The New American Jewish Political Divide

According to a newly released study from the Pew Research Center, American Jews continue, overwhelmingly, to vote Democratic—as has been the case for nearly a century. But the study found one exception: 75 percent of Orthodoxy Jews say they lean Republican—an even greater percentage than in past surveys. Tevi Troy comments:

Decades ago, the late Milton Himmelfarb famously summed up the Jewish vote by saying “Jews earn like Episcopalians but vote like Puerto Ricans,” suggesting that the ballots of high-earning Jews unexpectedly looked like those of low-income voters. This pithy observation summed up Jewish demographics and voting for half a century. It also launched a trove of articles and more than a few books on the mystery of Jewish voting patterns. Why didn’t Jews follow the pattern of other white ethnic groups like the Irish or the Italians, who became more conservative as they assimilated?

[The] new Pew study . . . suggests that the behavior is no longer a mystery: the bulk of the Jewish community remains liberal, but this allegiance no longer puts them out of step with the group’s demographics. The study found that “Jewish Americans, on average, are older, have higher levels of education, earn higher incomes, and are more geographically concentrated in the Northeast than Americans overall.” Accordingly, the study shows that secular Jews vote like other secular, highly educated, and urbanized populations.

Like their secular counterparts, Orthodox Jews are clustered in the Northeast, but they differ in having lower levels of educational attainment. About 60 percent of Jews overall are college graduates, almost double the rate of the American population as a whole, but only 37 percent of Orthodox Jews have college degrees. And even though these religious Jews are largely urban and suburban, they vote like rural religious voters. . . . They live near hipsters but vote like Mormons.

Read more at City Journal

More about: American Jewry, American politics, Milton Himmelfarb, Orthodoxy


How America Sowed the Seeds of the Current Middle East Crisis in 2015

Analyzing the recent direct Iranian attack on Israel, and Israel’s security situation more generally, Michael Oren looks to the 2015 agreement to restrain Iran’s nuclear program. That, and President Biden’s efforts to resurrect the deal after Donald Trump left it, are in his view the source of the current crisis:

Of the original motivations for the deal—blocking Iran’s path to the bomb and transforming Iran into a peaceful nation—neither remained. All Biden was left with was the ability to kick the can down the road and to uphold Barack Obama’s singular foreign-policy achievement.

In order to achieve that result, the administration has repeatedly refused to punish Iran for its malign actions:

Historians will survey this inexplicable record and wonder how the United States not only allowed Iran repeatedly to assault its citizens, soldiers, and allies but consistently rewarded it for doing so. They may well conclude that in a desperate effort to avoid getting dragged into a regional Middle Eastern war, the U.S. might well have precipitated one.

While America’s friends in the Middle East, especially Israel, have every reason to feel grateful for the vital assistance they received in intercepting Iran’s missile and drone onslaught, they might also ask what the U.S. can now do differently to deter Iran from further aggression. . . . Tehran will see this weekend’s direct attack on Israel as a victory—their own—for their ability to continue threatening Israel and destabilizing the Middle East with impunity.

Israel, of course, must respond differently. Our target cannot simply be the Iranian proxies that surround our country and that have waged war on us since October 7, but, as the Saudis call it, “the head of the snake.”

Read more at Free Press

More about: Barack Obama, Gaza War 2023, Iran, Iran nuclear deal, U.S. Foreign policy