A Split In The Jewish Community Over Barack Obama

The Jewish community in America is badly split over supporting Barack Obama for re-election.

The vast majority of Jews seem ready to endorse and back Obama for a second term in the White House, encouraged by his domestic reform initiatives in the tradition of the New Deal and Great Society, and his policies backing the traditional friendship with Israel and insuring its security. The public statements of the Israeli Ambassador to the United States and the Israeli Defense Minister praising Obama also help insure the support of much of the Jewish population, which traditionally votes Democratic since the time of Franklin D. Roosevelt.

But two groups break from that sense of positive support of Obama–the Orthodox Jewish community and many wealthy Jewish businessmen and their families who are part of the “one percent”!

These two groups are willing to endorse Newt Gingrich’s statement that the Palestinians are “an invented people”, to wish for an attack on Iran based on its potential threat to Israel and the West (another preemptive act as in Iraq in 2003), and to be opposed to much of the traditional reform programs of the New Deal and Great Society, in their fierce desire to avoid paying more equitable and fair levels of taxation!

The Republican Jewish Coalition gathering in New York City recently was disturbing in seeing that a minority of Jews have a totally different perspective based on their religiosity, and their desire to avoid paying taxes despite their financial success.

Obama received 78 percent of the Jewish vote last time, although John McCain received 80 percent of the Orthodox Jewish vote. This time, Obama will probably get a bit less, which could be decisive in several states in a close election scenario.