web analytics
April 20, 2014 / 20 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.



After Obama’s Victory, Jews Focus On U.S.-Israel Relations

President Obama addresses supporters in Chicago after winning Tuesday's election.

President Obama addresses supporters in Chicago after winning Tuesday's election.

Share Button

Capping a race that on a national level was largely defined by the economy but in the Jewish community turned into an extended debate over which candidate would steer the best course for U.S.-Israel relations, President Barack Obama defeated Republican challenger Mitt Romney on Tuesday to earn a second term.

Obama, who as of Wednesday morning had garnered 303 electoral votes to Romney’s 206 and was ahead in the popular vote 50-48 percent, took 69 percent of the Jewish vote, according to a CNN exit poll, representing a nine-point drop from the 78 percent he won in 2008.

National Jewish Democratic Council (NJDC) President and CEO David A. Harris, speaking exclusively with JNS after major television networks called the race for Obama on Tuesday night, said he “and the clear majority of American Jews” are “reassured by having President Obama in office for another four years.”

“The president has a stellar pro-Israel record,” Harris said. “The facts speak for themselves. Whether it’s missile defense or some of the closest [U.S.-Israel] security cooperation ever, or heralding an era of isolating Iran like never before, I see…the close cooperation between the United States and Israel continuing into and through the next four years during what’s a crucial period for Israel’s security.”

The recent course of the U.S.-Israel relationship, however, has also included disagreements between Obama and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on how to deal with the Iranian nuclear threat, with Obama refusing to set the “red lines” for U.S. military action that Netanyahu has requested; in one television interview he called those demands “noise.”

Just a day before the election, the Israeli daily Yediot Aharonot reported that senior Obama adviser Valerie Jarrett has been leading secret talks with Iran for several months. That story followed a New York Times story last month that said the U.S. had agreed to direct negotiations with Iran over its nuclear program for the time – a report denied first by the White House, then by Obama himself in the third presidential debate.

Jonathan Tobin, senior online editor of Commentary magazine, told JNS that Obama’s win will mean “probably four years of ongoing tension with the government of Israel, which is likely to be led by the same person [Netanyahu] with whom Obama is engaged in a long-term feud” – including tension on Iran, especially if Obama approves an Iranian deal brokered by Jarrett.

However, Tobin acknowledged that the “infrastructure of the [U.S.-Israel] alliance isn’t going anywhere.”

Netanyahu congratulated Obama on his victory by saying in a statement, “The strategic alliance between Israel and the U.S. is stronger than ever. I will continue to work with President Obama in order to assure the interests that are vital to the security of the citizens of Israel.”

While Israel was a widely debated election issue in the Jewish community, “American Jews are first and foremost Americans, and like other Americans they are concerned very much about the economy and jobs,” Harris said, calling that “the president’s number one priority today and immediately.”

The battle for the Jewish vote was hotly contested in the swing states of Florida, Ohio, Nevada and Pennsylvania, with the Republican Jewish Coalition (RJC) running a $5 million “Buyer’s Remorse” television advertising campaign in those states that featured Jews who supported Obama in 2008 but regretted that decision. RJC’s advertising in swing states – which also included “Obama…Oy Vey!!” billboards in South Florida – totaled $6.5 million.

Rabbi David Steinhardt of B’nai Torah Congregation in Boca Raton, Fla., said election season was “a very, very challenging period of time and a very difficult campaign.” In his congregation, however, Steinhardt said “people were really respectful of each other in the conversation, surprisingly so, looking at how things began.” Steinhardt said much of the pro-Obama sentiment in his community was “quiet support,” as opposed to the more aggressive approach of Romney supporters during the race.

As far as the U.S.-Israel relationship is concerned, Steinhardt believes “the policies will remain pretty consistent as to what they have been.” He said Israel “can depend on the United States as an ally in what takes place moving forward.”

Rabbi Misha Zinkow of Temple Israel in Columbus, Ohio, recalled the intense campaign in his state.

“From our vantage point here in Ohio, the campaign was caustic, exploited people’s worst fears, and was even insulting to the intelligence of voters,” Zinkow told JNS. “As a result, here and across the country, [Obama] will have much healing to do.” Regarding what Obama’s victory means for Israel, Zinkow said the U.S. and Israel “are friends and allies, regardless of who is president.”

Rabbi Mitchell Levine of Congregation Agudas Achim, also in Columbus, described “a season of robust political debate” that was “healthy for democracy.” While the election will not likely solve what Levine called an “underlying problem of political gridlock,” Jews still used the process to “remain a unified people,” he told JNS.

In South Carolina, a state Romney won, Rabbi Jonathan Case of Beth Shalom Synagogue in Columbia told JNS that both candidates spoke “the same language when it came to Israel.”

“In their televised debates and at rallies they were both forcefully arguing for Israel’s security and the need to fend off the potential danger from Iran,” he said. “Long gone are the presidential contenders who are anti-Israel.”

Stanley Dubinsky, the director of Jewish Studies at the University of South Carolina, said he thinks Obama’s “goals for the Middle East should be to learn about the complex nature of politics there, so [he will] have ideas that are less simplistic and thereby dangerous.”

“Maybe he’s learned his lesson from Syria and Libya, maybe he’ll be less naïve,” Dubinsky said. “That will be welcome.”

Although he said Obama is tacitly supporting, or at least not opposing, Islamic radicalism in the Middle East, Dubinsky is not worried.

“That would worry me if there was a clear march of Islamic groups to consolidate power, but in the last 12 months the Islamic world has turned into complete chaos,” he said. Israeli Ambassador to the U.S. Michael Oren, said the relationship between Obama and Netanyahu “is completely fine” and that he doesn’t “expect any change regarding Israel in Obama’s second term.”

Israeli Deputy Foreign Minister Danny Ayalon said Obama will not “take revenge on Israel” in his second term and that the president “will focus on his legacy; mostly on internal issues, on foreign policy and especially on the Arab world.”

Commentary magazine’s Tobin told JNS that moving forward, the U.S.-Israel relationship “will partly be defined by the attitudes” of the administration but will also be dictated by Israel’s “antagonists” – the Palestinians and the Iranians.

“It could be that even Barack Obama has learned his lessons about the Palestinians and won’t be wasting any political capital – as he did consistently, especially over his first two years in office, when trying to tilt the diplomatic playing field in their direction only to find out that they weren’t interested in talking, anyway,” Tobin said.

“It could be that even with his best intentions to engage with Iran or craft a sort of secret deal or not-so-secret deal with Iran, that Iran won’t do a deal, and that he will have then painted himself into a corner since he has pledged never to allow them to go nuclear, and indeed in the third presidential debate pledged that he would not allow them to have a nuclear program anyway, even in a deal.”

“The nature of the U.S.-Israel relationship will…be defined by the decisions that Israel’s foes make, and that’s the variable,” he said.

(JNS)

Share Button

About the Author:


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.

Leave a comment (Select your commenting platform)

4 Responses to “After Obama’s Victory, Jews Focus On U.S.-Israel Relations”

  1. Paul Mujibar says:

    WHY WOULD JEWS VOTE FOR SOMEONE WHO WANTS TO SCREW UP YOUR GRANDCHILDREN'S FUTURE AND INSURE THAT THEY WILL RECEIVE LESS OF THEIR INHERITANCE THAT YOU WORKED HARD TO GIVE THEM? THESE SAME FOOLS WOULD HAVE VOTED FOR HITLER BACK IN THE DAY, IF GIVEN THE CHANCE.

  2. Obama wins. This is what I PREDICTED ALL ALONG. WE NEED A DYNAMIC ORGANIZATION TO REPLACE THE REPUBLICAN JEWISH COALITION. We need to develop rabbis with batzim, kahoonas that will speak out.. I AM READY FOR THAT CHALLENEGE. ORTHODOX RABBIS WERE TOO TIMID OR NOT WILLING TO JOIN Rabbis for Romney and many sided witht Obama. The majority of Jews and their Conservative and reform rabbis also sided with Obama. RABBI DR. BERNHARD ROSENBERG founder and president rabbis for ROMNEY. The great majority OF Israeli wanteded ROMNEY to win.
    THE FUTURE OF ISRAEL IS AT STAKE AND WE MUST CONTINUE THE FIGHT.

    Read more: http://forward.com/articles/165546/tough-night-for-sheldon-adelson/#ixzz2BZvZ85js.

  3. There is no question there was far too much name-calling—and worse—during this election cycle. While we will, almost by definition, continue to consider those among our colleagues who support an opposing candidate to be wrong, we should not consider them the embodiment of evil.

    I, who opposed President Obama because I consider him dangerous to virtually everything I hold dear, understand that his rabbinic supporters see things differently than I do. I do not consider Obama’s supporters to be “evil.” I think they are wrong. I hope my fears will be proven groundless, but, like most observers in Israel (some very public; others much more quiet), I sadly do not think this will be the case.

    My opposition to Obama’s policies and programs and my efforts to defeat them will not abate. Given freedom of speech in this great democracy, I expect Obama’s supporters among my colleagues to endorse my right to pursue these efforts, just as I endorse their right to support him. RABBI DR. BERNHARD ROSENBERG

Comments are closed.

SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

Loading Facebook Comments ...
Loading Disqus Comments ...
Current Top Story
Ukraine Shul Firebombed
Ukrainian Synagogue Firebombed (Video)
Latest News Stories
Ukraine Shul Firebombed

Antisemitic attacks have escalated with the firebombing of a synagogue in the Ukraine. Watch the video of the attack…

ancient skull discovered Gush Etzion

A surprised group of hikers stumbled across human bones in a Gush Etzion cave. But what they actually found was even more astounding.

FBI Wanted poster for Osama bin Laden

Many Pakistanis consider bin Laden a “hero of Islam.”

Two major obstacles have kept Israel from joining the program: Allegations by U.S. officials that Israel has discriminated against Arab- and Muslim-Americans seeking entry, and a proliferation of young Israelis traveling to the United States as tourists and then working illegally.

A Lebanese man who was arrested in Thailand on suspicion of belonging to Hezbollah admitted to targeting Israelis, Thai media reported.

On Friday afternoon, Syrian fighter jets hit opposition/rebel targets and villages on the Syrian side of the Ramat HaGolan (Golan Heights), in the Quneitra region. Large pillars of smoke are seen rising from struck areas. Quneitra is the site of an official crossing between Syria and Israel on the Golan. IAF jets were sent out […]

As Rabbi Stav said, “You’re free to think what you want. But do you want me to recognize Chelsea Clinton’s child as a Jew?”

Chimpanzees and Orangutans eat Matza, unleavened bread traditionally eaten during the Passover holiday, at the Ramat Gan Safari on Thursday, April 17, 2014. I hope they can digest it. On Passover no leavened bread (Chametz) is allowed in Jewish possession, and that includes food we feed our animals.

Following intelligence reports of further expected Arab rioting and violence on the Temple Mount today, the police have placed restrictions on Muslim entry to the Jewish holy site, according to a report on Arutz-7. Entry will be limited to Muslims over the age of 50, and women, also they must be Israeli citizens or residency […]

PA President Abbas’s refusal to publicly condemn the terror attack that killed Baruch Mizrachi is putting a damper on the parade.

The Shas political party, founded and run by the late Rav Ovadia Yosef, has a appointed a new spiritual leader, according to a Galei Tzahal report. The rabbi chosen to replace Harav Ovadia and be the new president of the party’s Council of Torah Sages is Rabbi Shalom Cohen. Aryeh Deri is the political leader […]

In 1941, the Jews of Kiev received a similar leaflet. When they showed up the next day, more than 34,000 were murdered.

Teen stabbed in South Florida high school.

The Kotel Plaza, the stairs, the Kotel entrance, the roads, everything was packed for Birkat Cohanim – the Priestly Blessing of the People – now imagine if this had been held on top of Har HaBayit, the Temple Mount!

Four Israeli citizens were hurt Thursday in a road terror attack near Tekoa in Gush Etzion.

Israel Police closed access to the Temple Mount to Jews and other non-Muslims on Thursday due to Arab violence.

More Articles from Jacob Kamaras and Alina Dain Sharon
President Obama addresses supporters in Chicago after winning Tuesday's election.

Capping a race that on a national level was largely defined by the economy but in the Jewish community turned into an extended debate over which candidate would steer the best course for U.S.-Israel relations, President Barack Obama defeated Republican challenger Mitt Romney on Tuesday to earn a second term.

    Latest Poll

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







    View Results

    Loading ... Loading ...

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/israel/after-obamas-victory-jews-focus-on-u-s-israel-relations/2012/11/07/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: