UPDATED AT 1:20PM FRIDAY: Here’s a “train wreck” update. President Obama’s support with the American Jewish community is plunging due to his administration’s hostility towards Israel over the past year. A full 78% of Americans Jews voted for Obama in 2008. But now a stunning new poll finds 46% of Jews are actively considering voting for someone else in 2012. Only 42% say they would vote to re-elect Obama.
On April 15, Ronald S. Lauder, president of the World Jewish Congress, sent a letter to Mr. Obama expressing rarely heard before public concern by the Jewish community over the actions of a Democratic President. In it, he expressed ”alarm” over “the dramatic deterioration of diplomatic relations between the United States and Israel.” He also publicly criticized the administration for beginning to turn against Israel, a longtime friend and strategic ally. ”Why does the thrust of this Administration’s Middle East rhetoric seem to blame Israel for the lack of movement on peace talks?” asked Lauder. “After all, it is the Palestinians, not Israel, who refuse to negotiate.”
There are no indications that President Obama has decided to change his policies. He still wants to force Israel to divide Jerusalem. He still wants to force Israel to give away the strategically critical West Bank and Jordan Valley to the Palestinians who still refuse to sit down and negotiate with Israel face to face. He is still doing nothing decisive or effective to stop Iran from getting the Bomb. He still wants to force Israel not to launch a pre-emptive strike against Iran’s nuclear sites. Most recently, he has begun trying to force Israel to disclose and then dismantle its (thus unacknowledged) defensive nuclear weapons, which would leave the Jewish State naked and vulnerable against genocidal enemies.
That said, the President and his administration have recently launched a charm offensive with Israel and the Jewish community, trying to undo the enormous damage that has been caused in the relationship between both countries by the White House’s hostility in recent months. Examples:
- Next week, President Obama will host Prime Minister Netanyahu at the White House
- This week, White House chief of staff Rahm Emanuel took his family to vacation in Israel and to do a bar mitvah for his son
- This week, President Obama hosted the first-ever White House reception to honor Jewish Heritage Month
- Last week, rabbis were wined and dined at the White House
- Last week, President Obama held an hour and a half meeting with Jewish Democratic Members of Congress
- Earlier in May, President Obama had lunch in the White House with Elie Wiesel
One American Jewish leader told me this week that he doesn’t believe the White House is mainly concerned about losing the Jewish vote in 2010 or 2012, since overall the Jewish community is a relatively small one. Rather, he believes Democrat leaders are very worried that Jewish contributions to the party and to their individual candidates — contributions that are traditionally in the millions of dollars — could begin to dry up, and that this has them increasingly worried in an already increasingly difficult political climate.
What is needed, however, is not cosmetic surgery in this relationship. What is needed is radical reconstructive surgery of the Obama administration’s policies. They need to start seeing Iran as the threat and the problem, not Israel, and take bold, decisive measures accordingly. Time is running out.
2010 EPICENTER CONFERENCE UPDATE:
- Full schedule of the conference will soon be posted at www.epicenterconference.com
- Over 1,300 people registered
- Over 700 radio stations and several TV networks will be broadcasting portions of the conference
- Four weeks left to register to attend or to show the webcast to your congregation