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November 5, 2012 11:22 am

Prominent Jews Take to Editorial Pages for Presidential Endorsements

avatar by Zach Pontz

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Mitt Romney and President Obama at a previous debate. Photo: Screenshot.

Several prominent Jewish-American voices have published editorials in recent days that give good insight into just how conflicted the Jewish community is this political season.

In the Jewish Journal the playwright David Mamet published an interrogative editorial in which he not-so-much questions Barack Obama as liberal sentiments as a whole.

“Will you tell your children that a liberal government will increasingly marginalize, dismiss and weaken the support for and the safety of the Jewish state?” He asks.

He then attacks what he sees as the hegemonic culture of the left. “Will you explain that whatever their personal beliefs, tax-funded institutions will require them to imbibe and repeat the slogans of the left, and that, should they differ, they cannot have a career in education, medicine or television unless they keep their mouths shut?”

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He wraps up the article by implying that perhaps, despite a tradition of liberal values, many Jews will vote differently this year. “Please remember that we have the secret ballot and, should you, on reflection, vote in secret for a candidate you would not endorse in public, you will not be alone.”

In the Wall Street Journal casino magnate and philanthropist Sheldon Adelson, no stranger to public displays of political expression, wrote an op-ed titled, “I Didn’t Leave the Democrats. They Left Me.”

“Like most Jews around the country, being Democrat was part of our identity,” Adelson writes of his youth. But he goes on to detail his disenchantment with the direction of the party, saying, “the truth is the Democratic Party has changed in ways that no longer fit with someone of my upbringing,”

“There is now a visceral anti-Israel movement among rank-and-file Democrats,” he writes, before attacking Obama’s economic policies. “Each year of his presidency has produced unsustainable deficits, and he takes no responsibility for his spending.”

Jeffrey Golderberg’s inclusion in the debate isn’t really all that surprising as the Atlantic columnist generally sits front and center in any American discourse on Israel. But he published a post to his blog just this morning titled, “Why Obama is Better for Israel Than Romney,” that raised interesting issues.

In the blog post his support of Obama isn’t necessarily glowing. “Barack Obama, who is pro-Israel — has done a lousy job managing the peace process, and a lousy job understanding, and manipulating, Benjamin Netanyahu, but he has done a stellar job defending Israel’s fundamental rights against many foes — including from the podium of the U.N. General Assembly —  and he has done an outstanding job making sure that Israel receives the highest-level military cooperation with the U.S. possible,” he writes.

He also tries to dispel the notion that the president is seen as weak by Israel’s enemies, saying of Obama that he “is in a better position to carry through his promise to keep Iran from going nuclear, and he has proven he is cold-blooded enough to use force if he thinks American interests are at stake.”

Of course, Goldberg isn’t completely sold. “There is one wrinkle,” he writes. “I’ve also argued that the Iranians may be more apt to believe that Romney is crazy enough to attack them, and so they might be more apt to negotiate an end to their nuclear program for fear of a Republican president.”

Goldberg continues to waver in the face of an outright endorsement of Obama’s Israel policies, saying that he, “did a poor job, in his first term, helping Israelis analyze their existential dilemmas, save the existential dilemma posed by an Iranian bomb.”

Finally, Goldberg tells us what is really on his mind: “The truth is, Israel isn’t best served by either Romney or Obama. What it needs is a concentrated dose of Bill Clinton.”

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  • Your views and comments about Obama and Dems and Liberals, in general, make me SICK – and certainly lower your publication in my eyes. You seem to me to be truly ignorant – lacking any kind of sophisticated understanding of the world or fine ideas or true values of worth or the complexities of a very smart and good man’s background. (You really should read Obama’s Dreams From My Father – it’s quite interesting, well written and not at all threatening – you IDIOTS!!!)
    The idea that anyone would think a SMOOTH & SLIMY, OUT AND OUT BALD LIAR EMPTY SUIT like Romney – who changes ideas and ideals as he slithers along, day by day – is ABSURD and incredibly, pathetically NAIVE. And you think he would do a better job for Israel than Obama who has consistently supported and armed Israel to the full?!! Romney is a CORPORATE MANAGER – PERIOD – with no depth or true values (beyond Mormonism) or ideas of genuine worth – beyond making money and favoring the rich and powerful. What kind of Jewish values are THOSE?! Huh?!…
    Your ignorance about Obama’s background and your lack of understanding is quite evident and quite appalling to me. I like to think of Jews as being not just SMART but also INFORMED AND WISE. You might well be smart – but you are FAR FROM INFORMED (in an in-depth way) and certainly not WISE. I would suggest a bit more exposure to the kind of information, analytical thinking and in-depth values that prevail in LIBERAL circles. Might help you to GROW UP and WISE UP in a deeper, more enduring, SMARTER WAY – more in tune with BASIC JEWISH VALUES.
    Your consistent and blind, poorly-informed hatefulness is truly ODIOUS to people of REAL JEWISH VALUES.
    Joan Rosenfelt

  • You are right! Obama is surrounded by people witch he does not master to read their minds! Kantianism that screws mans mind witch Obama need to study to be a better men.

  • Fredric M. London

    I agree with the conclusion of Mr. Pontz. What we really need is a strong dose of Bill Clinton. Let’s eliminate the term limits and put Mr. Clinton back where he belongs. He, and Al Gore, are, in my opinion, the only real presidential timber which has been displayed in this country for many years.

    We need a new political party! A party that disavows the so-called social conservatives who are really fascists; willing to work as reasonable men to deal with the real problems in this country; and recognize that the USA at its best, has always been as a forward looking country, attempting to bring light into an often dark world. In short, a party with GENUINE liberal values and not the tyranny of politically-coerced censorship, which is what drives the so-called liberals of today.

    Each ‘side’ today is increasingly calcified, rigid, intolerant, and inflexible. Dogma, of whatever kind, is to be forced on everyone regardless of its merits. Compromise is a sin (though the politically-coerced censorship crowd would call it something else). Everyone sticks to their agenda as the car goes over the cliff. This country can and must do better.

    Let us start a new political party based in reason!

    • Avi

      Amen, to every word.

  • David Most

    We have already seen Obama try to set the 67 armistice lines as political boundaries which Israel was being pushed to accept as starting points for negotiating.

    BO was giving Abbas what he has wanted without forcing him to negotiate. In other words, BO seems fully prepared to squeeze Israel into a non-defensible position without demanding anything comparable from the PA.

    Not such a friendly thing to do to a ‘close ally’.

  • Goldberg is right and wrong. Obama is not a bad person but is surrounded by an extreme left element, what we call, self haring Jews like Oxelrod. Obama is weak to stand up for his own views and when Oxelrod gives his opinion, its like law for Obama. If Obama didn’t have the extreme communist left views around him, he would have been a great president. A vote for Obama is a vote for Oxelrod, who hates everything Jewish!

    • Salomon

      OBAMA IS SUPID AND IGNORANT AND THE JEWS THAT SURROUND HIM, ARE BAD? NO, THE BOLCHEVIK JEWS CREATED A MUSLIM KENYAN TO BECOME AMERICAN PRESIDENT AND TURN U.S. A SOCIALIST REPUBLIC

      1. OBAMA IS BAD FOR AMERICA, BAD FOR THE FREE WORLD, BAD FOR ISRAEL AND BAD FOR AMERICAN JEWS…BECAUSE HE WAS FED WITH THE MILK OF ISLAM IN HIS CHILDHOOD…HE IS NOT NAIVE, HE IS A LIAR AND DECEIVER…

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