by Daniel Greenfield
Three months after Obama deliberately snubbed Netanyahu, the Prime Minister of Israel was invited back to put on a good show of friendship before the midterm elections. There were smiles all around, reassuring sound bites and even some waving. The idea was to assure everyone that things were back to normal. At least until the mid-term elections delivers the Jewish vote. Just another cynical round in a very cynical administration.
The re-invitation was a concession that Obama's original approach of publicly attacking
The argument between the radical voices that Obama brought in, like Samantha Power or Susan Rice, and the Clinton Administration veterans, including Rahm and Hillary Clinton herself, was over the best way to bring
It was Bill Clinton who had mastered the "friendly overtones/ugly undertones" school of diplomacy toward
It also means the agenda of the radicals, who wanted a deal with Hamas and a unilateral
But mostly Jewish voters have only themselves to blame, for paying so little attention to substance, and focusing on style. And for allowing the Democratic party to think of them as property, rather than votes in play. Until FDR ran for President in 1932, the Jewish vote tended to favor the Democrats by narrow margins in Presidential elections. In 1920, Warren Harding. a Republican who strongly supported the recreation of Israel, won a majority of the Jewish vote. FDR however dramatically shifted the Jewish vote, to make it look more like the black vote.
Part of this was due to the hometown advantage. FDR had been governor of
Reagan pulled in the numbers that he did, partly because of his native popularity, but also because he was running against Carter, who was the first Democratic President to openly attack
On March 1st, 1945, FDR addressed Congress and told them;
"I learned more about the whole problem, the Moslem problem, the Jewish problem, by talking with Ibn Saud for five minutes than I could have learned in the exchange of two or three dozen letters."
The Saudi King's message had been that there could be no Jewish state in the Muslim world, and that Jews should go back to
But FDR's death put Truman in the driver's seat. And while privately Truman was a bigot, in public he needed to build up a different image going into a tough election. While FDR could do anything and still count on the Jewish vote, Truman was not nearly so confident. He lacked FDR's
The Democratic party went from being the party of segregationists, to the party of civil rights. Nor were Black and Jewish voters the only ones fooled this way, led around the nose by a leadership that answered to the party. Social welfare spending helped create a pyramid, leading down to the community. Since by the 40's, the sons of ragmen were successful professionals, the Democratic party knew it could not rely on social welfare to lock in the Jewish vote. And that was where its friendship for
The Republicans did not make things any better. Again, accidents of history came to the fore. Had Dewey really defeated Truman, a Republican President might have become more closely associated with pro-Israel policies. Instead Truman defeated Dewey. And the next Republican President, Eisenhower was hostile to
Where Truman had avoided such direct military commitments in the
By the time JFK was elected, the
Jewish voters of course did not see any of this. What they saw were smiling meetings between JFK and Golda Meir. There is of course nothing wrong with practical politics of that kind, but there was something wrong with Jewish voters being gullible enough to romanticize JFK's friendliness to
cut off from Europe, the American Option was
In 1968 came Nixon. Not only did Nixon bring many of the leftovers of the Eisenhower Administration with him, but he brought along Henry Kissinger. It was Kissinger who turned the American Option into a noose. Where in 1967,
Yet in 1972, Nixon had actually picked up 35 percent of the Jewish vote. The highest of anyone since his old boss, Eisenhower in 1956. It might have had to do something with the man he was running against. George McGovern's views on
As Carter had been
Today Jewish support for Obama has fallen below the 50 percent mark. Once again Jewish voters are confronted with something they had not seen since the seventies, an overtly anti-Israel Democrat in the White House. Generations after FDR, Jewish liberal voters have been conditioned to associate everything good with Democrats. A Democrat that is anti-Israel creates a sense of disorientation, forcing Jewish liberals to decide if the man at the top is wrong, or they are. The radicals think the time is ripe to push for a break between American Jews and
From McGovern to Carter to Obama, the problem for the Democrats has been that their party still needs Jewish support in close races, and despite the best efforts of Ted Kennedy, there still aren't enough Muslim voters in
And there in a nutshell is Obama's problem. Living in a left wing bubble, Barry was surprisingly out of touch with mainstream Jewish Democrats. Instead he actually believed that
Obama is a symptom of the radicalization of the Democratic party. But that radicalization did not begin with him. And among the left, hostility toward
That process of course will take a while. Even in Europe, Nick Clegg finds something nice to say about
The support of American Presidents for
In public they would cloak that pragmatism in high minded rhetoric, not only for Jews, but also for millions of other Americans, who were positively inclined toward
The rise of the radicals however is ending that. The radicals are not interested in buffers and stability. Even when they are beholden to the Saudis, as Obama is, they are much more fascinated by the siren song of Islamic terrorists killing and dying for the Jihad. Their narrative has Soviet roots (in the case of some like Robert O'Malley, those roots are actually literal) and is still bent on destroying
As the Democratic party grows incompatible with pro-Israel politics, the Republican party has become identified with the War on Terror. Unfortunately that identification is still compromised by the heavy Saudi influence still being exerted on many top Republicans. So while the Republican party today is far more pro-Israel, than the Democratic party, they both share a penchant for friendly overtones and an unfriendly undertone. And that can only change under a President who takes fighting Islamic terrorism seriously.
For now Jewish voters have to adapt to a very different political landscape in which the Republican party has taken the lead on pro-Israel issues. Meanwhile a split will continue growing within the Jewish community between Jews and Jews In Name Only, who use a Jewish ethnic background as a way of promoting social justice issues, without any commitment to the Jewish community. As Jews begin skewing Republican, JINO's will skew to the radical left. And the Jewish vote will start to once again look more like the way it did before FDR.
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