US Jews are for more liberal than Israeli Jews

PHOTO OF HEADSTONES IN A JEWISH CEMETERY IN GRAND RAPIDS, MI, DEFACED BY TRUMP MESSAGE. NOV. 2, 2020. FROM ADL MICHIGAN.

JVL Introduction

 

America may be “the diaspora” as far as Israel is concerned, but for the overwhelming majority of US Jews it is simply their home.

Philip Weiss and James North highlight the growing chasm between them and Israeli Jews.

Despite Donald Trump’s fanatically pro-Israel stand, he has failed to take American Jews with him.

A higher percentage have voted for Biden this time round than did for either Hillary Clinton or Barack Obama.

And, according to J Street,  just 5% listed Israel as one of their top two voting issues, down from 9% in 2016.

American Jews are rightly fearful of Trump – someone who has enabled bigotry and white nationalism.

 

This article was originally published by Mondoweiss on Wed 4 Nov 2020. Read the original here.

US Jews’ ‘total repudiation’ of Trump highlights chasm between them and Israeli Jews

There was a lot of talk that Donald Trump could get to 30 or 35 percent of the Jewish vote in the country because of his actions in favor of Israel. That talk looks like horse manure today. J Street released an exit poll today showing Jews voted for a Democrat yesterday at the historically high rate: 77 to 21.

This is well above the previous two elections (Hillary Clinton 71-24; Barack Obama, 69-30) and in line with the high water mark for Jews as Democrats, in the first Obama victory and the Bill Clinton and Al Gore races.

“In this historically pivotal election, Jewish voters have just totally repudiated Donald Trump and a Republican Party that has catered to the most far-right, xenophobic elements of the country,” J Street President Jeremy Ben-Ami commented. 

The significance of this data is that the two largest Jewish communities in the world — the U.S. and Israel — are at opposite poles of opinion. American Jews have always raised tons of money for Israel in little blue boxes– and the Israeli Jews who benefited from that fund-raising are Trumpists today: rightwing and xenophobic. Israeli Jews favored Trump over Biden by 77 to 23 in one recent survey. Israeli Jews have a “blind worship” of Donald Trump, Chemi Shalev of Haaretz said in summarizing a second, more recent survey.

According to the poll, 68 percent believe Trump would be “better for Israel,” and only 12 percent think Biden would.

(Notice how you have to go to an Israeli newspaper to learn how much Israeli Jews love Donald Trump. So far, not a word of this in the New York Times.)

This is a reflection of American Jewish sophistication; Jews here care about a lot more issues than just what Israeli Jews think will benefit Israel. And the number who do care about Israel is falling. Per J Street,

American Jews listed their top voting priorities as the coronavirus pandemic (54%), climate change (26%), healthcare (25%) and the economy (23%). Just 5% listed Israel as one of their top two voting issues, down from 9% in 2016. [emphasis ours].

So the number of American Jews who care about Israel first just dropped by nearly half!

This trend scares the Israel lobby. Pro-Israel organizations depend on Jews (and yes, evangelical Christians, too) who place Israel at the top of their list of issues. Among Jews, Israel is crashing as a consideration, which means that policy-making in the Democratic Party will grow fairer to Palestinians, at last.

American Jews are not just more sophisticated than Israeli Jews, but they have a lot to fear from Trump. He has enabled bigotry and white nationalism, forces that have been very harmful to Jews — witness the defacing of a Jewish cemetery in Michigan two days ago.

h/t Allison Deger.

Comments (6)

  • John Hall says:

    “Failed to take American Jews with him” ? Maybe not. More importantly he DID take very many – and much more numerous – Zionist evangelical CHRISTIANS with him!

  • Jim Stockman says:

    The conservative evangelical Christians who support Israel do so because they think that it will bring about Armageddon and the so called Rapture. These people are no
    Friends of Jews.

  • John Noble says:

    Trump upset the balance of reason in the US as you would expect a narcissist to do. Jewish people should keep a moral eye on the people they champion, all that glisters is not gold.

  • Krystina Stephenson says:

    American Jew’s fear of white nationalism and bigotry is very understandable. It scares all of us who remember the initial rise of many parts of the ideology of the Nazi party. I for one am very glad to see that Trump is unlikely to win a second term. In fact I hope he never gets another chance!

  • John Hall says:

    Jim S. Quite so! Numbering an estimated 90 million or so in the USA alone, Christian Zionist Evangelicals have a real political clout.. The advisors and lawyers surrounding Trump might include Zionists (Christian and Jewish), who are very determined to keep their man in power by whatever means. Let’s hope that they have few peers in the military. Units of the armed forces operating with heavily armed civilians and paramilitary units eg Proud Boys, could conceivably keep their man in power. Look at how Trump attracts unquestioning adoration from his followers. He is a God!

  • Richard Steele says:

    It would be comforting to think that these views would be shared by UK Jews, particularly those in the Labour Party. At the moment it would seem Sir Keir Starmer, and others, conflate any criticism of Israel with anti semitism.

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