Monday, August 4, 2008

The Jewish Vote: Nice Try, McCain!

It amazes me to no end -- though, in reality it shouldn't -- how significant the Jewish vote really is. Jews make up, what, 2 to 3 percent of the U.S. population? And yet, we're courted with the best of them, by all parties in hopes that the vote will swing one way or the other. Both sides appeal to our attachment to Israel, whether we're Secular Zionists, Religious Zionists, not Zionists at all, or just see Israel as a necessity in case something bad happens again (we'll need a refuge). Otherwise, for some, it's just the mention of Israel that sparks our interest -- afterall, it's almost hard-wired for us to vote based on the interests of Israel, isn't it?

So I thought it was interesting that while reading the Chicago Jewish News that I happ'd upon a brief opinion piece about a statement by McCain in late July that he intends to move the U.S. embassay in Israel immediately upon his election to Jerusalem from Tel Aviv. I seem to have slept through this announcement -- either that or it was quickly shuffled away because of his ridiculous ads likening Obama to Britney Spears and Paris Hilton. At any rate, I Googled this interesting little tidbit and came up with a piece from the Huffington Post that quickly cleared up the reason it probably didn't seem to hit on the radar: Bush promised it 8 years ago, and has anything happened since then? Nope. Still in Tel Aviv.

From what I can tell, the moving of the embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem isn't really that important to the Jewish/Israeli community as most (ignorant) politicians might think. And this seems like common knowledge, so I'm still trying to figure out why the author of this little op/ed piece insists that Barack Obama needs to step up and make the same (lofty and unncessary) promise in order to level the playing field or something.

Believe me, this isn't going to win McCain the election. Lofty, overreaching and ignorant promises don't help your campaign, they hurt it. And I'm sort of glad that this issue fell off the radar about as quickly as it hit it. It seems to me that the big divide for the Jewish vote is that nasty race issue and the elderly Jewish community. So for something a little more light-hearted, and in case you never saw it, please watch this side-splitting segment from the Daily Show!