. In light of continued unrest in Libya and Egypt, Bennet said this understanding will be crucial in the next four years.

“But regardless of who is elected, United States foreign policy really hasn’t changed drastically in the immediate past and I don’t anticipate that it will,” Bennet said.

Many students echoed Bennet’s confidence that America will remain committed to Israel’s security regardless of who is elected.

Professor Gil Troy, who teaches American history at McGill University, stated that although some people may feel that President Barack Obama’s stance on Israel seems less enthusiastic than some of his predecessors, it would be wrong to call him anti–Israel.

Troy noted that each time the President has said or done something that caused some Israel supporters to question his commitment to the Jewish state, he has responded with a reassuring move to strengthen the US-Israel bond.

For example, Troy noted, “When there is a power struggle between Obama and Netanyahu, Obama ensures stronger military cooperation soon afterward.” But Troy had a different rationale for college students prioritizing domestic issues over foreign policy related to Israel.

“In general, college students tend to be a mix of interventionist and isolationist,” he said. “They are anti-war, anti entanglements in foreign lands and interventionist in humanitarian causes like Darfur.”

With so many Americans deeming Israel a peripheral issue, should supporters of the Jewish state be concerned that the pro-Israel base is becoming less passionate about Israel?

Professor Jonathan Sarna, who teaches American Jewish history at Brandeis University, said that this is not the case.

“Were the President to come out against Israel, then American Jews might in significant numbers vote for the opposing candidate,” he said. However, he continued, because pro-Israel voters do not feel that there is a significant threat to Israel when choosing between Romney and Obama, they do not feel they need to consider Israel’s security more than other policy issues that concern them.

Among Jewish voters, a key bastion of support for Israel, the candidates’ policies on Israel may not have as large a role in determining voting preferences as some people think.

According to David Harris, the president and CEO of the National Jewish Democratic Council (NJDC), support for Israel comes 6th, 7th, and 8th on Jewish voters’ priority lists. He termed this statistic a success story, noting that both candidates value Israel as an important ally and view protecting Israel against Iran’s nuclear threat as a priority. For this reason, he posited, American Jews do not feel they need to prioritize Israel as they decide which candidate to support.

“Only a handful [of American Jews] vote on Israel alone,” Harris said, adding that other issues that figure in Jews’ voting choices include social issues and the economy.

Harris noted that many American Jews put their concerns about social policies and the economy ahead of their concerns about Israel.

Harris called this a “litmus test issue: It would be a top priority if the presidential candidate came out against Israel poll after poll.”

Representatives of the Republican Jewish Council declined to be interviewed.

Sarna noted that some pro-Israel Americans vote based on their views about Israeli security alone. Many of these voters, he added, will cast their ballots for Romney.

“It will be a vote that is more antagonistic to [Obama] than enthusiastic to the man challenging him,” he said.

Historically, American Jews have favored Democratic Presidential candidates by a 3-1 margin, and among all college students the ratio is 2-1.

Visit Israel Campus Beat

Share Button

About the Author: Visit Israel Campus Beat


If you don't see your comment after publishing it, refresh the page.

Our comments section is intended for meaningful responses and debates in a civilized manner. We ask that you respect the fact that we are a religious Jewish website and avoid inappropriate language at all cost.

No Responses to “Israel Not High Voting Priority for Pro-Israel Student Activists”

Comments are closed.

SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

Current Top Story
Hamas terrorists prepare their version of peace.
Terrorists Greet Hamas-Fatah Unity with Rocket Attacks on Israel
Latest News Stories
Hamas terrorists prepare their version of peace.

The last one out of the Peace Talks Cemetery is requested to please lock the gate and throw the key away.

Arabs throwing stones at bus #65 on its way to Pisgat Zev in Jerusalem, injured one of the passengers. The woman was transported to Hadassah Har Tzofim hospital. Several other passengers were treated for shock.

Jeb Bush told a crowd at a NY fundraiser that he is thinking for running for President, according to a report on Fox News. He said he would make his final decision this year.

Dozens of Arabs are going wild near the Flower Gate in Jerusalem’s Old City. They’re burning tires, blocking the main road around the Old City, and shooting fireworks at the local police station in the area. Tazpit News Agency is unaware of any police response at this point, other than Jews are not permitted into […]

Egypt receives an estimated $700 million of oil every month from Arab countries, according to a report in the Egyptian Independent. Egypt’s Petroleum Minister Sherif Ismail said that Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and Kuwait have been supplying Egypt with the needed oil and financing since Morsi was deposed in July, to the tune […]

The Palestinian Authority has granted itself its death wish, unless Obama wants to make a death wish for Israel.

William Rapfogel, the ousted leader of the Metropolitan Council on Jewish Poverty in New York, reportedly will plead guilty for his role in a scheme to steal more than $7 million from the social service agency. Rapfogel, who had served as CEO and president of the Met Council from 1992, was scheduled to enter a […]

Two dead men whose bodies were marked with signs of “brutal torture” were found dumped near the eastern Ukrainian city of Slaviansk.

Closed-minded liberal sophomoics think that anyone against Ground One Mosque and for profiling possible terrorists is a racist.

Tensions continue to mount in eastern Ukraine, with reports of casualties continuing to stream out of the provinces in dispute,

Israeli researchers discover a common blood pressure medication can prevent epilepsy from developing after TBI.

The Fatah terror faction has agreed to form a unity government — again with Hamas.

An Israeli-American journalist has been kidnapped in eastern Ukraine and is being held hostage by separatists there.

The US has decided to begin restoring its military aid to Egypt, apparently in response to the Egypt-Russia MiG-35 deal that is on the table.

Attacks against former Chief Rabbi Shlomo Amar get as petty as which robe he is wearing, and when he is running his Lag B’Omer bonfire.

More Articles from Ilana Levinson, Israel Campus Beat
campus studenrs

As college students prepare to hit the polls on November 6 – many for the first time – they will be considering a broad array of policy issues and party platforms. What drives young people to vote? How do they consider various issues? Does Israel play a role in the choices they make on election day? Israel Campus Beat interviewed pro-Israel students on campuses across the country to gauge the impact their support for Israel has on how they are preparing for Election Day.

    Latest Poll

    Now that Kerry's "Peace Talks" are apparently over, are you...?







    View Results

    Loading ... Loading ...

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/israel-not-high-voting-priority-for-pro-israel-student-activists/2012/10/18/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: