Voting Our Values
Our values dictate a clear decision on November 6th: I will cast my ballot for President Barack Obama, a true friend to Israel, a powerful champion for our middle class.
US President Obama at White House Rose Garden Photo: Yuri Gripas / Reuters
When I was mayor of New York City, I became well known among my constituents for
asking a simple question: “How am I doing?” That was one of the ways I connected
with voters and stayed in touch with the issues and challenges facing New
Yorkers – hearing directly from the people I represented at City
Today, as Americans and as Jews, we can ask ourselves the same
thing: As a country and as a people, how are we doing? As we head toward
Election Day, the answer is clear: We are all doing better because of President
Barack Obama’s leadership.
From the economy to foreign policy, from the
Midwest to the Middle East, from job security to national security, it is safe
to say that our nation is stronger, safer and more respected today than it was
four years ago. And President Obama deserves the lion’s share of the
Many know that I have sometimes disagreed with the president. But
then I heard him speak before the UN last year, telling an unfriendly and
skeptical audience that the bonds between the US and Israel are, and will
remain, unbreakable. Before the entire world, I heard President Obama deliver
the strongest statement ever uttered by an American president in support of
I also met with the president face-to-face, listening to him
explain in vivid, personal and passionate terms why he has always backed the
Jewish state, and why he will never abandon it. He persuaded me that he really
does understand the threats and challenges faced by Israel’s people.
I proudly watched in the final presidential debate as President Obama described
his moving visits to the Israeli Holocaust museum Yad Vashem and to Sderot, the
shell-shocked town in southern Israel.
He spoke passionately of his
conversations with families on the front lines of Hamas’s attacks and his pledge
to stand shoulder-to-shoulder with Israel in the tragic event that Iran goes on
the warpath. I had publicly urged him to make this very pledge a month ago, and
I was glad to hear our commander-in-chief take such a firm, impressive
President Obama’s commitment to Israel is clear, unflinching, and
unambiguous, and I am confident he will only expand on his extraordinary record
in his second term. He will continue to act, decisively and without reservation,
to prevent Iran from developing a nuclear weapon, isolating the Iranian regime
and keeping all options on the table to counter the threat of a nuclear-armed
He will ensure that funding for the Iron Dome missile defense
system remains intact – because it provides Israelis with an effective line of
defense against rocket attacks; because he knows it saves Israeli
As Defense Minister Ehud Barak said last year, “I can hardly
remember a better period of American support and backing, and Israeli
cooperation and similar strategic understanding of events around us, than what
we have right now.”
Under President Obama, this statement will always
ring true; the US-Israel relationship will stand firm, lasting, unwavering and
President Obama has listened to the concerns of the Jewish
community, and he has demonstrated his friendship with Israel, in word and in
deed. For that alone, he could earn my vote. But that’s not all. Indeed, the
president is, without question, our best choice on domestic policy as well. On
nearly every single issue, Republicans are dead wrong and Democrats are exactly
Governor Romney wants to take us back to the failed policies that
led to the deepest financial crisis in generations, while President Obama knows
we need to build the economy from the middle class out.
would pay for new tax cuts for the wealthy by raising taxes on the middle class,
while President Obama will build a tax system that asks everyone to pay their
fair share and everyone to play by the same set of rules.
will shred the social safety net by turning Medicare into a voucher system and
cutting funds for Medicaid, food stamps, the poor and the elderly. President
Obama will preserve Medicare and strengthen Medicaid, never leaving any American
Governor Romney will roll back some LGBT rights and restrict a
woman’s right to choose.
President Obama will continue to fight for
equality for all and ensure that a woman continues to have the right to make
medical decisions about her own body.
Put simply, Governor Romney
believes Americans are on their own. President Obama believes we need to look
out for one another in tough times; we have a responsibility to our neighbors
He recognizes that our country grows stronger when all
of its people have the opportunity to succeed and thrive.
This is not
simply about American values; this is about Jewish values. And our values
dictate a clear decision on November 6: I will cast my ballot for President
Barack Obama, a true friend to Israel, a powerful champion for our middle class.
I ask you to join me. Our nation’s future depends on it.
The writer was
the mayor of New York City from 1978 to 1989.