The U.S. Election: The Jewish Vote. How critical is it?

NEWS & VIEWS

The U.S. Election

This morning, the British daily newspaper The Telegraph published on their web site  The Votematch quiz, “a tool that helps you match your vote with those of the candidates in the 2012 US election.”  The quiz is open to everyone, regardless of your nationality.  The result might surprise you! Click here to link to the quiz.

“Muslim Lobbyist Represents U.S. at European Human Rights Conference”

Soeren Kern is a Distinguished Senior Fellow at the New York-based Gatestone Institute. He is also Senior Fellow for European Politics at the Madrid-based Grupo de Estudios Estratégicos /Strategic Studies Group. Gatestone Institute, is ‘a non-partisan, not-for-profit international policy council and think tank is dedicated to educating the public about what the mainstream media fails to report…’

Today, Kern, in a remarkable article written for Gatestone, wrote about the 2012 Human Dimension Implementation Meeting [HDIM], ‘a major international conference on human rights — this year held in Warsaw, Poland from September 24 to October 5 — and sponsored annually by the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe [OSCE].’

Kern tells us that, ‘In recent years, the Human Dimension Implementation Meetings and the OSCE have been the focus of an intense lobbying campaign by the Organization of Islamic Cooperation, a bloc of 57 Muslim countries that are aggressively pressuring Western countries to make it an international crime to criticize Islam.’

In his article Kern refers to a letter written by a Viennese advocate for free speech, in which she refers to:

… a member of MPAC [Muslim Public Affairs Council, a Los Angeles-based lobbying group] take the floor on behalf of the US delegation. Since when has MPAC represented the U.S. government? And with diplomatic status! This is wrong and an outrage. We ask our friends in the U.S. House of Representatives to weigh in.”

She was referring to Salam al-Marayati, a radical Muslim whom the Obama Administration named as its official representative to the OSCE’s premier conference on human rights. Al-Marayati is the controversial founder of the Muslim Public Affairs Council.

According to the Investigative Project on Terrorism, MPAC is closely allied with the Muslim Brotherhood and has been a staunch defender of Islamic terrorist groups. Among other initiatives, MPAC has asked the US government to remove Hamas and Hezbollah from the list of US-designated terrorist groups. Al-Marayati, a vociferous critic of Israel, has also blamed Israel for the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks. 

The State Department defended its selection of al-Marayati, praising him as “valued and highly credible.” It added: “He was invited to participate in this year’s HDIM as a reflection of the wide diversity of backgrounds of the American people.” ‘

The Jewish Vote. How critical is it?

It’s been reported that ‘American Jews constitute only 3 percent of the voting public, and have cast a majority of their votes for the Democratic nominee in every presidential election since 1916 (the first for which we have data). Yet, every four years, the minuscule Jewish vote generates a great deal of curious attention and analysis.’  Why?

Some years ago, Jeffrey S. Helmreich in a report published by the  Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs, stated: ‘that there are two common, clashing myths of the political power of American Jewry: that the community is too small to affect national elections; and that Jews disproportionately affect national politics because of campaign donations and media influence. Both views are wrong, argues the author; American Jews do influence national elections, but not because of disproportionate money or power. Rather, Jews make up a significant portion of the electorate in key “swing states”, and are furthermore a uniquely swayable swing bloc., in that the issue of support for Israel can spur a sizable portion of Jews to switch parties where it is an issue of contention.’

Florida is one of the swing-states that both Obama and Romney are placing a great deal of effort in securing.

Nancy Ratzan is immediate past president of the U.S. National Council of Jewish Women. In March 2009, President Obama appointed Ratzan to the White House Advisory Council on Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships. Recently, the following, in part, is what she had to say in Florida’s The Miami Herald.

“President Obama is Israel’s ally”

As we enter the last weeks of this election cycle, we are inundated with the toxic collision of money, politics and desperation. Unfortunately, the Jewish community is now the target of some of the worst offenses of dirty politics, as our vote is deemed crucial in Florida and other swing states.

 While the vote in November may only affect the outcome of one election cycle, the fall-out of being prey to false advertising and divisive practices jeopardizes the long-standing strength of the Jewish community.

She adds:

… today we have good cause to remain proud Americans and secure Jews. Continuing in the tradition of many of the U.S. presidents before him, President Obama has ensured that America is a strong, effective ally and true, best friend to Israel. This administration has demonstrated America’s allegiance to Israel in critical ways, including putting in place the strictest Iran sanctions ever, preventing Palestinian action at the United Nations that would undermine Israel and the peace process, and providing never-before-seen levels of aid to restore Israel’s qualitative edge, and more.

 As we respond to the avalanche of targeted efforts to influence Jewish voters, we must remember the horrific ramifications that can come from political propaganda and demonization from falsehoods. Throughout history, we have survived and gained strength by banding together and showing the world we would refuse to be torn apart. We cannot allow ourselves to be turned against each other by blatantly partisan manipulative advertisements.

To quote Sir Winston Churchill. “A politician needs the ability to foretell what is going to happen tomorrow, next week, next month, and next year. And to have the ability afterwards to explain why it didn’t happen.” Perhaps Americans should remember this when casting their vote.

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