Jan 18, 2012

Why American Jews Will Vote For Obama

A Guest Post by Dr. Harold Goldmeier

Many American Jews feel President Obama cannot be trusted to politically support Israel during a second term of office. They hope to put his reelection in jeopardy without the widespread and enthusiastic support of the Jewish community.

His sympathies lay with Muslim people; his roots evoke emotional ties with Arabs. The President has a political agenda as leader of a superpower, so he wants to curry favor with Arabs. Most worrisome is that the President will lean really hard on Israel to make life-threatening concessions to the Palestinians ensuring a two state solution and placating the Arab street. They argue to not vote him a second term of office. I contend Obama will corral the popular Jewish vote, even from Israel’s community of American sympathizers and young people, and he will do so in unprecedented numbers.

Individual Jews, non-Jewish supporters of the State, advocates and lobbyists, charge he is too easy on Hamas, the Palestinian Authority, Egyptian revolutionaries, and the Arab League. His sanctions on Iran’s oil sales and banks seem pathetically weak against a nation threatening to nuke not only Israel, but Iran repeatedly threatens America’s oil sources of Qatar, Bahrain, the UAE, and Saudi Arabia. In a second term they expect him to go easy on the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt, Libya, and Tunisia. The President seems publicly timid about Syria and Jordan as the Arab Spring spreads to the streets threatening the overthrow of their autocratic regimes.

Israel’s supporters still believe the President’s agenda was laid out in his Cairo speech, his reference to 1948 borders. Many still resent the maltreatment of Prime Minister Netanyahu during his White House visit. The President’s character assassination of Netanyahu in an exchange with France’s Sarkozy increased the animus. The CIA Director’s tool shed command for Israel to do whatever necessary to get back to the damn negotiating table without ever expressing his frustrations with the PA’s recalcitrance added more fuel to the growing fear of a second Obama term in office. Secretary Clinton’s caustic remarks on Israelis’ treatment of women by a sect of ultra Orthodox Jews as if this was government policy, and her suggesting that Israel’s democratic institutions are threatened and eroding, while completely silent about the abhorrent institutionalized violence against women in Arab countries where courts and judges and Islamic religious leaders condemn women to death by stoning or hanging for adultery and having been raped.

Israel’s supporters appreciate the dramatic expansion of America’s military aid to Israel under the Obama administration. Joint military exercises, the sales of the most advanced military hardware like fighter jets and bunker busting bombs to take out Iran’s underground nuclear facilities and stockpiles, and sophisticated intelligence gathering equipment and software cannot displace the uneasy feelings engendered by the administration’s words and gestures.

This uneasiness poses no real threat to the votes the President will get from Jews in the next election. He will get 80% or more of the Jewish vote, because in the end Jews know that a domestic policy advancing better lives for the American people will strengthen America. Jews and young people want a stronger economy and justice wrought on the financiers and bankers who financially ruined the country.

Jews and young people with whom I have spoken extensively about the upcoming election, except for the most right wing conservatives who are in the minority of these populations, give no quarter to discussions about abortion like overturning Roe vs. Wade, limiting the civil rights of gays, or gutting Social Security as proposed by Obama’s opponents. Forget it. Jews and young people and members of the middle class under siege want the focus to be on jobs, getting the economy back on track; they want to stop the gutting of social welfare and health care programs; they are mad as hell that one-quarter of the children in the country go to school and to bed hungry, have no access to preventive and regular health care, and that more than half the children live below the poverty line. They want institutional change rather than focus on group conceptions in respond to social issues much like in Depression times described by Charles H. Stember in his classic, Jews in the Mind of America. They don’t blame Obama for these conditions, but for not fixing them. They want structural changes in governance of our finance and banking institutions, and they want financiers and bankers who brought ruin to the country to be punished.

But they will vote for him, because other Presidential contenders cannot get past issues the nation settled on a decade or more ago. Foreign policy does not make a strong America if there is cancer spreading in her stomach and bowels. A sick America is not a strong America, and America can only be strong again if she has two healthy legs to stand on. Only then will America’s foreign policy take a front seat in the next election.

Dr. Goldmeier specializes in business and economic development.. He holds a doctorate from Harvard University where he served as a Research and Teaching Fellow. He served on the Government Relations Committee for the Chicagoland Chamber of Commerce, and recently sold his business that had more than $12 million in annual sales. He has published more than two dozen articles.


  1. Like who people vote for makes a difference in America? please!

    Nothing in America has changed!

  2. I have to ask, were you paid to post this post, because it reads like the guy was paid to write it.

  3. the votes of 51% of the people of each state count.. :-)

  4. anon2 - dont know why you think that.

  5. Even the votes of 51% of the people don't mean anything.


    What actually changed between Bush and Obama? Same tarp bills, same bailouts, gitmo is still open, same wars are going on, the military pull outs were on the same schedule, fights in congress are the same...

    It's all the same continued policy no matter who is in the office.

  6. Good article. Makes a lot of sense.

  7. This proud American Jew will vote for Obama because the Republicans cannot seem to find a sane candidate to nominate. Most of the Republican candidates seem to want to change the US into a Christian theocracy.

  8. No, and no. They will vote for obama because they are stupid. as a goysiha irish drunk once said, "how come jews are so smart in science, math, and win all those noble prizes, but are so !@#$% stupid when it comes to politics ?"

  9. The nations are supposed to think of us, including esteemed Harvard grads, as intelligent. Someone with an action program to bankrupt the nation, roll over for its enemies, and pervert justice from top to bottom is unworthy of our votes.

    Obama has pursued such a program to the best of his (fortunately still limited) ability.

  10. well that's the question, isn't it - whether some candidate will promote an economic policy that is likely to have a positive impact, and whether voters will recognize it.


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