michael freund 88.
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In less than a month, American voters will go to the polls in what is shaping up
to be a decisive midterm election. The entire House of Representatives and more
than a third of the Senate will be up for grabs, as Republicans and Democrats
duke it out for control of the legislative branch.
For pro-Israel Jews
and Christians, this election couldn’t come at a more opportune moment. After
more than a year-anda- half of the administration’s unprecedented bullying of
Israel, those who cherish the relationship between America and the Jewish state
will now have a chance to send a loud and clear message.
To put it
bluntly: It’s payback time, and Israel’s supporters should teach President
Barack Obama a lesson by giving his party a stinging rebuke at the ballot box in
The stakes in this election are particularly high, as the
Democrats face the prospect of losing their hegemony over one or both houses of
Congress, which would be an enormous blow to their agenda to reshape
And by all accounts, things are not looking too good for Obama
and his party. The Democrats, it appears, are about to be slammed by the
political equivalent of a tidal wave, amid rising discontent over a weak economy
and lackluster recovery. Various key figures in the party, including Senate
Majority Leader Harry Reid of Nevada, may be swept away. Earlier this week, Reid
slipped behind his Republican opponent Sharron Angle in the polls.
THE races heating up, pollsters and pundits are predicting a further surge in
support for the Republicans. As Michael Barone, the Washington Examiner
political analyst and one of the savviest observers of American elections, noted
earlier this week, the data suggest a Republican majority brewing in the House
“the likes of which we have not seen since the election cycles of 1946 or even
Over in the Senate, the party of Lincoln and Reagan stands to make
significant gains as well. According to Real- ClearPolitics’ composite average
of various polls, the Republicans will pick up at least eight seats, placing
them within striking distance of an outright majority.
Another four seats
are said to be tossups; if the GOP can pick up two or three of them, it’s game
The real dissatisfaction, of course, is with the president himself,
who has predictably failed to live up to the near-messianic hype that surrounded
his rise to power. As a result, Obama is poised to get a painful reproof from
the very same electorate that embraced him just two years ago.
admonition must also come from Jews as well, some 78 percent of whom are said to
have voted for Obama in 2008. And there could be no better way to deliver that
message than by joining hands to help Republican candidates prevail across the
The president has lambasted Israel at the UN and pressured it to
make concessions to the Palestinians, even as he has courted the Muslim world
and virtually pleaded for engagement with the atomic ayatollahs in Iran. Obama
and his crew have shown themselves to be tonedeaf to Israel and its concerns,
and it’s time they paid a political price.
Indeed, even some of the
president’s most stalwart Jewish supporters have turned against him. Earlier
this year, former New York City mayor Ed Koch told Fox News that “I have been a
supporter of President Obama and went to Florida for him, urged Jews all over
the country to vote for him, saying that he would be just as good as John McCain
on the security of Israel. I don’t think it’s true anymore.”
number of American Jews seem to concur. In August, the Pew Research Center
issued the results of a survey which found that the number of Jews identifying
as or leaning Republican has reached 33% – a leap of more than 50% since the
This is the highest such figure ever
Sure, Jews represent a small percentage of the electorate. But
their concentration in key states such as Florida, California and New York gives
added weight to their votes. And it’s no small secret that Jewish donors play a
critical role in bankrolling numerous political campaigns on both sides of the
aisle. This clout and influence must now be brought to bear with all its force
in the vote next month.
Politics, after all, is a game of
Sometimes they must be implicit while at other times only an
unambiguous reprimand will do. For the sake of Israel and its future, supporters
of the Jewish state need to tame the administration and its arrogance at the
ballot box as unequivocally as they can.
It is time to punish Obama
politically, as scary as that may sound to some people.
Doing so will
weaken his position, constrain his freedom of movement, and force him to devote
more time and energy to domestic political battles.
And with his eye
toward re-election in 2012, it may just give him pause to consider whether
squeezing Israel is good for his own political future.