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Why Jews Don't Vote Republican

http://watchdog.org/61137/could-obama-lose-the-jewish-vote
It has become the age old question in Republican meetings, "Why don't Jews Vote Republican?" By itself it seems like a simple question and usually the people asking it, ask it with sincerity. However, even though I am a Republican and Jewish the question still irks me. Jews are not a monolith. The variety of opinions are many. In order to really understand this question you have to understand a few things about the past history and current history of the Jewish People.

Judaism is one of the oldest religions in the world. There are people who are fervently religious to those who don't believe in God at all, and everywhere in between. The fervently religious make up roughly 10% and more than half are not religious or affiliated at all. Further complicating things is that the 40% that are left are make up of traditional, reform and conservative Jews. Conservative Judaism branched off of reform about 80 years ago. With all this in mind, it is no wonder why we as a community don't agree. But that still does not explain why even with all the varying degrees of religiosity the majority still vote for the Democratic Party.

What I hear most often from people who are Republican is "we are so pro-Israel, why don't they vote for us". Regardless of how I feel about Israel, the last time I checked, I am an American citizen and my grandfather fought in the Philippines as an US soldier. Whether people realize it, the question is slightly obnoxious. The Jewish community has faced thousands of years of persecution, we are happy and proud citizens of the United States. While Israel matters tremendously. Traditionally both parties have been pro-Israel. Republicans usually 60/40 over Democrats. Although this seems to be changing.

However, that does not mean that Israel doesn't play a vital role in the way we vote and think. Modern Israel was founded on May 15, 1948. In the past 70 years it has become the largest home for Jews from across the world. The United States is now second. The relationship between Jews and Israel is complex. Non religious Jews view it as a homeland for Jews and its safety is vital. Depending on how liberal their views are will be the determining factor for how they vote. Considering that 40% are not orthodox and 50% are unaffiliated, it is no surprise that many are so left leaning. In my estimation, probably 30% of the larger Jewish community are very liberal and will never vote Republican. Israel is a non issue and it does not matter how bad Obama is on Israel. For the rest of us, Israel plays a vital and crucial role in how we vote, but not singularly. If there is one point that I would like to make is that --Jews are generally not single issue voters.

I would venture to say that most fall into the middle of the road category, some leaning more left and some more right. We are proud of our heritage and our history. We are proud citizens of this country. While Israel plays an important role in our hearts, our heads also take into account social and fiscal policy. When looking at the Jewish community, please keep in mind all these things.