Over the past year, we have heard pitches from both President Barack Obama and Gov. Mitt Romney about why they would be the best fit as our country’s leader for the next four years. Predictably, the Romney team has done everything in its power to win over the vaunted Jewish vote by smearing the president’s Israel record.
First, Obama has been a great friend to Israel. Let’s reexamine his achievements in regards to the U.S.-Israel relationship. Obama has successfully restored Israel’s qualitative military edge, increased United States military aid to Israel, and voted in favor of Israel at the United Nations Security Council at every meeting over the last four years. Furthermore, multiple Israeli leaders, including Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Defense Minister Ehud Barak, and President Shimon Peres, have publicly praised Obama’s support for Israel.
Second, Republicans are missing a fundamental reason why Jews are one of the most consistent bases for the Democratic Party. American Jews believe in the concept of tikun olam or “repairing the world.” At its most basic interpretation, tikun olam means that Jews will always fight for equal rights for all. It is why it was not surprising that a study from the Public Religion Research Institute found an overwhelming majority of American Jews were in favor of the following: the “Buffett Rule” proposal, same-sex marriage, the DREAM Act, and access to reproductive health care. These are all positions championed by President Obama and it is the key reason why the 2012 Jewish vote will be secure with the Democrats.
Larry A. Stempler, Esq.