Over 25 percent of American-Israelis polled on American electoral issues by iVoteIsrael state that they have strong reservations about voting in US elections because they “feel it isn’t right to vote if I’m living outside the country.”
This is what we call “the moral dilemma.” There is no legal question whatsoever – not only are American citizens living abroad entitled to vote in all Federal elections – the Federal government actively and enthusiastically encourages them to do so. The rationale of the moral dilemma seems to pivot on a premise that Americans living in Israel no longer share the fate of their fellow Americans, and therefore do not have the right to elect representation or executives.
In truth, the next US president will have a more direct, profound and immediate effect on the lives of Americans living in Israel than any other American anywhere around the globe. Unlike domestic policy, the president of the United States has a broad mandate over foreign policy – practically unimpeded by the legislature or judiciary – for good and for bad.
iVoteIsrael’s latest video aims to highlight to Americans in Israel that throughout our history, American foreign policy has always affected Israeli policy and the lives of Israelis.
One recent example omitted from this latest video is the recent reported leak from the Obama administration, which was malicious and utterly detrimental to possible Israeli plans to use Azerbaijani airfields to launch a military strike against Iranian nuclear facilities. As tensions in the Middle East rise, more and more Americans in Israel should be asking themselves “Will the next US government be there for Israel in 2013?”
Americans in Israel have the power and the numbers to help elect a pro-Israel Congress and president who will have Israel’s back. Recent polls show the presidential candidates neck-and-neck at 47% each, with some battleground states as close as 0.4% – so every vote counts!
iVoteIsrael, in conjunction with The Jerusalem Post and AACI, is sponsoring a series of electoral debates across the country between Democrats Abroad Israel and Republicans Abroad Israel to bring these issues to light. Two of these debates are taking place this week – the first on Monday at 8 p.m. at Beit Daniel in Tel Aviv, the second on Thursday at 8 p.m. at Beit Knesset Netzach Menashe in Beit Shemesh. If you’re an American living in Israel and wish to be informed on the issues you cannot afford to miss these events.
Register to vote and apply for your absentee ballot today at www.iVoteIsrael.com.
Aron Shaviv is CEO of Shaviv Strategy and Campaigns, an international political strategy consultancy and a consutant for the iVoteIsrael Campaign.