Democrats can count on Jewish vote

The Washington Times Weekly - - Letters To The Editor -

Re: your edi­to­rial in the May 19 edi­tion ti­tled “Obama’s prob­lems with Jewish vot­ers” (page 36), when it comes to pol­i­tics, Amer­ica’s Jewish com­mu­nity is both savvy and so­phis­ti­cated. Nei­ther party “owns” our loy­alty, and nei­ther party can count on knee-jerk sup­port from Amer­i­can Jewry on Elec­tion Day.

It is be­cause of our so­phis­ti­ca­tion as a com­mu­nity that Amer­i­can Jews con­tinue to vote for Democrats in over­whelm­ing num­bers. Quite sim­ply, the Demo­cratic Party is far and away the party most closely aligned with Jewish val­ues on is­sues both for­eign and do­mes­tic.

One need only look at the num­bers. Ac­cord­ing to the au­thor­i­ta­tive pub­lic exit poll for 2006, just 12 per­cent of Jewish Amer­i­cans voted for Repub­li­can can­di­dates for Congress that year — a his­toric low.

Pres­i­dent Bush’s 22 per­cent of the Jewish vote in 2004 was sig­nif­i­cantly lower than the 30 per­cent to 39 per­cent Repub­li­cans reg­u­larly won in the 1970s and ‘80s.

There is ev­ery rea­son to be­lieve that Demo­cratic can­di­dates will earn over­whelm­ing sup­port from Jewish vot­ers in 2008. Why? Be­cause of where Democrats stand on the is­sues.

In this year’s pres­i­den­tial pri­maries, ev­ery ma­jor Demo­cratic and Repub­li­can pres­i­den­tial can­di­date sup­ported Is­rael, and no mat­ter which can­di­date wins in Novem­ber, we will have a pres­i­dent who un­der­stands the im­por­tance of the U.S.-Is­rael re­la­tion­ship.

The smears against Sen. Barack Obama are lit­tle more than par­ti­san games­man­ship. The best way to judge a can­di­date’s sup­port for Is­rael is his or her vot­ing record. Since Mr. Obama en­tered the Se­nate, his record on Is­rael and se­cu­rity is­sues has been im­pec­ca­ble. In fact, he’s lead­ing the way to pass leg­is­la­tion that would pro­mote di­vest­ment from Iran. Ira N. For­man Ex­ec­u­tive di­rec­tor Na­tional Jewish Demo­cratic Coun­cil Wash­ing­ton

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