The US Jewish vote
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Editorial

The US Jewish vote

'Whichever candidate prevails, we hope that America's support of Israel and its characteristics of democracy and fairness continue'.

Joe Biden and Donald Trump. Photos: Jim Watson and Saul Loeb/AFP
Joe Biden and Donald Trump. Photos: Jim Watson and Saul Loeb/AFP

DONALD Trump has relocated the US embassy to Jerusalem, recognised Israel’s claim to the Golan Heights and proposed a peace formula that would allow Israel to keep land vital to its security in the West Bank.

He has also slashed funding to the intransigent Palestinian Authority and the corrupt UN Palestinian refugee agency UNRWA, quit the biased UN Human Rights Council and UNESCO, pulled America out of the flawed Iran nuclear deal and brokered normalisation agreements between Israel and two Gulf Arab nations.

While one might think those measures would endear him to Jewish voters, he has also presided over a divided nation at home, where there is a perception he has not done enough to condemn racists and white supremacists, among whom he enjoys support.

All this considered, American Jews are set to overwhelmingly back challenger Joe Biden by 75 per cent to 22 per cent on November 3, an American Jewish Committee (AJC) poll has found.

Indeed, asked which candidate would better handle antisemitism, the percentages were identical.

But it may be that Trump’s records on Israel and white supremacism only marginally impact on the findings, which are rather a reflection of the Democratic tendencies of US Jewry. 

According to the Pew Research Centre, in 2016 Hillary Clinton won 71 per cent of the Jewish vote in contrast to Trump’s 25 per cent, while in 2012, Barack Obama won 69 per cent to Mitt Romney’s 30 per cent.

Furthermore, as impressive as Trump’s pro-Israel credentials may be, the AJC survey found that foreign policy was bottom of the list of Jewish voters’ priorities, with the pandemic, health care, the economy, race relations and crime all ranking higher.

The findings will no doubt disappoint those Jews who cheer for Trump in the States, in Israel and on these shores.

Then again, the election is still over a week away and as we’ve seen before, anything can happen. 

So while the AJC poll and other polls may not be going his way, it may be too soon to write Trump off just yet.

Whichever candidate prevails, we hope that America’s support of Israel and its characteristics of democracy and fairness continue.

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