July 30, 2004


Dems fear Bush's gains with Jewish voters: A few votes within key group could swing the election (Tom Curry, July 30, 2004, MSNBC)

The source of that unease: the sense that Bush, due to his removal of Saddam Hussein, his resolve in fighting Islamic terrorists, and his robust support for Israel’s government led by Ariel Sharon, is gaining ground among those Jewish voters who place their highest priority on Israel’s survival.

Jonathan Sarna, professor of Jewish history at Brandeis University and an expert on Jewish voting patterns, said, “In the years since Sept. 11, paradoxically, America has become much more like Israel in the world. Israelis used to be the only ones worried about terror. Now Americans worry about terror. Whenever I go to Washington, it reminds me, when I get searched, of what it is like in Jerusalem. Even anti-Americanism sounds suspiciously like anti-Semitism in terms of the language being used. … There is a real identity between America and Israel, and, in some ways, traditional Jews, especially, like that identity.”

Kerry has argued that U.S. policy needs to be more attentive to and respectful of European leaders.

But, Sarna said, Jews are “a little concerned about this notion of ‘We’re going to make friends again with Europe.’ A lot of Jews wonder whether those are the kinds of friends we want, when you listen to what’s going on in much of Europe, and how they stigmatize Israel.”

George W. Bush is our most obviously Jewish president, though that won't matter much in November. The important thing is that the Democrats are still stuck trying to rally the voters they need to be able to take for granted and then shaft.

Posted by Orrin Judd at July 30, 2004 5:04 PM

Israel was not mentioned in Kerry's speech last night. (OK, neither was Halliburton, although Enron got a plug).

Al Gore did not mention Israel in 2000, but that was a diferent era.

Posted by: Tom Maguire at July 30, 2004 5:21 PM

Has there ever been a Jewish President? Bush could be the first Jewish President the way Clinton was the first Black President.

Posted by: MarkD at July 30, 2004 6:56 PM

There never has been and never will be.

Posted by: David Cohen at July 30, 2004 11:45 PM

Lincoln was our most Jewish President.

Beard? check.

Jewish-sounding name? check.

Old-Testament rhetoric? check.

Vague theology? check.

Posted by: Joseph Hertzlinger at August 1, 2004 2:16 AM