With initial exit polls showing 70 percent of American Jews voted for Obama, all the efforts to swing the Jewish vote in favor of Mitt Romney by wealthy Republicans, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and the iVoteIsrael campaign appear to have failed. Even in key swing state Florida, where Romney reportedly received 34 percent of the Jewish vote, Obama still came out on top.
According to the National Jewish Democratic Council President David A. Harris:
The powerful support given to the President today by American Jews shows that the more than $15 million campaign undertaken by Republicans to woo Jewish voters with negative advertising, scare tactics, and outright lies simply did not work. Since the New Deal, the Democratic Party has been the political home for the overwhelming majority of Jewish voters — and tonight’s data affirms that the relationship between the Jewish community and the Democratic Party is as strong as ever.
Although 70 percent is a slight drop from the 2008 showing of Jewish support for Obama (78 percent), the outcome proves that American Jewish voters cannot be swayed (read: bullied) by the “pro-Israel” paradigm – and that even if they could, Obama would still be elected on domestic issues, because at the end of the day they live in the U.S., not in Israel – where the majority is extremely conservative and hawkish compared with their American counterparts.
The question, as Noam Sheizaf puts it, is whether Obama will step up during his second term when it comes to Israel , and how it will affect Israeli elections. But in the meantime, while there may still be no daylight between the American and Israeli governments, between Israeli Jewish values and American Jewish values, there is plenty of daylight to go around.