THE BLOG
10/30/2012 06:51 pm ET Updated Dec 30, 2012

Obama Hasn't Earned Support of Jewish Vote

Watching the final presidential debate, it seemed as if President Obama went out of his way to reaffirm his administration's support for Israel.

While Mitt Romney sought to drive home a reoccurring charge that the president weakened relations with the Jewish State and jeopardized its security, Obama fought back hard:

"If Israel is attacked, America will stand with Israel."

"... our alliances have never been stronger... with Israel, where we have unprecedented military and intelligence cooperation, including dealing with the Iranian threat."

"And when I went to Israel as a candidate... I went to Yad Vashem, the Holocaust museum there, to remind myself the nature of evil and why our bond with Israel will be unbreakable."

Why? Because the polls are showing a very tight race in a number of critical swing states like Ohio and Florida, where critical Jewish support for Obama is waning.

Given the history of Democratic support and liberal nature of the Jewish vote, and their overwhelming support for Obama the first time he ran, you would think that the president receiving a plurality of Jewish voters again would not be of the slightest doubt in this race.

In 2008, Obama captured 74 percent of the total American Jewish vote, which reflected a common trend for this small, but critical minority of voters since the 1920s to bullet vote overwhelmingly for any Democratic candidate.

But based on Obama's record on Israel, and even on his failure to pursue a liberal agenda revered by most Jewish voters, he is not getting that assumed, awe-inspiring support of the American Jewish community of 6.5 million in this election.

The truth is that despite the accurate assertion by a number of his Democratic surrogates that there has been no let up in continued military and intelligence cooperation with Israel, his internationalist policies aimed at improving relations with Muslims and the rest of the world have changed the playing field in the Middle East to the existential detriment of Israel.

And while the leadership of most American Jewish organizations continues to toe the Democratic loyalist line, the average American Jew, particularly seniors with a strong reverence toward the Jewish state, are questioning Obama's true dedication toward a strong Israel.

And because of this ambivalence, some of them may be either voting Republican for the first time in their lives -- or just staying home in their condos on Election Day.

So now, facing a loss in a number of states like Florida where an overwhelming Jewish vote is crucial to win, Obama has in effect pulled out his own Ouija board on his record toward Israel to change that perception.

But as much as he may shake it, the truth is that at the onset of his administration, starting with his renowned speeches in Ankara and Cairo, he and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton have pushed a hard-pressed, new and very questionable, emphasis toward upending and redefining the commitment toward the Jewish state in order to "repair" relations with Muslims and a world historically antagonistic toward the Jewish State.

And like many other Americans, Jewish voters are upset about the president's failures to meet the nuclear challenge in Iran, the loss of American influence arising from the phony fundamentalist Arab "Spring" in Egypt and elsewhere in the Middle East, his timing in pulling out of Iraq, and the lack of American initiative in intervening in Syria in a meaningful way.

Jewish liberals are also angry about Obama's lack of commitment to build on the passage of Obamacare to push further the liberal agenda, his failure to close Guantanamo Bay and his expansion of domestic spying on citizens at the expense of privacy rights of Americans under the purview of the Patriot Act.

So with one week until Election Day, upset American Jews here in Florida and elsewhere are thinking twice about pulling the lever for Barack Obama.

If they really want to preserve a strong Israel, and U.S., they should not vote for President Obama again, and show that the Jewish vote should be something not to be taken for granted anymore by the Democrats.

Published in Sun Sentinel on October 25, 2012.

Steven Kurlander blogs at Kurly's Kommentary and writes also for Florida Voices and The Sun Sentinel. He can be emailed at kurly@stevenkurlander.com.