DNC: Obama’s “Jewish Problem” Meshugas

article image

<p>

With the Clinton-Obama rift story <a href=”/2008-08-28/politics/dnc-bill-clintons-redemption-song.aspx?blogid=30″>finally being put to rest</a>, pundits are turning to the supposed rift between Obama and the Jews as potential fertile ground for controversy. The story isn’t new: Back in May, <a href=”http://www.nytimes.com/2008/05/22/us/politics/22jewish.html?_r=1&oref=slogin”>the <i>New York Times</i> reported</a> on the blatant falsehoods believed by some Jewish retirees in Florida. And Republican strategists may see an opportunity to grab some Jewish swing votes, with <a href=”http://washingtontimes.com/weblogs/trail-times/2008/Aug/28/if-its-lieberman/”>Joseph Lieberman’s name being kicked around</a> as a possible Republican VP nominee and former <a href=”http://www.nypost.com/seven/08262008/news/nationalnews/giuliani_rips_obamas_israel_policy_126214.htm”>New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani</a> trying to attack Obama on his Israel policy.</p>
<p>In spite of the media coverage, the story of the Obama-Jewish rift is just a bunch of schlock according to <a href=”http://blog.foreignpolicy.com/node/9645″>Joshua Keating writing for the <i>Foreign Policy</i> blog</a>. Keating cites Gallup polls showing <a href=”http://www.gallup.com/poll/107059/Obama-Beats-McCain-Among-Jewish-Voters.aspx”>Obama clearly beating McCain</a> among Jewish voters as proof that the storyline just doesn’t hold up. “The idea that Jews are disproportionately suspicious of Obama has a lot to do with the stereotype that they vote solely on which candidate is more hawkish on Middle East policy,” Keating writes, and that stereotype simply isn’t true. </p>
<p>Not taking any chances, Jewish groups have begun aggressively courting Jewish voters for Obama. <a href=”http://www.politico.com/news/stories/0808/12773.html”>Writing for the Politico</a>, Ben Smith reports on <a href=”http://jewsvote.org/”>JewsVote.org</a>, a new website launched during the Democratic National Convention aiming to convince more Jews to vote for Barack Obama. Mik Moore, one of the group’s founders told the Politico “[t]he goal of this website is to provide a series of powerful tools to Jews who are supportive of Obama and dismayed at the rumors that have made a lot of Jews question whether or not they can support Obama in the election.”</p>
<p>Moore gained some attention in 2004 with “Operation Bubbe,” an effort to convince Jewish grandmothers (or Bubbies in Yiddish) to vote for John Kerry. Similarly, a website called “<a href=”http://bubbiesforobama.com/”>Bubbies for Obama</a>” has popped up this year, enlisting more Jewish grandmothers to get out the vote for the Democrats.</p>
<p>For a more humorous take on the subject, be sure to watch Wyatt Cenac of the Daily Show try and get to the bottom of controversy:</p>
<embed flashvars=”videoId=177061″ src=”http://www.thedailyshow.com/sitewide/video_player/view/default/swf.jhtml” quality=”high” bgcolor=”#cccccc” width=”332″ height=”316″ name=”comedy_central_player” align=”middle” allowscriptaccess=”always” allownetworking=”external” type=”application/x-shockwave-flash” pluginspage=”http://www.macromedia.com/go/getflashplayer”>
<p>
<em>For more of Utne.com’s ongoing coverage of the Democratic National Convention, click</em>
<a title=”https://www.utne.com/blogs/blog.aspx?blogid=30&tag=Democratic%20National%20Convention” href=”/blogs/blog.aspx?blogid=30&tag=democratic%20national%20convention” target=”_blank”>
<em>here</em>
</a>
<em>.</em>
</p>

UTNE
UTNE
In-depth coverage of eye-opening issues that affect your life.