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Sunday, December 11, 2016

With Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu practically endorsing his old business colleague Mitt Romney, Republicans expected to make a major dent in the 74 percent of the American Jews who reported voting for President Obama in 2008. It didn’t work.

This time, 69 percent of American Jews supported the president’s re-election, according to exit polls. This puts him within the margin of error of his 2008 number.

Obama’s victory has created domestic turmoil for Netanyahu who faces elections soon.

Former prime minister Ehud Olmert reportedly told a group of Jewish leaders in New York, “Following what Netanyahu did in the last few months, the question arises of whether or not our prime minister has a friend in the White House.” He accused Netanyahu of serving the agenda of  Sheldon Adelson, a Romney supporter and Republican mega-donor.

Netanyahu denied these charges Thursday, saying, “There are those among us who are trying to cause conflict between us and the United States. They won’t get away with it. The alliance with the U.S. is firm.”

Netanyahu’s icy relationship with Bill Clinton when serving as Israel’s prime minister in the late 90s was a factor in his loss to Ehud Barack.

Why have Jews been so loyal to President Obama and the Democratic Party?

Distrust of the Republican Party plays a major role, despite the fierce loyalty the American fundamentalist Christians swear to Israel’s defense. Much of the right’s Israel love is tied into Biblical prophecy that would ultimately bring the rapture, sending all Christian non-believers—including Jews—to hell. Not exactly reassuring.

But there is a much more practical reason American Jews do not trust the far right.

“Jews are a religious and ethnic minority in the United States,” said Israeli historian Gershom Gorenberg. “Their greatest, deepest most basic interest is in a pluralistic America, and in the acceptance of difference… Are you willing to accept people who are different from you?”

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Copyright 2012 The National Memo