On May 14 1948, Israel declared independence after occupying Palestinian territories. The new Israeli government needed international recognition and support to maintain its existence.Just the liberal Jews. Frum Jews spend all their money on Yeshiva tuition.
At the time, the United States, one of the two super powers after the World War II, immediately recognized the newly established Israeli government. The then US president Harry Truman explaining reasons for Washington's move -- although it could impact US ties with oil-rich Arab countries -- said that Jews would have more votes than Arabs in future US presidential elections.
Truman's move easily indicates the impact of Jewish lobby in the US power system, particularly foreign policy, and also shows a kind of tradition in American presidential elections since 1948.
Successors of Truman are still following up this tradition, after 60 years of the foundation of Israel.
In this regard, following points are interesting to know:
1) A belief of the Jewish influence on the American presidential elections has become a tradition in the US, given the fact that Truman emphasized it as a general rule, and his successors attached much more importance to the rule, as is clearly seen in the current presidential elections.
2) According to the US federal constitution, the president and vice president are elected based on a system known as 'Electoral College' in which any candidate who receives half plus one of the whole 538 votes will become president.
The system creates an appropriate environment for Jews as 89 percent of them reside in 12 states which have the highest representation in the Electoral College.
3) Americans have a low political participation, while Jews massively participate in various elections -- sometimes Jewish participation reaches 90 percent -- and draws the attention of presidential candidates.
In addition to a high political participation, Jews having a strong hand in financial, media and campaigning can easily act in favor of or against any candidate.
Jews spend huge amount of money in the campaign for their favorite candidate, while other American classes cannot afford this.
4) Given Israel's position in the US foreign policy, presidential candidates have to keep in mind Israeli interests when they campaign for presidency, and they have to define their future policies in accordance with Israel's interests in the Middle East and the world too. That is why the candidates spare no effort in this regard, especially when the issue of the 60th anniversary of Israel's foundation is there; otherwise any candidate's ignoring Israel and issues related to it is tantamount to turning a blind eye to Jewish votes and their financial, political and media support.That's the way it is in America: He who controls crystal meth production controls the political system.
5) But the reality is: although Jewish influence is crucial for US presidential candidates, their role is not always determining.
Jews usually support Democrats and cast more ballots for them.
But, Republicans while being aware of this fact always try to attract more votes from Jews.
In the US presidential elections in 2000 and 2004, Jewish votes for George Bush were less than 20 percent, but Bush won the elections, and of course he made efforts to take more Jews votes in both rounds.
All the above-mentioned issues indicate Jewish dominance over US presidential elections, as the candidates use every possible opportunity to gain support of Israel and Jews.
The coincidence of the 60th anniversary of Israel's foundation with the important stages of the US presidential campaigns is an event which, on one hand, proves the candidates' support of Israel and Jews, and on the other hand, has created a kind of competition among them to gain more support and votes by Jews.
The Jewish agency has announced that all US presidential hopefuls have joined the US-based Committee to honor 60th anniversary of Israel's foundation. The committee, set to hold various ceremonies across the United States, has definitely provided presidential hopefuls Hilary Clinton, Barack Obama, and John McCain with the opportunity to declare their support of Israel.
On the other side, Israel and the US Jewish bodies are using the ceremonies as a chance to assess the candidates on their stance toward Israel.
The honoring ceremony of Israel's foundation is not the only tool candidates use to attract Israeli and Jewish support. They are using other opportunities to reach their goals.
1) Prior to attending the ceremony, the only Republican candidate John McCain visited Israel where he met senior officials and prime minister Ehud Olmert. As a part of efforts to reach his candidacy goals, McCain announced support for an attack on Iran, in case of any Iranian threat on Israel and Tehran's attaining of nuclear weapons.
There, McCain called Iran a big threat to security in the Middle East and the world. He repeated his support for Israel, saying Tel Aviv has the right to self-defense against the Lebanese Resistance Movement, Hezbollah.
2) Democrat candidate Barack Obama, among other pro-Israeli-and- Jewish efforts to gain support, has launched a weblog in Hebrew, with the aim of informing Israelis of his plans to expand ties between Washington and Tel Aviv, as he said.
Although Jews say Obama is Muslim, with a Muslim father, he has denied it, carrying out many pro-Jewish religious activities. Calling for Jews' support, Obama has not ruled out military action against Iran which he has set as a red line; although he advocates an active policy along with tough sanctions against Tehran.
3) Many rabbis in the US consider Hilary Clinton, another Democrat presidential hopeful, as the candidate supporting Israel.
She has been able to gain 24 percent of votes by supporting Jewish ideals in the US.
Clinton's official stance is: Israel, with its capital Beit-ul-Moqaddas, has as a Jewish government with defendable borders.
It has the right to exist and should be immune from anti-occupation movement of the Palestinians.
Measures and remarks by US presidential hopefuls are indicative of the old attitude of American officials about Jews and their influence on presidential elections.
Crossposted on Soccer Dad