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An alternative View of the American Jewish vote

Reader comment on item: Middle East threats, American retreat

Submitted by Stu Fagin (United States), May 7, 2014 at 23:24

Dr Pipes explains the attraction of American Jews to the Democratic, despite the Obama administration's antagonisms toward Israel, by inferring that concerns for Israel are greatly outweighed by other concerns. "All polls show that Jewish Americans as a group put Israel down as number six or seven in priorities ". My observation sample, from friends and relatives back east, suggests a different explanation.

American Jews retain a strong devotion to Israel that is accompanied by a strong devotion to the liberal Democratic Party agenda. The two devotions are brought into conflict by Obama's Israeli antagonisms; in effect, creating a political cognitive dissonance. This dissonance is reconciled by adopting a naiveté that inclines American Jews not to see the Obama Administration Israel policy for what it is. There is no reason to express political concern in a poll if the administration support for Israel is, (in the words of Democratic Party Chairperson Deborah Wasserman Schultz), "nothing less than stellar". This naiveté is reinforced by the support for administration policies from key Jewish Democratic senators; Schumer, Levin, Boxer, and Feinstein. Surely, it is thought, these individuals would raise a red flag if there was a problem. Concern for Israel would rise as a priority of American Jews if the Obama administration's Israeli antagonisms became more apparent and more recognized.

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Note: Opinions expressed in comments are those of the authors alone and not necessarily those of Daniel Pipes. Original writing only, please. Comments are screened and in some cases edited before posting. Reasoned disagreement is welcome but not comments that are scurrilous, off-topic, commercial, disparaging religions, or otherwise inappropriate. For complete regulations, see the "Guidelines for Reader Comments".

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