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August 31, 2016 1:31 am

2016 Election Presents Jews With Hobson’s Choice

avatar by Mitchell Bard

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Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton. Photos: Wikimedia Commons.

Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton. Photos: Wikimedia Commons.

As we move into the serious part of the 2016 election campaign, many Jews will be debating which candidate is best not only for America, but for Israel. Not all Jews are single-issue voters, but some certainly are.

Listening to the debate in our community, I believe that Jews fall into at least five categories:

True believers in Hillary Clinton — This is the largest category of Jews. They support her because they are liberal Democrats and have faith that she will support Israel based on her knowledge of the region, her track record, and the influence of her husband.

Nose Holders — This category contains some Democrats, but mostly Jewish Republicans who can’t stand Hillary, but are frightened by Trump’s isolationism, ignorance of foreign policy, bigoted statements, and seeming lack of any core convictions. They believe the Nation can survive four years of Clinton and then, they desperately hope, a sane Republican candidate will emerge whom they can support.

True believers in Donald Trump — Not many Jews fall into this category. Some do, however, and appreciate his tough language regarding radical Islam and what they see as his genuine commitment to Israel.

Anyone But Hillary-ers — These are people who so despise Hillary (a population primarily made up of non-Jews) that they will vote for anyone else, including Trump.

Non-Voters — Those Jews who can’t stand Hillary, are afraid of Trump, and thus can’t bring themselves to vote for either — even if they know that their non-vote is a vote.

Presidential candidates typically pander to Jewish voters, so it isn’t easy to determine their authenticity. Both Clinton and Trump have said what the pro-Israel community wants to hear. Clinton has a track record from her days in the Senate, and as secretary of state. Voters will have to decide how to weigh her support for Israel in the Senate and her role in the Obama administration’s often ill-advised Middle East policies (though she was at some points a public critic of those policies).

Trump has no track record, and his isolationist views on foreign policy are alarming to anyone concerned with Israel’s security; on the other hand, he does see eye-to-eye with Israel on the threat of radical Islam and the disastrous nuclear deal with Iran.

Sadly, we have been left with what the philosopher John Stuart Mill referred to as the “Hobson’s choice of either voting for the person brought forward by their local leaders, or not voting at all.”

Dr. Mitchell Bard is the author/editor of 24 books including The Arab Lobby, Death to the Infidels: Radical Islam’s War Against the Jews and the novel After Anatevka: Tevye in Palestine.

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  • Israel

    Trump’s isolationism? Somebody intentionally missed his trip to Mexico, and forgot about his trip to Great Britain on Brexit.

    Hillary has not left the continental USA during her run for President. She stays in her “safe zone” Her support of anti-Israeli groups such as J-Street, Black Lives Matter, Her friendship with Blumenthal, Huma Abedin and Soros = Anti-Israel which in my book = Antisemitic. She has stated she will force Israel to give up land for peace. That equates to another Hamas controlled Gaza II firing rockets and mortars into Israel.

  • Emanuel

    There’s a choice? If it’s a choice it’s for Trump, otherwise it’s not a choice it’s another Holocaust with antisemitism only this time they are going after everyone with the goal of making us poorer, angrier and dumber so we continue to back them out of sheer fear and ignorance. If you disagree, you are already dumber and angrier and probably poorer then you would otherwise be so just consider that for a moment. Government is not your friend it’s a system of governance, your friends are your family and your community not the corporations and politicians and big banks living fat by oppressing humanity.

  • Jay Lavine

    What we’re saying here is that “identity Jews,” people of Jewish ancestry who largely do not consider Judaism to be a way of life for themselves, have secular political orientations that reflect their own personality characteristics.

    It becomes even more worrisome when they adopt secular ideologies, either of the right-wing or left-wing variety, that become a religion to them, an idolatrous substitute for Judaism that they worship in a consequentialist manner for self-validation purposes.

    For what passes for a Jewish community, there is much more to worry about than who will become the next U.S. president.