-By Warner Todd Huston
Dr. Arie Friedman is running for the 29th District, Illinois State Senate and many members of the northern suburb’s Jewish communities are finding a lot they like about himâ€¦ even though he’s a Republican.
In fact, so many Chicago-area Jews are attending Dr. Friedman’s events and warming to his message that the Daily Herald even took notice.
But it isn’t just Dr. Friendman. Jewish folks in the area are attending all sorts of GOP sponsored events. As the Herald notes this small but noticeable drift toward the Republican Party is based in part on the Democrat’s increasing distrust of Israel and the GOP’s strong support.
For decades and decades Jews have been nearly knee-jerk Democrats. But lately that solid support is softening.
The June 8 Gallup poll showed Jewish American support for a Democratic president at 64 percent â€” a sizable majority but the lowest level since 1988, when Democratic candidate Michael Dukakis was defeated by George H.W. Bush. At the same time, poll results indicate support for Romney is at 29 percent, the highest level of Jewish support for a Republican presidential candidate in 24 years.
The shift is possible, analysts say, because of Romneyâ€™s focus on the economy over social issues and concern by some that the Obama administration might not be wholly committed to keeping Iran from acquiring nuclear weapons.
That trend is mirrored locally, members of the Chicago chapter of the Republican Jewish Coalition say. They trace the shiftâ€™s beginnings to a decade ago, when Highland Park Republican U.S. Sen. Mark Kirk, then making a first-time bid in the North Shore 10th Congressional District, began to peel away traditional Jewish Democratic votes by combining a socially moderate platform with efforts to strengthen Israel.
Looks like the only thing holding many Jews back in the Democrat Party is their insistence on extreme left-wing social ideas. But the Democrat Party has raised fears of the return of the ideas that drove past anti-Semitic monsters with their growing hatred of Israel and this is rightfully worrying Americaâ€™s Jews.
Many American Jews have become suspicious of President Obama for his mistreatment of Israel. Obama has numerous close advisors that are anti-Israel (like Susan Power, Robert Malley, and Howard Gutman) and heâ€™s been seen snubbing Israel time and again.
At some point, one would have to wonder why an American Jew would be comfortable staying in a party (in this case the Democrats) that are increasingly turning into typical, Euro-like Jew haters?
Let’s face it. That’s what they are.