10:30 AM EDT, September 7, 2012
While I agree that how President Obama (or any president) might respond to an Israeli military strike in Iran is an important topic for any voter to consider, including Jewish voters, former Gov. Robert L. Ehrlich's rambling discussion of the topic is way off the mark ("Can Jews be sure of Obama's commitment to Israel," Sept. 2). He seems of touch with most American Jewish voters.
To suggest that Jewish citizens vote Democrat out of "habit" is insulting. Jewish voters are not one-issue voters (i.e. Israel), as he implies, but are concerned about a host of social and economic issues. And it he knew anything about Jewish history it would be obvious why many Jews have been at the forefront of the fight for equal rights for all citizens, regardless of sex, color, religion or sexual orientation.
It's also obvious why many Jews want to make sure that religious doctrine stays apart from the government, why Jews would stand up for the little guy and why they don't want government involved in family planning and other personal decisions. Ditto for why Jews would want a safety net for those going through difficult times.
Moreover, to imply that American Jewish voters march in lock step with the current right-wing Israeli government is naive. Most American Jews are completely at odds with the current Israeli administration and would probably support its political opposition.
Clueless pundits don't seem to realize this point. The citizens of Israel are themselves split on important issues like the two-state solution, Iran, Syria, etc. Would Mr. Ehrlich suggest that those actual Israeli citizens that do not support Mr. Netanyahu's current policies are "not committed to Israel," as his article implies?
I suggest Mr. Ehrlich examine what high-ranking Israeli officials say about Mr. Obama rather than try to twist the president into something he is not. Ehud Barak, Israel's defense minister has stated that President Obama's administration has been the most supportive of Israel's security ever. Israeli Prime Minster Benjamin Netanyahu has repeatedly praised Mr. Obama's support of Israel's security.
The president himself has repeatedly expressed his commitment to Israel, both financially and through his deeds. In light of that, it's baffling that Mr. Ehrlich could question Mr. Obama's commitment to Israel.
Benjamin Ram, New York
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