Obama losing grip on Jewish voters, donors?

posted at 10:05 am on June 29, 2011 by Ed Morrissey

So says Politico, based on “dozens” of interviews with formerly pro-Obama Jewish voters and donors conducted by Ben Smith since Barack Obama’s May speech in which he demanded a return to 1967 lines for Israel, “with swaps,” as the basis of a peace plan.  That speech more than anything else has Obama’s supporters wondering whether they made a mistake in 2008, and some of them may even do the unthinkable — vote Republican:

If several dozen interviews with POLITICO are any indication, a similar conversation is taking place in Jewish communities across the country. Obama’s speech last month seems to have crystallized the doubts many pro-Israel Democrats had about Obama in 2008 in a way that could, on the margins, cost the president votes and money in 2012 and will not be easy to repair.

“It’s less something specific than that these incidents keep on coming,” said Ainsman.

The immediate controversy sparked by the speech was Obama’s statement that Israel should embrace the country’s 1967 borders, with “land swaps,” as a basis for peace talks. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu seized on the first half of that phrase and the threat of a return to what Israelis sometimes refer to as “Auschwitz borders.”

Obama’s Jewish allies stressed the second half: that land swaps would — as American negotiators have long contemplated — give Israel security in its narrow middle, and the deal would give the country international legitimacy and normalcy.

But the noisy fray after the speech mirrored any number of smaller controversies. Politically hawkish Jews and groups such as the Republican Jewish Coalition and the Emergency Committee for Israel pounded Obama in news releases. White House surrogates and staffers defended him, as did the plentiful American Jews who have long wanted the White House to lean harder on Israel’s conservative government.

Based on the conversations with POLITICO, it’s hard to resist the conclusion that some kind of tipping point has been reached.

Republicans should hold off on celebrating just yet.  Jewish voters are one of the bedrock demographics for the Democratic Party, almost as loyal as black voters.  In 2008, Obama got 78% of the Jewish vote despite the questions raised by his association with Hamas-supporting Jeremiah Wright at Trinity United, as well as a campaign adviser’s connections to Hamas. They still supported him despite having Samantha Power on his campaign team and in his administration (as a Special Adviser to the President for Multilateral Affairs, no less), a woman who once proposed that Western nations occupy Israel to disarm the IDF in order to impose peace in the region.

Honestly, if that list of clues didn’t convince Jewish voters of Obama’s lack of sympathy for Israel, it’s hard to imagine that a reference to 1967 lines would provide the necessary Technicolor moment.

The Jewish vote won’t suddenly swing to the GOP, for reasons that have nothing to do with Obama.  Jewish voters tend to be more progressive; the Democratic Party is a more natural home for them.  While there may be some truth in the notion that African-Americans are naturally more conservative and could be won over with a more concerted effort by Republicans to address their issues through debate (as Jack Kemp tried), that’s almost certainly not true of Jewish voters as a bloc.  The GOP position on Israel might be a better fit, but on domestic politics, they’ll keep voting Democratic.

But they may not be as willing to donate, especially to Obama, and that may be all it takes in what is already shaping up as a tough re-election campaign:

Others involved in the Philadelphia event, however, said they think Jewish doubts are taking a fundraising toll.

“We’re going to raise a ton of money, but I don’t know if we’re going to hit our goals,” said Daniel Berger, a lawyer who is firmly in the “peace camp” and said he blamed the controversy on Netanyahu’s intransigence.

I’d suspect that the effect will be more subtle, as it will be on the hard Left.  Republicans probably won’t make significant inroads with these voters, and exit polls in 2012 will likely show similar breakdowns as 2008.  The difference will be fewer voters coming to the polls to support Obama as others sit on their hands … and their cash.

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However you want to put it, Antwerp.

Lanceman on June 29, 2011 at 11:43 AM

Well my 87 year old father in Miami swears he’s not voting for Obama again. He’s never voted for a Republican for President in his life. He voted for John Anderson in 1980. Don’t know if he’ll vote Republican or just stay home. But if a die hard Democrat like him who shooed me away with the wave of his hand when I brought up Jeremiah Wright, Ayers, Khalidi, etc, isn’t voting for Obama, then he’s lost Florida. Bet on it!

ardenenoch on June 29, 2011 at 11:44 AM

Aside from the strangeness of American Jews weird support for Big Government, the same kind of government that historically has ended up scapegoating Jews when things go wrong…

Aside from that, compare the loyaty Obama has shown unions as opposed to every other group.

Obama’s heart is with unions, not with blacks or Jews or any other typical Democrats group. He always always does what will promote unions. The others he ignores or stabs in the back.

petunia on June 29, 2011 at 11:46 AM

Aside from the strangeness of American Jews weird support for Big Government, the same kind of government that historically has ended up scapegoating Jews when things go wrong…

petunia on June 29, 2011 at 11:46 AM

When you know the history of Jews in America just over the last century, it isn’t really that strange. America did not embrace refugees from Nazi Germany. Klansmen targeted Jews for violence as well as blacks. Even when discrimination was not that ugly or blatant, Jews were victims of prejudice. Barred from many professions (see the film, “Gentleman’s Agreement” for some good insight). I know that my father’s father could not get employment as an electrical engineer because he was Jewish.

For these reasons and others, American Jews identify strongly with the civil rights movement. History has left a distrust of fundamentalist Christianity in particular among Jews. While I would agree with those who say that it is anachronistic, such trust and attitudes change slowly.

MJBrutus on June 29, 2011 at 12:02 PM

I have a friend she is a fun woman to hang with and she is a miami jew. I asked her why the jews voted for obama. her answer “cause they are stupid jews”. I fell out of my chair. She cannot understand why the jews vote democrat.

ColdWarrior57 on June 29, 2011 at 12:12 PM

What the heck? No “gay rights” stories on Hot Air? Someone wake up EM and get him back “on track”. Every thread, a gay thread until we are all re-educated.

Bleed_thelizard on June 29, 2011 at 12:13 PM

MJBrutus on June 29, 2011 at 12:02 PM

The problem though is connecting Dems with the Civil Rights movement is an utter fraud. Republicans have historically been more inclusive and supportive of equal rights for all.

NotCoach on June 29, 2011 at 12:17 PM

I can understand American Jews not voting for Republicans but I can’t for the life of me figure out why they so overwhelmingly support Democrats. It’s like taking a gun and aiming it at Israel.

You reap what you sow.

Benaiah on June 29, 2011 at 12:21 PM

“I’m hearing a lot of ‘Oh Oy, if we’d only elected Hillary instead.’”

fify

Bruno Strozek on June 29, 2011 at 12:23 PM

MJBrutus on June 29, 2011 at 12:02 PM

It is anachronistic. Every group who depends on Democrats have stagnated.

Democrats have done nothing of worth for a generation. How long can they ride on JFK signing the civil rights bill? Most Democrats opposed it! It makes no sense.

petunia on June 29, 2011 at 12:28 PM

You can see the democrats compensating for the small loss of Jewish votes by courting seniors.

Vince on June 29, 2011 at 12:29 PM

She cannot understand why the jews vote democrat.

ColdWarrior57 on June 29, 2011 at 12:12 PM

Because most Jews are liberals.

LODGE4 on June 29, 2011 at 12:46 PM

It’s easier to keep doing what you’re doing than to consider the possibility you were wrong.

Seriously, faced with a choice between (a) seeing some limits on abortion on demand and (b) seeing Israel sold down the river, many Jews would choose (b). Abortion is a big deal, because, you know, there are just too many of us already.

Attila (Pillage Idiot) on June 29, 2011 at 12:53 PM

I certainly won’t hold my breath to see the day when a meaningful portion of American Jews vote Republican.

They vote one way, just like blacks.

It is ludicrous that I am more concerned about Israel than most American Jews, who voted for a Muslim anti-zionist.

I grew up in a substantially Jewish neighborhood, which is predominantly Jewish today.

When I visit my parents, I see house after house with the signs of Democratic candidates at all levels, but almost no signs for GOP candidates.

I am tired of worrying about their homeland more than they do, but I would like to see it before it becomes a suburb of one of its Arab neighbor states.

molonlabe28 on June 29, 2011 at 1:04 PM

Jews will vote Dem because of stupid peer pressure and their loathing of anything Jesus-esque… all the way to the chambers.

leftnomore on June 29, 2011 at 1:21 PM

If the Republican Party was more libertarian it could grab up quite a few Jewish voters. As it stands we have:

Liberals: this is the kind of government we should have
Conservatives: this is the kind of government we should have
Libertarians: we need much smaller government

I must say that a few of my Conservative friends are wising up: any power you give to government to smite your enemies will eventually be used by your enemies to smite you.

MSimon on June 29, 2011 at 1:23 PM

all the way to the chambers.

leftnomore on June 29, 2011 at 1:21 PM

Nice.

/sarc

MJBrutus on June 29, 2011 at 1:29 PM

If Jews vote in Obama again despite knowing his similarities to Hitler, then they deserve what they get.

Vegi on June 29, 2011 at 1:30 PM

Vegi on June 29, 2011 at 1:30 PM

And another one heard from. Are we having a special on holocaust insensitivity today?

MJBrutus on June 29, 2011 at 1:32 PM

Ah. Yes. Abortion. The stupidest idea Conservatives have had since they joined with Progressives to bring us Alcohol Prohibition.

Do you really want government to be concerned with the vaginas of your women? No. Of course not. It is the vaginas of “other women” that need policing.

Idiots.

What happens when Bill Clinton is in charge of the Vagina Patrol? If we are lucky all he will want is pictures.

MSimon on June 29, 2011 at 1:32 PM

Klansmen targeted Jews for violence as well as blacks. Even when discrimination was not that ugly or blatant, Jews were victims of prejudice. Barred from many professions (see the film, “Gentleman’s Agreement” for some good insight). I know that my father’s father could not get employment as an electrical engineer because he was Jewish…

MJBrutus on June 29, 2011 at 12:02 PM

You’re ignoring the elephant in the proverbial room there.

The animosity and “prejudice” as you put it was not as to the Jewish ETHNICITY, BUT BECAUSE MOST WERE ASSUMED TO BE COMMUNIST (and were, indeed).

This is also the political (socio-political) flare that started the Socialists in Germany maligning so many BECAUSE THEY WERE COMMUNISTS. That they were Jewish was the after-affect reveal, but the primary or flare-point was the political offensiveness to most as to those (mostly all Jews from Eastern Europe and Ukraine) were communists.

The legacy, indeed, is accurate, unfortunately. Many Jews were/are also Communist by cultural wants and preferences. The POLITICAL threat that posed in times past was the original and strongest objection when they attempted to resettle elsewhere.

Since many who claim to be Jewish are also atheist and reject Orthodoxy (not “Jewish” by religious association and beliefs but by ethnicity alone — mother was Jewish is the lineage as I understand the ethnicity, one is ethnically Jewish if one’s mother is or was), then, the SOCIO-POLITICAL association of many an atheist-ethnic-only Jew is Communism.

Or was Communism.

Lourdes on June 29, 2011 at 1:34 PM

In the Northeastern enclaves of Anglican, Presbyterian and Lutheran culture, the anti-semitism has deep roots back into English and German Catholic Church teachings. But a Sarah Palin Evangelical type Christian has never had that knee jerk Jew hating heritage. But if Christians scare the Jewish folks more than the Muslims do, then they are in deep trouble. Netanyahu has no such fears of evangelical Christians.

jimw on June 29, 2011 at 1:34 PM

because he was Jewish…

MJBrutus on June 29, 2011 at 12:02 PM

Or was Communism.

Lourdes on June 29, 2011 at 1:34 PM

The original offense to others wasn’t the ethnicity but those among the ethnicity (a lot among the ethnicity such that it became synonymous with “being Jewish” to then mean “to be Communist”) who were Communists. People elsewhere opposed Communism — including Leftwing Socialists in Germany, as also those in UK and U.S. and Europe — so the attacks began on “Jews” but mainly it originated in an attack on Communists.

I’m not excusing it, only being frank here as to conditions.

There are similar attacks on Catholics by some (in various cultures, say, for example, the South years ago) that is mostly driven by a similar wrong assumption by those attacking: that to be Catholic is to be Marxist or Communist sympathetic, etc., to be “idol worshipping” and somehow enslaved to the Vatican and unable to be a patriotic, loyal American, things like that.

It’s a cultural misunderstanding but these things do begin based in reality: one group or several groups who do fill the “enemy” bill are then assumed to represent all of others of similar label. It’s not right but that’s how these things start, on a cultural level, then later, political and eventually if very forceful, into a eugenics process.

Lourdes on June 29, 2011 at 1:41 PM

Lourdes on June 29, 2011 at 1:34 PM

In a word, BULL! Those Jews who escaped the East only to fall prey to the horrors of the West fled Communism. No, the seeds of Jew hatred in Western Europe are ancient and stretch back to the time when Jews were money lenders. This was a time that predated capitalism generally. Jews were capitalists well before it was cool.

But not by choice. Jews were barred from almost all ways of earning a living except as money changers. They had no competition because the Catholic church prohibited Christians from that business, declaring all money lending for any interest to be usury. So the miserly Jew enabled whatever trace of trade was in existence. They were despised for it and that hatred persists even today in some circles.

You can put your Commie crapola where it belongs.

MJBrutus on June 29, 2011 at 1:41 PM

In the Northeastern enclaves of Anglican, Presbyterian and Lutheran culture, the anti-semitism has deep roots back into English and German Catholic Church teachings. But a Sarah Palin Evangelical type Christian has never had that knee jerk Jew hating heritage. But if Christians scare the Jewish folks more than the Muslims do, then they are in deep trouble. Netanyahu has no such fears of evangelical Christians.

jimw on June 29, 2011 at 1:34 PM

You know that Palin was born into a Catholic family, right?

darclon on June 29, 2011 at 1:41 PM

Republicans should hold off on celebrating just yet. Jewish voters are one of the bedrock demographics for the Democratic Party, almost as loyal as black voters. In 2008, Obama got 78% of the Jewish vote despite the questions raised by his association with Hamas-supporting Jeremiah Wright at Trinity United, as well as a campaign adviser’s connections to Hamas.

I hear what you’re saying, Ed, but… pro-life evangelicals supported Obama, despite him being one of the most pro-abortion Presidents on record. Gays supported him, despite his statements that marriage is between a man and a woman. Fiscal hawks voted for him, despite the fact that his plans would necessarily blow up the budget. People who long for bipartisanship voted for him (more partisan than Teddy Kennedy) rather than John McCain.

Ultimately, the Obama who ran in 2008 was a “canvas upon which people could project their desires”, and many people did such, facts and logic be damned. Perhaps we’ll see some of that in 2012 all over again, but I’m guessing that many people are disillusioned.

Roxeanne de Luca on June 29, 2011 at 1:42 PM

But a Sarah Palin Evangelical type Christian has never had that knee jerk Jew hating heritage…

jimw on June 29, 2011 at 1:34 PM

No, I think they focus their animosity on Catholics instead of “Jew hating.”

Seriously, it’s not Catholics who began anti-semetism, there are many a Protestant who hates Catholics as much as they may or were responsible for “Jew hating”.

There’s a lot of animosity based upon prejudice about Catholics — but compared with Protestants, there are just far more Catholics so whatever human failing exists, you can find more of it among populations with larger numbers.

It’s like, for example, looking for people who are burglars. You’ll find more of them wherever more people are located and less of them among smaller populations.

Lourdes on June 29, 2011 at 1:45 PM

Lourdes on June 29, 2011 at 1:45 PM

Antisemitism in the Christian West is far older than Martin Luther.

MJBrutus on June 29, 2011 at 1:46 PM

Lourdes on June 29, 2011 at 1:34 PM

In a word, BULL! Those Jews who escaped the East only to fall prey to the horrors of the West fled Communism. No, the seeds of Jew hatred in Western Europe are ancient and stretch back to the time when Jews were money lenders. This was a time that predated capitalism generally. Jews were capitalists well before it was cool.

But not by choice. Jews were barred from almost all ways of earning a living except as money changers. They had no competition because the Catholic church prohibited Christians from that business, declaring all money lending for any interest to be usury. So the miserly Jew enabled whatever trace of trade was in existence. They were despised for it and that hatred persists even today in some circles.

You can put your Commie crapola where it belongs.

MJBrutus on June 29, 2011 at 1:41 PM

I hesitated to direct any comments your way because I anticipated (rightly, apparently) that you’d freakout and condemn whatever was written.

You don’t read what people write with much understanding of the information they share. You’re an atheist, I think you’re just a disgruntled personality, thus, you’re viewing everything with a doubting and critical eye without learning more about the world in the meantime.

What I wrote was accurate. Having known many an American who was Jewish ethnically, who were also atheists as you are, some of them Orthodox to the contrary, they ALL had parents and grandparents who were Communists (and had fled the terrors of Russia and WWII in Europe).

They just don’t advertise that and don’t talk about it much outside their own numbers. But the nation is fraught with many who have that legacy and it’s the cultural basis, also, upon which most of today’s Leftwing in the US is derived: Communism was their parents or grandparents’ politic and it’s became their cultural association over generations.

Another thing: that many fled Communist Russia had nothing to do with them NOT being Communists. They fled as Christians tried to because of mostly Stalin’s murderous government.

Lourdes on June 29, 2011 at 1:50 PM

But if Christians scare the Jewish folks more than the Muslims do, then they are in deep trouble.

Christians are here Muslims are there. Which is why Netanyahu has a different opinion.

It is simple: if the Conservatives gave up social control by enforcers they might find the Jews more congenial. It is the means not the ends Jews worry about.

MSimon on June 29, 2011 at 1:52 PM

You can put your Commie crapola where it belongs.

MJBrutus on June 29, 2011 at 1:41 PM

I’m not endorsing Lourdes’ viewpoint but; What is your opinion on the Sparticist Revolt. I’m genuinely curious.

darclon on June 29, 2011 at 1:52 PM

Republicans should hold off on celebrating just yet. Jewish voters are one of the bedrock demographics for the Democratic Party, almost as loyal as black voters.

Both blocs as stupid as can be, as they vote against themselves, en masse.

Schadenfreude on June 29, 2011 at 1:53 PM

” I myself have no Jewish ancestors that I am aware of. Yet if I converted to Judaism would I not then be considered a Jew?
NotCoach on June 29, 2011 at 11:31 AMMJBrutus on June 29, 2011 at 11:21 AM

Yes. According to Jewish Law you are completely a Jew after conversion. And if you are a female convert your children are Jewish too.

If you’re an Atheist how exactly are you still Jewish? A former Christian would not claim to still be a Christian and an Atheist at the same time.
NotCoach on June 29, 2011 at 11:24 AM

Christianity is a religion in which you believe or don’t believe.

Judaism is primarily an ethnicity, with a religion built into it. A convert “joins the Jewish people” rather than makes a claim of faith. That’s why the conversion process takes so long and is so arduous, because you are joining a tribe. Jewish ethnicity is totally interwoven with the religious beliefs and practices, but you can engage in the rituals without believing in the God who is mentioned every few lines you are reciting. :-)

YehuditTX on June 29, 2011 at 1:54 PM

but… pro-life evangelicals supported Obama, despite him being one of the most pro-abortion Presidents on record. Gays supported him, despite his statements that marriage is between a man and a woman. Fiscal hawks voted for him, despite the fact that his plans would necessarily blow up the budget. People who long for bipartisanship voted for him (more partisan than Teddy Kennedy) rather than John McCain.

Ultimately, the Obama who ran in 2008 was a “canvas upon which people could project their desires”, and many people did such, facts and logic be damned. Perhaps we’ll see some of that in 2012 all over again, but I’m guessing that many people are disillusioned.

Roxeanne de Luca on June 29, 2011 at 1:42 PM

You know what I think it was and continues to be in some? They wanted Socialism based upon their naive or gullible assumption that Socialism would deliver solutions to social and material ills they expected to be solved.

And the anti-war process was motivation among many who voted for Obama as they wrongly assumed he’d deliver a pacifist response to challenge like, say, Carter did.

Today, the Left ridicules anyone who calls them Socialists but they really are that. Progressives, Socialists, Liberals, Left…it’s comprised of people who want government to assume personal responsibilities.

Lourdes on June 29, 2011 at 1:54 PM

YehuditTX on June 29, 2011 at 1:54 PM

Thank you.

NotCoach on June 29, 2011 at 1:59 PM

Lourdes on June 29, 2011 at 1:50 PM

You are a colossal boar whose own sense of importance is matched only by your ignorance. Do not pretend that I fit your moronic stereotype as either a Jew or an atheist or any other pretense you care to entertain. And before you slander an entire race of people any further based on some anecdotes you claim but that are certainly bogus, I suggest you remember that you have nothing to say that anybody wants to hear.

MJBrutus on June 29, 2011 at 2:02 PM

I was looking around on this subject and came across a piece in Commentary, April 1989, by Milton Himmelfarb, entitled “American Jews: Diehard Conservatives.” You’ll see what he means by that. The article begins:

They have learned nothing and forgotten nothing.
–TALLEYRAND

TALLEYRAND meant the Bourbon loyalists,
a byword ever since for diehard
conservativism. A diehard is “a person who obstinately
refuses to abandon old theories or policies,
one who resists change,” or alternatively “an
extreme conservative.” Because diehards can be of
the Left as well as the Right, in the Soviet Union
unreconstructed Marxist-Leninists are called conservatives.

In the United States the 1988 presidential voting
showed what diehard conservatives American Jews
are. Times have changed and America has
changed. Most whites once voted for Democratic
presidential candidates but have long since
changed to voting for Republicans. Irish Americans
used to joke that their babies were baptized
into the Catholic Church and the Democratic
party, but no longer. Practically alone among
white voters, American Jews have changed hardly
at all. Only in 1980 did they fail to give the
Democratic candidate a substantial majority, and
then it was John Anderson’s independent candidacy
that caused them to give Carter a mere
plurality. Clinging more than most to old attachments
and habits, American Jews may fairly be
called more conservative than most.

That was 22 years ago. Things are even more insane today.

Attila (Pillage Idiot) on June 29, 2011 at 2:03 PM

I’m not endorsing Lourdes’ viewpoint…
darclon on June 29, 2011 at 1:52 PM

Many Americans today are the product of prior indoctrination in culture and education as to the South.

I grew up there, my ancestors developed the Region — for generations prior to even the nation existing — and though I certainly don’t condone what prejudice DID or DOES exist there or anywhere else (the North has much of it, it just doesn’t generally acknowledge if not recognize it), I can readily see many adults today who relay assumptions about groups in the South from a while ago that don’t reflect reality, but simply reflect OTHER prejudice ABOUT the South as a Region.

The KKK, specifically, BEGAN (all Democrats, funded, in fact, by the Democratic Party and that’s in the Congressional Record) BUT WAS FIRST AND FOREMOST, in origin, a “community organizing” process, as gruesome as it later became.

Men took it upon themselves to enforce laws where no law enforcement existed, that was the original process, but the foul acts were aimed mostly at rural Whites and rural Blacks who were voting as Republicans and who were terrorized into voting as Democrats, under threat.

But the CONCEPT was some misguided men’s idea of “being American” and fighting off the threats they perceived, however badly and that was Communists, Catholics and Blacks, mostly because as to Blacks they voted Republican originally, as did the Catholics. The Communists were viewed as being enemies and mostly that was defined by “being Jewish” for many in years past.

That’s the reality as to the South, and also, as to the North. The country itself was filled with that shared animosity in both regions. It’s just that the South has been targeted for the bad reputations in these regards, while the same behaviors occurred in the North.

There’s nothing “interpretative” about what I’ve relaid here. Communists to many an American were and sometimes continues to be synonymous with “Jewish” not in the Israel sense but in the ethnicity sense.

I don’t agree with that assumption but I do recognize that there’s a reality basis upon which the assumption is made.

Lourdes on June 29, 2011 at 2:03 PM

Lourdes on June 29, 2011 at 1:50 PM

You are a colossal boar whose own sense of importance is matched only by your ignorance. Do not pretend that I fit your moronic stereotype as either a Jew or an atheist or any other pretense you care to entertain. And before you slander an entire race of people any further based on some anecdotes you claim but that are certainly bogus, I suggest you remember that you have nothing to say that anybody wants to hear.

MJBrutus on June 29, 2011 at 2:02 PM

I hope you feel better soon. Have a nice day.

Lourdes on June 29, 2011 at 2:05 PM

You want to know what is the pivotal reason Jews will or won’t vote for Republicans? This:

In the Roman-era Diaspora, Jews arrived at their European destinations about the same time Christianity did. Due both to a decision within the Church to emphasize Pharisaic opposition to Jesus, and the resentment of a conquered population having strangers forced into their midst, the surrounding Gentiles often used the Church as a rallying point for their own persecutions of Jews.

I figure from this, Jews tend to see movements that strengthen Christianity as harbingers of Antisemitic persecutions to come. The Gentiles get all worked up about Jesus, and then some jerko reminds them that the post-Nicene Bible blames the Jews for killing him. It happened during the Dark Ages, it happened during the Reformation—And the Jews only started really getting a break during the Enlightenment, with an outbreak of secularism.

Modern Marxist and collectivist movements implicitly promise to supplant and weaken the Church. And I think this really appeals to many Jews, who have been so conditioned to see fervent Christianity and the Church as an enemy, they fail to see the enemies within the collectivist movements themselves. They see collectivists as their only protection from a Church just waiting to persecute them again.

Sekhmet on June 29, 2011 at 10:55 AM

You got it exactly. Everyone can fulminate about whether this is fair or reasonable, the fact remains this is what motivates 90% of American Jews in their electoral choices.

I’m a middle-aged Jew who lives in NYC. Many of my friends are my fellow Jews, also there is my family, people I attend shul with, people I study Torah with ….. and have for decades. I know American Jews, and this describes it very accurately.

The best way to gain the trust of Jews – if that is what you want to do – is to understand and not deny the 2000 year history of Christian antisemitism and persecution. Most Christians don’t want to deal with it and I don’t blame them. But we are not going to trust or feel safe with you if you keep wishing it away.

If that makes you angry or frustrated, sorry. Those are the facts. Is there any way to get around this and still promote social-conservatism and evangelicals? Probably not. You will peel off some Jews, like me, who have realized American Christian evangelicals are not the bogeyman. But most Jews will not vote for anything that looks like it would bring evangelical attitudes into the White House.

YehuditTX on June 29, 2011 at 2:05 PM

darclon on June 29, 2011 at 1:52 PM

I don’t know anything about it. I wish I could tell you more.

MJBrutus on June 29, 2011 at 2:06 PM

And before you slander an entire race of people any further based on some anecdotes…
MJBrutus on June 29, 2011 at 2:02 PM

I see now why you’re an atheist.

I have slandered no “race of people” and my comments are well stated and clear and bear no “slander”.

But yours, whoa.

Try reading what I wrote without your bitter cap on. Read some history, talk to some people who you may get to tell you the truth if they trust you about their families’ pasts in Europe and their beliefs culturally. There are many an atheist “jew” such as yourself who is Communist or was raised in a Communist and atheist home.

My experiences, based upon many people I’ve known well enough to hear the tales from their pasts and their parents’ stories, grandparents’.

I don’t “slander” any “race” here. These are well recognized aspects of the WWII conflict and how and why it began.

Lourdes on June 29, 2011 at 2:08 PM

If that makes you angry or frustrated, sorry. Those are the facts. Is there any way to get around this and still promote social-conservatism and evangelicals? Probably not. You will peel off some Jews, like me, who have realized American Christian evangelicals are not the bogeyman. But most Jews will not vote for anything that looks like it would bring evangelical attitudes into the White House.

YehuditTX on June 29, 2011 at 2:05 PM

Your commenting is quite endearing, I quite enjoy reading.

Lourdes on June 29, 2011 at 2:09 PM

You’re ignoring the elephant in the proverbial room there.

The animosity and “prejudice” as you put it was not as to the Jewish ETHNICITY, BUT BECAUSE MOST WERE ASSUMED TO BE COMMUNIST (and were, indeed).

This is also the political (socio-political) flare that started the Socialists in Germany maligning so many BECAUSE THEY WERE COMMUNISTS. That they were Jewish was the after-affect reveal, but the primary or flare-point was the political offensiveness to most as to those (mostly all Jews from Eastern Europe and Ukraine) were communists.

Lourdes on June 29, 2011 at 1:34 PM

Assumed by antisemites, yes; actually communist, no. This is nothing more than the flipside of socialist antisemitism, which sees all Jews as part of a capitalist conspiracy. The large majority of American Jews from the late-19th century onward supported the Democratic Party, and whatever you think the Democratic Party later became under FDR, it was far from socialist when it began targeting Jewish immigrants (and also Catholic immigrants and Orthodox Christian immigrants) in the post-war era. The CPUSA has fortunately never been anything more than a fringe movement. As for Germany, during the Weimar Republic half of Jews voted for a small classical-liberal party, and most of the rest voted for the SPD, which was socialist but opposed to the KPD, the communist party run from Moscow.

Your account of antisemitism blithely ignores the upsurge in racial antisemitism that occurred in the late-19th century and early-20th century, which was based on pseudo-scientific racial theories and heavily tinged with hatred of capitalism, and also the religious roots of antisemitism that go back thousands of years.

DKCZ on June 29, 2011 at 2:13 PM

If that makes you angry or frustrated, sorry. Those are the facts. Is there any way to get around this and still promote social-conservatism and evangelicals? Probably not. You will peel off some Jews, like me, who have realized American Christian evangelicals are not the bogeyman. But most Jews will not vote for anything that looks like it would bring evangelical attitudes into the White House.

YehuditTX on June 29, 2011 at 2:05 PM

Your commenting is quite endearing, I quite enjoy reading.

Lourdes on June 29, 2011 at 2:09 PM

My point as to being endearing as to commenting is that it’s refreshing to read others who admit and discuss prejudices without assigning venom to whoever shares.

The Romans burned Christians as lamps. And fed them to lions and dogs. Prejudice about groups of people has been around as long as humans have formed cultures or tried to.

There’s a lot of it that continues and most of it is based upon misunderstandings about what others believe in or are associated with.

I don’t get the fear of Christians but I certainly know it exists. If a Christian prays for someone else, what I don’t understand is the person being offended by that — Christians pray for others that God will be there for them, reward them, heal and help them, so I don’t get the fear of prayer by anyone.

Lourdes on June 29, 2011 at 2:14 PM

I see now why you’re an atheist.

Lourdes on June 29, 2011 at 2:08 PM

No, you obviously don’t. Nonetheless you can’t help but strike some ridiculous pose and pretend to know something. You’re windy, know-nothing fraud.

MJBrutus on June 29, 2011 at 2:14 PM

If a Christian prays for someone else, what I don’t understand is the person being offended by that — Christians pray for others that God will be there for them, reward them, heal and help them, so I don’t get the fear of prayer by anyone.

Lourdes on June 29, 2011 at 2:14 PM

Who the hell do you know that cares let alone fears what you pray about? You just can’t help making shit up about others to nurture your own egg shell fragile ego.

MJBrutus on June 29, 2011 at 2:17 PM

Lourdes,

My Grandparents (father’s side) came over abound the early 1900s, before there was a Soviet Union. On my mother’s side (Romania) my grandfather’s attitude towards government was rather libertarian – “they are all crooks”.

And you may be unaware but in the 1800s Jews were Republicans. Why? The slavery thing. And the KKK.

MSimon on June 29, 2011 at 2:18 PM

Lourdes on June 29, 2011 at 1:34 PM

Assumed by antisemites, yes; actually communist, no. This is nothing more than the flipside of socialist antisemitism, which sees all Jews as part of a capitalist conspiracy. The large majority of American Jews from the late-19th century onward supported the Democratic Party, and whatever you think the Democratic Party later became under FDR, it was far from socialist when it began targeting Jewish immigrants (and also Catholic immigrants and Orthodox Christian immigrants) in the post-war era. The CPUSA has fortunately never been anything more than a fringe movement. As for Germany, during the Weimar Republic half of Jews voted for a small classical-liberal party, and most of the rest voted for the SPD, which was socialist but opposed to the KPD, the communist party run from Moscow.

Your account of antisemitism blithely ignores the upsurge in racial antisemitism that occurred in the late-19th century and early-20th century, which was based on pseudo-scientific racial theories and heavily tinged with hatred of capitalism, and also the religious roots of antisemitism that go back thousands of years.

DKCZ on June 29, 2011 at 2:13 PM

I recognize that some of those beliefs are prejudicial, if not terrible prejudice accepted and acted upon.

But I’m simply saying that the Bolshevik-Jewish-Communist political thing is and was present in many an Eastern Jewish immigrant earlier to the U.S. and that that is the basis upon which a great deal of prejudice existed (some of it not prejudice among those who opposed Communism, but once accepted as synonymous with being Jewish, became prejudice).

It’s not right, it’s a generalization that was wrong, I realize that, I’m simply saying that that’s what it was and upon what it began. It wasn’t so much ETHNICITY of Jew, but as to the association many assumed defined the average Jew in and post WWII years. That’s all.

Prejudice is never right and in many cases isn’t even sane. But when closely examined, it can usually be traced back to specific things that became accepted over time into culture.

Lourdes on June 29, 2011 at 2:18 PM

Lourdes,

My Grandparents (father’s side) came over abound the early 1900s, before there was a Soviet Union. On my mother’s side (Romania) my grandfather’s attitude towards government was rather libertarian – “they are all crooks”.

And you may be unaware but in the 1800s Jews were Republicans. Why? The slavery thing. And the KKK.

MSimon on June 29, 2011 at 2:18 PM

Yes, I am aware of the fact that some Jewish immigrants were Republicans after arriving here in the U.S. (and I wrote that way up in earlier comments).

Most Blacks when they first got the vote also registered as Republicans (Texas Republican Party organized by Blacks originally and populated mostly by Blacks, for example).

And that was the motivation for the DNC to form the KKK (and to fund it), to threaten Blacks and rural Whites (who were also largely Republican — has to do in both cases, Black and White, with their desire to succeed as land owners, to own and use their own land after being denied such).

The KKK and other Democrats originally set out to reduce membership in the newly founded Republican Party because of the land ownership and voter registration/districting/election issues. Less Republicans, less land owners among Republicans (who were originally mostly Blacks and rural Whites), then more votes for the Democrats…

But hte KKK also then came to be land owners (all Democrats per their plan) who were acting as militia. The rest of the history goes even more downhill from there.

Lourdes on June 29, 2011 at 2:24 PM

My Grandparents (father’s side) came over abound the early 1900s, before there was a Soviet Union. On my mother’s side (Romania) my grandfather’s attitude towards government was rather libertarian – “they are all crooks”.

And you may be unaware but in the 1800s Jews were Republicans. Why? The slavery thing. And the KKK.

MSimon on June 29, 2011 at 2:18 PM

I have known several adults whose grandparents were Jewish immigrants from Russia, the Ukraine in Russia, and from Poland who were also Communists. I don’t know them now but there were, indeed, many of them, it’s just not commonly admitted today.

Lourdes on June 29, 2011 at 2:25 PM

PS More like 1700 years, since Christianity became the official religion of a state for the first time in Byzantium.

We have been threatened, coerced, forced, bullied into converting to Christianity for 1800 years, and Islam for 1300 years. American Jews have good reasons to be frightened of evangelical Christian power.

There has been a huge sea change in Christian attitudes toward Jews since WWII, because everyone saw in the Holocaust where prejudice can lead. Before then most Christians did not see Jesus as primarily jewish, and saw Jews mainly as the people who rejected him, instead of as the source of his teachings and wisdom.

Most American Jews have not caught up to this, or don’t trust it because a change in ideological fashion could just as easily switch back the other way. Given our history, this is a reasonable fear. We are 3000 years old, we don’t think in terms of a generation, but in terms of hundreds of generations.

You might well ask: if Islam was just as bad as Christianity (albeit starting 600 years later), why are American Jews so conciliatory toward Islam? The Jewish political home being liberalism, being imbued with political correctness and identity politics, coupled with the larger fear of Christianity. More American Jews are coming around to allowing the reality of Islam to seep in, but most have come from European countries where the persecutors were Chrsitian or had Christian roots and played on centuries-old embedded Christian prejudices (which is what Hitler did).

However Jews from Arab countries, who never lived in Christian countries, are more rightwing politically and understand the threat and history of Islam very well. This is about half of the Israeli jewish population, and also there are more Jews in Europe whose ancestors are from Arabic countries – you can see on the map how close the southern coast of Europe is close to North Africa. Even Ashkenazi European Jews tend to “get it” more easily, I think partly because islamist hordes are affecting European cities much more than here.

Most of the Jews with Middle Eastern ancestry, in the US, tend to be more rightwing and anti-Islamist than the liberal ones from Eastern Europe (which are the majority in America).

YehuditTX on June 29, 2011 at 2:26 PM

Lourdes on June 29, 2011 at 2:14 PM

Who the hell do you know that cares let alone fears what you pray about? You just can’t help making shit up about others to nurture your own egg shell fragile ego.

MJBrutus on June 29, 2011 at 2:17 PM

I hope you feel better soon. Have a nice day.

Lourdes on June 29, 2011 at 2:26 PM

You’re windy, know-nothing fraud.

MJBrutus on June 29, 2011 at 2:14 PM

I hope you feel better soon. Have a nice day.

Lourdes on June 29, 2011 at 2:27 PM

Lourdes on June 29, 2011 at 2:26 PM

You don’t get to patronize me, you miserable little wretch.

MJBrutus on June 29, 2011 at 2:27 PM

Lourdes on June 29, 2011 at 1:45 PM

Antisemitism in the Christian West is far older than Martin Luther.

MJBrutus on June 29, 2011 at 1:46 PM

Of course it is but since I never declared that it was not, why make such a remark?

Lourdes on June 29, 2011 at 2:28 PM

You don’t get to patronize me, you miserable little wretch.

MJBrutus on June 29, 2011 at 2:27 PM

I hope you feel better soon. Have a nice day.

Lourdes on June 29, 2011 at 2:29 PM

Well, hey, I actually stopped by here to find a link someone posted a day ago about a great video…cannot now locate it, unfortunately.

User was someone like “Sheraz…..” something, started with a “S” and was a complex ID, if anyone can direct me to such, please do, great political video supporting the Right.

Lourdes on June 29, 2011 at 2:30 PM

Of course it is but since I never declared that it was not, why make such a remark?

Lourdes on June 29, 2011 at 2:28 PM

You said it right here!

Seriously, it’s not Catholics who began anti-semetism, there are many a Protestant who hates Catholics as much as they may or were responsible for “Jew hating”.

Since it is many centuries older than Protestantism in the Christian world then of course it was Catholics began antisemitism!

MJBrutus on June 29, 2011 at 2:37 PM

I don’t get the fear of Christians but I certainly know it exists. If a Christian prays for someone else, what I don’t understand is the person being offended by that — Christians pray for others that God will be there for them, reward them, heal and help them, so I don’t get the fear of prayer by anyone.

Lourdes on June 29, 2011 at 2:14 PM

Most Christians, even now, and way more so before WWII, prayed for non-Christians to become Christian, to find the Light, to accept Jesus. This is not the same as praying for the welfare of others.

You have a universalist religion, which means you think that ultimately everyone should want to join your religion, even if you are willing to except some of them for the time being. We have a particularist religion. It’s ours, for us. People can join our tribe, but we are not trying to convert everyone. We do pray for people outside our community, usually for healing. And we certainly give, Jews are heavily represented in charitable and rescue organizations.

I think since our religion is so focused on doing rather than believing, we would think “stop praying for me and get out and join this or that group to do something for the world.” Which Christians do, certainly, in great numbers. But Jews get nervous when outsiders pray for us, because usually they are up to no good and would better spend their time just doing good works. :-)

YehuditTX on June 29, 2011 at 2:40 PM

The Romans burned Christians as lamps. And fed them to lions and dogs. Prejudice about groups of people has been around as long as humans have formed cultures or tried to.

This was right after the Romans besieged and then burned most of Jerusalem to the group and massacred thousands of Jews – the streets were described as ankle deep in blood – and took thousands more for slaves. The Romans basically ethnically cleansed Judea (Israel) of Jews, destroying Jewish nationhood and beginning the 2000 year diaspora.

Meanwhile in 2 centuries the Christians got their religion ensconced as the national religion, and soon after started persecuting Jews for not converting to the national religion, and never looked back.

So I’m sorry the Romans persecuted Christians too, but it’s a blip on my radar screen.

YehuditTX on June 29, 2011 at 2:51 PM

YehuditTX on June 29, 2011 at 2:40 PM

Another source of distrust of Jews with regards to the intentions of evangelicals is wrapped up with the apocalyptic aspects of their religion. Many Jews feel as though fundamentalists care about Israel only as the scene or backdrop of their end of the world battle royale.

MJBrutus on June 29, 2011 at 2:52 PM

This was right after the Romans besieged and then burned most of Jerusalem to the group and massacred thousands of Jews – the streets were described as ankle deep in blood – and took thousands more for slaves. The Romans basically ethnically cleansed Judea (Israel) of Jews, destroying Jewish nationhood and beginning the 2000 year diaspora.

Meanwhile in 2 centuries the Christians got their religion ensconced as the national religion, and soon after started persecuting Jews for not converting to the national religion, and never looked back.

So I’m sorry the Romans persecuted Christians too, but it’s a blip on my radar screen.

YehuditTX on June 29, 2011 at 2:51 PM

Other than the revolts, Jews were relatively well treated in the Empire for a foreign religion/ethnicity. Those persecutions were the result of multiple rebellions.

Christians were persecuted on an imperial (not regional) scale merely for existing.

Jews were pretty friendly to Judean Christians as well.

darclon on June 29, 2011 at 3:12 PM

Not wishing to end a good, “How bad my people have had for X millenia”, but I don’t think Obama’s policies will harm the circumcised less than the uncircumcised.

And if your grandma’s cousin wants to vote for the party of the KKK, I will fight for their right to do so. (Pray for you too!)

barnone on June 29, 2011 at 3:19 PM

Yes, this is strange, but I’ve heard this being spread by those that don’t understand and hate christianity.

blink on June 29, 2011 at 3:21 PM

Hatred isn’t necessary, simply not understanding will do.

MJBrutus on June 29, 2011 at 4:19 PM

Obama losing grip on Jewish voters, donors?

This is good news. I’d like to think the Jews learned something after what happened in Europe during the 1940s. A little late in the game, people! You’re supposed to be smart! Why didn’t you read up on Obama before the election, huh? Was it too important for your non-Jewish liberal friends to like you?

And don’t call me a racist.

disa on June 29, 2011 at 5:00 PM

So I’m sorry the Romans persecuted Christians too, but it’s a blip on my radar screen.

YehuditTX on June 29, 2011 at 2:51 PM

Slaughter and persecution should never be a “blip” on your radar screen.

disa on June 29, 2011 at 5:02 PM

disa on June 29, 2011 at 5:02 PM

When looking at my rear view mirror objects 2000 years old tend to get pretty small for me as well.

MJBrutus on June 29, 2011 at 5:11 PM

American Jews are irrational. And I can say that because I used to be one. They are ridiculously afraid of some kind of right-wing evangelical Christian state being established by Republicans that makes Jews outcasts. They hate Sarah Palin despite her unabashed love of Israel, because they think she wants this kind of evangelical Christian state to be established. They think the reason Palin and others like her love Israel is because they believe in the Armageddon/apocalyptic theory that the state of Israel is essential to the Second Coming of Christ, not because they love the Jews. Pat Robertson pretty much scared the hell out of them with this stuff back in the 1980s.

rockmom on June 29, 2011 at 10:52 AM

Thank you for posting this rockmom.

Your explanation matches almost word for word what a Jewish 40ish year old friend explained to me when we were discussing similar issues. I appreciated his sincerity, honesty, and insight but this explanation really surprised me because I had not heard it before and his perception of Christians was not representative at all of what I had ever heard in any of the traditional Protestant churches that I had attended over the years. But I agree that his explanation is very consistent with conversations I have had with other Jewish friends after my conversation with him.

Understanding what is really driving the perceptions of different groups of people is the first step toward reducing tensions.

The honesty and lack of political correctness on this thread has been incredibly refreshing and educational. Thank you all!

wren on June 29, 2011 at 6:19 PM

Democrats have done nothing of worth for a generation. How long can they ride on JFK signing the civil rights bill? Most Democrats opposed it! It makes no sense.

petunia on June 29, 2011 at 12:28 PM

While I agree the Dems have done nothing to help this country in decades, the Civil Rights Bill was signed by LBJ in 1964. He was able to roll enough Dems to vote for it, along with the Republicans, for 2 reasons: 1) he played the JFK legacy card and 2) he knew where all the skeletons were in Congress and he threatened the dems privately with exposure if they didn’t fall in line.

But JFK did not sign that bill.

karenhasfreedom on June 29, 2011 at 7:00 PM

And another one heard from. Are we having a special on holocaust insensitivity today?

MJBrutus on June 29, 2011 at 1:32 PM

It’s not insensitive. It’s the cold hard truth. If you sit around and do nothing while others plot against you, despite opportunities to stop them, aren’t you partially responsible for your fate?

Vegi on June 29, 2011 at 8:35 PM

Yawn. As a Jewish guy it really pisses me off that we hear this crap all the time about how this time Jewish voters are going to turn against the Democrat. And then it doesn’t happen, over and over again.

eyedoc on June 29, 2011 at 9:28 PM

MJ: On the Catholic thing…though I was born Jewish I was baptised Protestant. I left Evangelical Protestantism because I was tired of my mother-in-law telling me that my father was burning in hell and that the Shoah happened because the Jews didn’t accept Jesus. Protestantism also seems to have forgotten its Jewish roots.
Catholicism hasn’t. I went through RCIA in 2009-2010 and was my former Parish’s Candidate for Full Communion in 2010.
Even my Patron saint was born Jewish.
St. Edith Stein was a brilliant Jewish philosopher turned Carmelite nun who was gassed @ Auschwitz in August 1942.
Her intellect informed her faith informed her intellect.
That appeals to me-and who better to understand a ‘Jewish girl’ than another Jewish girl.
My mother is delighted that I’m now Catholic and I feel much more at home in the Church than I ever did as an Evangelical Protestant. On my father’s Yartzeit last year, my parish priest said he didn’t believe that my father was in hell and that only God knows what’s in a man’s heart.
I prayed for him looking up-not down.
The Catholic Church that I know-is NOT anti-Jewish.
If it were-I wouldn’t now be one of her daughters.

annoyinglittletwerp on June 29, 2011 at 11:52 PM

Here’s hoping Hillary runs in 2012… I’ll change parties for the primary just to vote for her!!

Pass the popcorn!!

Khun Joe on June 30, 2011 at 12:26 AM

annoyinglittletwerp on June 29, 2011 at 11:52 PM

First of all, I wish you a full measure of peace of mind, comfort or whatever it is that you seek from your faith. Please know that I am not accusing any religion of being inherently antisemitic. I’m not accusing any branch of Christianity of being so today. I’m simply pointing out some history that I think was relevant in shaping the attitudes that persist today, despite changed circumstances.

MJBrutus on June 30, 2011 at 5:29 AM

Make no mistake my Jewish friends! Voting for Obama is tantamount to suicide! No question anymore.

JonR on June 30, 2011 at 11:30 AM

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