The question most often posed to me by my Christian Conservative friends is: Why do a majority of American Jews continue to support Liberal policies and the Democrat party when it is clear that the Democrats are overwhelmingly hostile to Israel and to Judaism? President Barack Obama—demonstrably anti-Israel with a host of Jew hating friends and associations—is the Democrat party writ large.
My answer is two-fold:
1. Jews are traditionally lever-pulling Democrats and breaking this self-destructive habit is a lot like kicking crack or heroin.
2. Most American Jews—fanatic secularists—have replaced authentic Judaism with the false idols of the liberalism.
A few months ago I was having lunch—at Pico Kosher Deli—with David Horowitz. We discussed this issue at length. David, savoring his matzo ball soup, pointed out that American Jews were the only demographic in the U.S. who consistently vote against their own self-interest.
“Why do you think that is?” I asked.
David chuckled: “Because it makes them feel noble, and self-righteous.”
In the latest issue of Commentary Magazine, Norman Podhoretz asked a a group of articulate and very bright people to comment on this very question.
Here’s a selection from Jeff Jacoby’s analysis:
Most American Jews, on the other hand, seem to have learned from an early age that to be Jewish is to be a liberal Democrat, no matter what. No matter that anti-Semitism today makes its home primarily on the Left, while in most quarters of the Right, hostility toward Jews has been anathematized. No matter that Israel’s worst enemies congregate with leftists, while its staunchest defenders tend to be resolute conservatives. No matter that Republicans support the Jewish state by far larger margins than Democrats do. No matter that on a host of issues — homosexuality, abortion, capital punishment, racial preferences, public prayer — the “Torah” of contemporary liberalism, as Podhoretz calls it, diverges sharply from the Torah of Judaism. As Why Are Jews Liberals? convincingly and depressingly demonstrates, the loyalty of American Jews to the left has been unaffected by the failure of the left to reciprocate that loyalty.
Here are further responses from: David Wolpe, Jonathan D. Sarna, Michael Medved, William Kristol, Jeff Jacoby, and David Gelernter
Norman Podhoretz’s book Why Are Jews Liberal? has just been published and it looks fascinating.
My friend Joshua Pundit—back home, and thank G-d, safe from the wildfires—hosts Haveil Havalim #233, excellent reading for this Labor Day Weekend.