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Why many Jews still support Obama

Why many Jews still support Obama

Years ago, in a discussion following Jewish services, I told Steven Spielberg’s brother-in-law that the liberal filmmaker’s technically excellent film, Munich, was anti-israel. He was stunned. After all  Spielberg had made the memorable Schindler’s List starring Liam Neeson, and  Spielberg’s had contributed the film’s profits toward his properly acclaimed  Holocaust Archives project.

But Spielberg’s Munich, written by leftist and arguably self-hating Jew Tony Kushner, incredibly made the case for moral equivalence. It “humanized” the killers of Israel’s athletes at the 1972 Olympics. Indeed, in a contrived meeting between  terrorists and Jews, the killers were articulate in misstating Mideast history and seemed barely plausible in their rationale for terror.   Meanwhile, the inarticulate Jews  could only explain Israel, not as clearly rooted in history, but as a pathetic response to the Holocaust. This, of course, is the way Barack Obama and progressives talk, because it lends itself to the “two wrongs don’t make a right” caricature of the Jewish state.

If Obama rejects American exceptionalism, why would he consider Israel unique?

Further, Kushner’s script suggested that Israel Prime Minister Golda Meir sought retribution (not a Jewish value) against the killers. In fact, as a matter of strategy, she sought, for deterrence, the execution of planners and funders of the Munich massacre.   Similarly, today, we see among the Left (including many “progressive” Jews) an indictment of Israel for Gaza.  And how the other side loves to quote the Jews from central casting who oppose Israel!

Things were not always this way.    When you look at the founding of the modern conservative movement, you will find many of the leaders were Jewish — especially among the leading anti-Communists, the major libertarians, the free market economists, the colleagues of Wm. F. Buckley, Jr. at National Review. And the Jewish founders of the movie industry were mainly pro-American, pro-family Republicans. If you have any doubt, look at the movies they made.

But Spielberg’s  “Jewish Hollywood” is largely secular and, unfortunately, mirrors a large segment of today’s Jewish America.   Raised by parents who were Holocaust survivors or of that generation, many baby-boomer Jews implicitly questioned the faith of their ancestors.   After all, how could God allow the Holocaust? Many Jews  converted — to a new religion, liberalism, now refashioned as progressivism. These disaffected Jews are less supportive of Israel than say, evangelical Christians.

The old generation of Jews accepted the discredited history that Democrat Franklin D. Roosevelt wanted to save the Jews. The next generation of Jews rejected the historical truth that Republican Richard Nixon didsave Israel — with his airlift during the 1973 Yom Kippur War. And the current generation of Jews is complacent about Israel, so it cannot relate to Obama’s embrace of the pro-Hamas Muslim Brotherhood or his disarming of America, abroad and at home. My father, whose huge extended family perished in the Holocaust, would never support gun control.

How can so many Jews stay with Obama, a man who incredibly claimed he was ignorant that his long-time spiritual mentor, Rev. Jeremiah Wright, is a racist anti-American and anti-Semite? It’s cognitive dissonance among Jews who  laudably go for the underdog, in this case, their pathological need to elect, and support, a black president. Obama remains a bumbler in both domestic and foreign policy, yet his somewhat declining support among Jews still remains high. Why? Because they do not feel threatened; in fact, feeling guilty about their material success, they support Obama’s egalitarianism.

Of course, that’s not the case among the small, but actually fast-growing, traditionally religious (orthodox) Jews whose views are conservative, Republican and anti-Obama. But, for the time most Jews interpret their  religion the same way that humanist Protestants and liberal Catholics do. Consider this: for  many Christians, the road to salvation was what they did in life. Now, it’s who they vote for.

Arnold Steinberg, an intern at Human Events in 1967, has been a major figure in the conservative movement. He authored two graduate texts on politics and media and is widely published. A political strategist, he consulted with hundreds of political campaigns.  He has been deeply involved in foreign policy and national security issues.

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