Friday, 14 November 2014

At last, Jewish voters here and in the US are turning their backs on political parties that support their enemies

It started with the Jewish actress Maureen Lipman – a lifelong Labour supporter - declaring in the current issue of Standpoint (here) that she wouldn’t be voting Labour at the next election. After assuring us that she admired many past Labour politicians (God knows why), she concluded, “But this lot? The Chuka Harman Burnham Hunt Balls brigade? I can't, in all seriousness, go into a booth and put my mark on any one of them.”

The final straw was evidently Labour’s parliamentary vote demanding that Britain recognise a Palestinian state: “Just when the anti-Semitism in France, Denmark, Norway, Hungary is mounting savagely, just when our cemeteries and synagogues and shops are once again under threat. Just when the virulence against a country defending itself, against 4,000 rockets and 32 tunnels inside its borders, as it has every right to do under the Geneva Convention, had been swept aside by the real pestilence of IS, in steps Mr Miliband to demand that the government recognise the state of Palestine alongside the state of Israel.”

Many would disagree with the actress’s analysis (I wouldn’t), but it’s undoubtedly true that it’s mostly Labour (and, of course, Lib-Dem) supporters who accuse Israel of war crimes, call for it to be declared a pariah state for the sin of protecting itself, demand that Israeli academics are banned from British universities, and  disrupt performances by Israeli artists and musicians. Whether vocal attacks on Israel are anti-Semitic or not is obviously up for discussion – but if I were Jewish (not one of the self-loathing variety, obviously) I’d find it hard not to take all this hateful propaganda personally, even if I wasn't a strong supporter of Israel.

Whatever the rights and wrongs of events in the Middle East, it seems likely that the strident tone of attacks by prominent British left-wingers on Israel is one of the factors fuelling the current upturn in anti-Semitism here. (Other factors include high birth rates among Muslim immigrants, the seeming unwillingness of a sizable portion of the Muslim community to integrate, the fact that some Labour-controlled councils allowed schools to be turned into bile-spewing madrassas, the extraordinarily biased reporting on the Middle East by the Labour-supporting BBC, and the success of the last Labour government in turning Britain into a safe haven for Islamist terrorists.)

In America, President Obama has sought to humiliate Israel while sucking up to Muslim regimes (which has obviously gone incredibly well, what with peace breaking out everyhwere). Barack Obama’s flood of pro-islam statements include the following gems:
“I also know that Islam has always been a part of America’s story.” (?)
“Throughout history, Islam has demonstrated through words and deeds the possibilities of religious tolerance and racial equality.” (??)
“The sweetest sound I know is the Muslim call to prayer.” (??????????????)
Hmm. If I were an American Jew - even allowing for the sort of rewriting of history that politicians regularly indulge in - Obama's craven, deranged nonsense would have left me feeling rather nervous. If I were a Jewish Democratic Party voter, activist, donor or fund-raiser, I’d be livid.  Religious tolerance? Tell that to all the indigenous Christians being butchered throughout the Middle East. Racial equality? That’ll come as news to the hundreds of underpaid foreign workers dying in Qatar as they build that terrorist-supporting country's World Cup stadiums.

Despite all this, liberal Jews have gone on funding the Democratic Party and Labour, and turning out to vote for both by the bucketload. But it seems the penny might have started to drop. According to this article in The Independent,  Jewish donors are deserting Labour in droves. Good. Jews might not represent a numerically significant part of the British electorate (just one percent), but their donations to party funds are – or rather were – sizeable, and Labour is facing one hell of a funding crisis heading into 2015.

It's a similar story in the US. In 2008, according to this article in The Atlantic 
87% of Jews voted for the Democrats in the mid-term elections. This year that figure had dropped by 21%. Again, the numbers aren’t that big – Jews represent just 2% of the electorate. But the importance of Jewish support is greater than numbers would suggest:
"The importance of the Jews isn't their votes," said Benjamin Ginsberg, a professor of political science at Johns Hopkins University. "They account for a huge share of the activist base of the Democratic Party and account for much of the money available to Democratic candidates. If you are a Republican strategist, it seems fairly obviously that if you can shift Jewish support even a little bit away from the Democrats, it makes the Democratic Party less competitive."
The trend isn;t confined to mid=term elections. Obama managed to lose 9% of the Jewish vote between the presidential elections of 2008 and 2012 (down to 69% from 78%). Let’s hope the trend continues when Hillary Clinton stands. Unfortunately, it might not. For a start, Hillary’s sleazeball husband was incredibly popular with Jewish voters; and less than half of American Jews feel that supporting Israel has anything to do with their Jewish identity. So it’s basically down to whether they seriously believe the economy can withstand another four or even eight years of being strangled by the Democrats – and whether they can continue to stomach the party’s pathological tendency towards dhimmitude.

Over here, though, the signs are that active Jewish Labour supporters are starting to wake up to the fact that the Labour Party - despite being led by one of their own - has become a vehicle for covert anti-Semitism. Given that the Liberal Democrats arer riddled with anti-Semites, and that UKIP is unlikely to attract many ex-Labour Jewish voters (not internationalist enough, I suspect), the Conservatives should benefit. Given that nothing David Cameron could do will attract any but the most economically successful Muslim voters (and they'll be voting Tory anyway), he really should go all out between now and next May to convince wavering Jewish voters that the Conservative Party is their natural home.

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