Benjamin Netanyahu's political rivals are hoping his American campaign advisor will do as well for him as he did for his last high profile candidate, Rep. Eric Cantor (R-Virginia). House majority leader Cantor, the highest ranking Jew in Congressional history, was on track to be Speaker before going down to spectacular defeat in June at the hands of a long shot Tea Party challenger.
Casino billionaire and Bibi buddy Sheldon Adelson is an early winner in Prime Minister Netanyahu's decision to call a snap election.
By firing Justice Minister Tzipi Livni, Netanyahu removed an outspoken opponent of some of his pet legislative goals. She blocked legislation that he supported codifying Israel's status as the Jewish nation state, and she supported a bill he wanted defeated because it would ban the free giveaway of newspapers.
Watching Ken Burns' excellent PBS series about the Roosevelts pointed out how some things haven't changed over the past 80 years.
In the installment about the 1930s the Republicans were opposed to setting a federal minimum wage and maximum working hours while protecting the interests and influence of the wealthy at the expense of the workers. The party is still anti-union and anti-immigrant.
They also opposed Social Security and still do but now they call it "privatization" of the program.
Whether Republicans elect Jews is not as important as why we Jews don’t vote Republican. The GOP agenda, for the overwhelming majority, is not ours.
When it comes to the Jews, Republicans are single-issue campaigners – all Israel all the time – while Jews are multi-issue voters and Israel is not the top issue for most.
What’s more, the rest of the Republican agenda, dominated by far right social and religious conservatives and the Tea Parties, turns off the 70-80 percent of Jewish voters who consistently vote Democratic.
From fundraising to foreign policy, gauging what his loss means for Jews and Israel.
Gilbert N. Kahn
Special To The Jewish Week
Eric Cantor’s defeat in the Republican primary last week to a challenger considered even more conservative than he is raises three major issues that have been discussed at length in the general press: the future of the Republican Party, the status of President Obama’s legislative for the balance of his term and the role of money in campaigns.
As the Obama administration was trying to resuscitate Israeli-Palestinian peace talks in late 2010, Republican Rep. Eric Cantor met privately with Benjamin Netanyahu in a New York hotel room with an unprecedented offer: the incoming majority leader of the U.S. House of Representatives offered to side with the prime minister of Israel against the President of the United States on critical foreign policy issues.
Rep. Eric Cantor (R-Va.), the majority leader in the U.S. House of Representatives and the most senior Jewish official in government, was defeated by a Tea Party primary challenger in his Virginia district.