Thursday, November 3, 2011
Repost: Understanding Why Jewish People Vote Democrat
(This is a re-post from April 2008. I had many request to re-share this blog. Update: Grammar and spelling corrected)
To my Jewish friends, Shalom! It is Passover weekend. It is the Jewish culture to celebrate eight days of prayer and eat symbolic foods. Passover commemorates the exodus and freedom of the Israelites from Egypt. I had the opportunity to celebrated a Seder dinner with a friend and his Jewish family. It was a memorable experience to celebrate the feast with wine, story telling, and discussion. Of course, the evening wouldn't be complete without a wonderful symbolic meal. The ceremony was done in traditional Hebrew, but everything was translated in English by my friend Caleb. Thank you, Caleb!
After dinner, while the ladies talked in the kitchen, the men retired to the den for further discussion. They started to talk about politics and the 2008 Democrat primary. They knew that I was a conservative Republican, and they offered me to speak with an open mind. Without being disrespectful, I asked one simple question. Even though the majority of Jews are very conservative, why are they stereotyped to vote Democrat?
Caleb’s grandfather, bless his soul, looked at me. He told me that the Jews took the Torah, the Jewish Bible, to heart, and their obligation to their fellow man. Thus, many Jews lean Democrat. Caleb’s uncle jumped in and told me when his family immigrated to the USA, the Republicans, at that time, were against unions. For a young, Jewish man, finding a job was tough. The unions helped protect the rights of the little people. Hence, many working Jews lean Democrat.
During the time of FDR, Caleb’s grandfather told me that many Republicans were against WWII and against fighting Nazi Germany. He will not forget such events. It is why he supported Democrats. Caleb explained to me that none of the Republicans, dating back to Eisenhower, did anything for Israel. The men in the room were adamant in voting for a candidate that supports Israel. It was their top priority. Caleb said that Eisenhower didn't do anything for Israel. Nixon was stalling until Golda Meir threatened a nuclear attack. Ford did nothing. Reagan gave the Iranian mullahs weapons. Bush 41 did nothing. Bush W. Bush egged Israel to attack Lebanon.
Then Caleb got carried away by saying that George W. Bush allowed Iran and North Korea to have a nuclear bomb. He said that George W Bush was forcing Israel to act unilaterally to prevent a nuclear Iran and a nuclear North Korea. Caleb went on to say that Jimmy Carter brought peace between Israel and Egypt. During Clinton's Administration, Bill Clinton got Jordan to recognized Israel and tried desperately to bring peace between the Palestinians and Israel at Camp David, but Arafat declined.
After the group had their say, the opportunity allowed me to step in. Before the discussion, I never knew the reason why the Jews supported Democrats. I can see the men in the room waiting for me to speak "on behalf of the conservative movement." It was scary. It took me at least 30 seconds to gather my thoughts because it was information overload at this point.
I said that America will recognize Israel's existence as a sovereign state. For many decades, the United States stood side by side defending Israel. It is irreverent to say what a past president did or didn't do. It doesn't matter what party sat in the Oval Office. Israel will always exist. I had to clarify to the men that the Republicans and the Democrats equally gave Israel headaches. However, the Democrats caused more of an irreversible damage to Israel than Republicans. It started with former President Jimmy Carter, who didn't have any foreign policy experience. Jimmy Carter's foreign policy was US intervention. I told the group that Carter's intervention to bring peace with Egypt and Israel was secondary because Egypt was already a friend to the United States. Carter's inexperience led to many other missteps. Because of Carter's intervention, the former president allowed the Ayatollah to take control in Iran. The result led to the Iran hostage crisis that lasted 444 days. Allowing the Ayatollah to rule, he began to preach radical Islam, which is a threat to Israel and the world. When the Soviets invaded Afghanistan, Jimmy Carter sent aid to the anti-Soviet Islamists. This led to the birth to al-Qaeda, a radical Islamic, terrorist group, in Afghanistan. In fact, Jimmy Carter's weak, foreign policy is still causing repercussions forty years later with Iran and North Korea developing nuclear weapons.
Likewise, Clinton's involvement in Bosnia, a Muslim country, brought a wide spread proliferation of radical Islam into the region. Because Clinton supported of Bosnia Muslims, Clinton aided thousands of Mujahideens, who are radical Islamic fighters, to help fight the cause. After the war, many of the Mujahideens stayed in Bosnia. I had to remind the group that the Mujahideens were the source of instability and terrorism in Europe. Also, Bosnia was the staging ground for many terrorists plots around the world.
I had to mention to the group not to dwell in the past, but look what is occurring now. To describe the role in Bill Clinton bringing peace with the Palestinians and Israel is no different what this current administration (Bush) is doing. I added that I had qualms in negotiating with a terrorist state whose hatred for Israel has been historically documented. Israel is a country that has the right to defend itself. It is the policy that is supported by George W. Bush. Whether Israel strikes an enemy nuclear plant or missile plant, which they have done, it will not be excoriated by the United States.
I went on to say that Obama, who denounced Jimmy Carters talk with Hamas, is willing to sit down and hold direct talks with Iran and Syria's President. Obama's pious arrogance is demonstrated that he claims a hopeful reconciliation can be rendered without further blood shed. I mentioned that Obama and Hillary are no friends to Israel. Their policies contradict the values of the Jewish faith. Obama and Hillary Clinton have terrorist ties. Obama is willing to split Israel in half to appease the Palestinian government. I remind the group the hypocrisy of Hillary Clinton. I had to mention that Obama had associations with an American terrorist, a racist, and anti-Semite pastor. Since Obama and Hillary Clinton have friends who supported Hamas, they are not the candidates that the Jewish people want to support.
I went on to say that there are many Jewish-American conservatives doing radio talk show, which I listen regularly. I mentioned Mark Levin, Michael Savage, Dennis Prager, and Michael Medved are conservative Jewish-American. I told the group not every Jewish person is a Democrat. After my talk, the men in the room were nodding in agreement. Even Caleb, who is a die-hard liberal, was astonished that I got his grandfather speechless. It seems Caleb is beginning to show some openness to conservatism.
It was a wonderful evening. Discussing politics and religion was enlightening. After my talk, I sat back and listened to the stories and lessons from the Torah and the Old Testament. I really enjoyed listening to intelligent conversation for a change.
I want to thank my dear friend, Caleb, and his family for showing me a great, unforgettable time.