A new American Jewish Committee poll conducted in September found that Israel came in a distant fourth among issues that registered Jewish voters listed as "most important" to them, with 61.5% listing the economy, 16.1% listing health care, 4.7% listing abortion, and 4.5% listing US-Israel relations.
Just 1.3% named Iran’s nuclear program as most important.
It is shocking that for Jews in the US the right to an abortion, which is a 40 year old federally protected right ingrained in American society, is a more important issue than the Jewish state and the real existential threat Israel is facing from Iran and Muslim extremists.
While many Jews in Israel and the US still believe in the commitment of US Jewry to Israel, liberal Jews have already chosen Obama, the Democratic Party and their American identity over their Jewish identity. They have already chosen their economic comfort, upscale social life, and liberal agenda over the Jewish state.
Now it is understandable why the Democratic Party platform deleted the “Jerusalem as capital of Israel” statement and other reassurances made to Israel from previous presidents regarding the Palestinian refugees, Hamas, and borders.
Now it is clear why President Obama did not find the time to meet Netanyahu during his visit to the US for the UN General Assembly Meeting in September despite Israeli requests to discuss the Iranian threat, but instead found the time to meet Beyoncé, Jay Z, David Letterman and the women on The View. In an attempt to patronize those few gullible Jews left who still care, the White House took a picture of Obama talking to Netanyahu on the phone.
It seems that Obama and his advisors read the same polls knowing that he will not pay any political price for mistreating Netanyahu or Jerusalem. The same AJC poll found that 65% of Jews nationwide plan to vote for US President Barack Obama versus 24% for Mitt Romney, with another 10 percent undecided. According to the AJC's national survey, Reform Jews favored Obama over Romney 68% to 23% while similarly Conservative Jews favored Obama 64% to 23%. Orthodox Jews, by contrast, favored Romney 54% to 40%.
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But much worse, liberal Jews such as US Senator Boxer, US Congressmen Henry Waxman and Barney Frank, and commentators like Jeffrey Goldberg of The Atlantic, and Roger Cohen of the NY Times have been jumping on the bandwagon as Obama henchmen to orchestrate a public campaign against the Israeli prime minister. They have publicly criticized and personally attacked Netanyahu and his request that Obama set red lines regarding the Iranian nuclear program, inadvertently raising the age old anti-Semitic libel that the Jews and their leaders are war mongers trying to push US to start a war on Israel’s behalf.
Such priorities and opinions by US Jews are sad and alarming. Of course, US Jews can think and vote as they wish, but it is quite astonishing for Jews to discard the Israeli issue in favor of their own personal welfare. It is quite naïve for Jews, who are so educated and knowledgeable about their own Jewish history of persecution, to feel so complacent about their security and safety, that they can so easily discard the existential threats to Israel.
Despite the fact that it is 2012, a weak Israel or no Israel is still not good to any Jew in the US. Before Israel was established, the conditions of the Jews in the US were full of discrimination and hatred. Even if the Jews feel safe in the US, it is amazing that they cannot empathize with Netanyahu who is trying to prevent a second Holocaust against the Jewish people in Israel.
During the Holocaust, the US Jewry and its leaders and organizations were silent and did not pressure the FDR administration to enter the war earlier and rescue millions of Jews. In World War II, the Jews claimed as their excuse an ignorance of the magnitude of the genocide and lack of political influence.
However, now the liberal Jews have no excuse except their apathy and self-indulgence. They cannot claim lack of political influence when many liberal Jews are deeply involved in the Obama administration and his re-election campaign machine. Furthermore, they cannot claim ignorance of the dangers of genocide to Israel. Netanyahu has been warning incessantly that Iran is within six months of nuclear bomb capability while, the International Atomic Agency confirms the acceleration of uranium enrichment by Iran.
If Israel’s security is compromised, liberal Jews this time will not be able to avoid responsibility as accomplices to the next potential disaster facing their own people.
Shoula Romano Horing was born and raised in Israel. She is an attorney in Kansas City and a national speaker. Her blog: www.shoularomanohoring.com