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April 19, 2015 8:23 pm

Why Many US Jews Are Turning to the GOP

avatar by Deroy Murdock

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The U.S. Capitol Building in Washington D.C. Photo: U.S. Chamber of Commerce.

From the horrific expansion of ISIS to an impending US-Iranian deal that will do little to quash the ayatollahs’ atomic ambitions, Jews the world over have mounting reasons to worry. Obama’s ongoing, Kindergarten-like tantrum over the re-election of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is hardly reassuring.

All of this may explain why American Jews increasingly are leaning toward the Republican Party and its policies that unapologetically defend Israel and hammer radical Islamic terrorism. In contrast, Obama gives the Jewish state the back of his hand and refers vaguely to “violent extremists” rather than specifically to the Muslim zealots who gleefully kill Jews, Christians, and virtually anything that moves and is not militantly Islamic. (As demolished antiquities from Afghanistan to Mosul can attest, these fanatics even destroy inanimate objects.)

A recent Gallup poll found that Jewish support for the Democrat Party has fallen from 71 percent in 2008 to 61 percent in January. Pew Research indicates that 68 percent of Jews surveyed backed the Democrats in 2012, compared to 61 percent today. Meanwhile, over the same period, Jewish approval of the GOP grew by a quarter, from 25 to 31 percent.

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Two prominent Jewish Republicans in New York City contributed to this promising trend recently when they co-hosted a campaign fundraiser for U.S. Senator Ron Johnson (R – Wisconsin), chairman of the Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs.

“After negotiating the release of my cousin Julius from Dachau, my great aunt Ida sent Julius and his wife and children to New York,” said Ian Reisner, a Manhattan real-estate developer. “Ida moved to Belgium and ultimately was murdered in Auschwitz. We are not too far from history to be wary of politicians who make bad decisions that threaten our lives. The deal with Iran concerns me. Anti-Semitic murder in Paris and Copenhagen concerns me. Bringing Senator Johnson to New York to discuss foreign policy and security helped educate my close friends about these very real issues.”

“An older relative of mine, whose parents narrowly escaped deportation to Auschwitz, recently started to carry her U.S. passport with her at all times,” said philanthropist and Middle East strategist Kalman Sporn. “As she explained, ‘With this meshugenah president, you never know when we are going to have to leave.’ Ironically, my clients in Dubai share the same concerns over the Iran deal as do my relatives. Senator Johnson’s support for Israel is unwavering. And in today’s climate, I am pleased that New Yorkers, in particular, heard his message.” Sporn served as vice chairman of the 2014 Republican Leadership Conference.

Those who supported this effort at Reisner’s Central Park South penthouse included committed Jewish members of the GOP, not least former Republican National Chairman Ken Mehlman. Also involved were several people traditionally aligned with Democrats, such as American Foundation for AIDS Research (amfAR) founding trustee Jonathan S. Canno and entrepreneur Tzvi Odzer.

“As CEO of Major Automotive Companies, Inc.,” said Bruce Bendell, a longtime Democrat-leaning donor, “I respect Senator Johnson’s history as a business leader and now as someone who is dedicated to undoing the economic damage of the Obama years and restoring dynamic growth to our society.”

Ian Reisner and Kalman Sporn concluded the evening by presenting Senator Johnson with a rare coin excavated at Masada, the site of the Israelites’ brave stand against their Roman oppressors in the year 73 A.D.

Deroy Murdock is a Manhattan-based Fox News Contributor and a media fellow with the Hoover Institution on War, Revolution and Peace at Stanford University. A version of this article originally appeared at National Review Online.

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  • A strong grassroots effort to bring more of the Jewish community to the GOP is vital. It really shouldn’t be that hard considering how anti-Semitic Obama is as well as the Dem Party as a whole – witness the company he keeps – Sharpton, Wright, etc.
    It is vital to remind people this not their grandfather’s Dem Party nor is it the GOP of old either. This GOP is pro-Israel, pro-business, pro-life, strong on education and family values.
    More Jewish candidates need to consider the GOP where they will be well received and promoted.

  • Elizabeth Long

    First and foremost I applaud the Jews who have changed to the Republican party. Surprised that number is not higher given the reality of what is happening here.
    Disgraceful and downright appalling the Obama Administration.
    Obama is a traitor!
    Israel will prevail because they trust in God and have a great leader.
    Look what happened in less than a week when Obama lifted sanctions with Cuba. Columbian killed!
    He is one spun game piece on the chessboard and now he wants to lift sanctions with Iran give them money and allow them to gear up their nuclear weapons!
    Give me a break!

  • BH in Iowa

    The Jewish heart leans socialist, but the Jewish mind thrives in the free market. For those reassessing their political identity, consider what allowed the descendents of poor Jewish immigrants to achieve affluence – was it welfare dependency or was it opportunity? If the latter is the answer, then why do we support politicians who deny that opportunity to other ethnic groups? We read about the Great depression in the history books, but in too many places it never ended. Welfare is a driftnet that snares random people – and is brutally difficult to escape.

    Of course we are committed to helping those less fortunate – but through government is the most wasteful, least effective way to do so.

  • Dorothy

    It’s a step forward but still far from providing protection for Jews and Christians. Those who voted against Hitler in the “30s in Germany couldn’t stop what was to occur. Now we have a repeat of history. The New Age movement is a repeat of the Nazi philosophy. The only hope is that the Jewish and Christian communities learn about the agenda of the New Age movement which pretty officially began in the 1920s. A start would be to review the writings of Prof. Samuel Freedman on the growth of the occult and pagan movements internationally. The occult and paganism provide no moral rocks on which to lean.

  • Arthur Fliegenheimer

    Obama is the Haiman of our time.He hates the Israelies and the few American Jews who refuse to bow (to his Iran deal).While he does not actively seek the destruction of Israel, he does not care that his policies will accomplish this.The Iranians are expanding their empire while under a U.S. Umbrella of protection.Just like 1967 Israel is on its own.

  • Too little too late, America’s gone now.
    I am at war with nazis in an American forum.
    USA is not ‘christian’ anymore with a muslim mafia in power in DC.

  • David Jones

    Unbelievable that Jews support Democrats when the Democrats sell the Jews down the river and appease Iran, Muslim Brotherhood, Hamas, and other anti-semites. Repubs are Pro-Israel, pro-western, pro-Constitution, pro-religious freedom, pro-capitalism, etc. Jews wake up before it’s too late.

  • martin kessler

    I can live with a meshugenah President, he will soon go, what confounds me is to understand why even if it’s lower, it is still 61 percent of Jews who continue to support the meshuehah president? Are they also all meshugeh! Oy, gevalt! That’s it! It has to be!

    • Vittore

      Please, reread the beginning of the article. For what it’s worth, those 61% support Democratic Party. That particular number was not about support for Obama. I would guess they see him as a non-typical Democrat.

  • Mickey Oberman

    Obama is behaving like a spoiled, petulant, ill mannered, spiteful brat.

    To have elected him once, let alone twice, says very little for the American electorate.

  • frogorf

    This is one proud Jew who used to be a Democrat but has now moved to the Republicans because the Democrats no longer can be trusted.

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