Though our detractors insist we control the American news media, it would seem to be an easy accusation to deny when considering the nature of the coverage Jews and in particular Israel seems to attract these days.
Yesterday, Thursday, July 26, was an especially difficult day to indulge in these types of Jewish media control denial when perusing the very influential editorial pages of both The New York Times and The Wall Street Journal. Oh, oh, there we were once again dominating the news with the stories that focused on the Medias two favorite themes.
One story was about how Israel’s settlement communities are burgeoning and are here to stay while the other was about the impact of the Jewish vote here in the US on the upcoming presidential elections. The subject and content of one of the stories—the one by Israel settler leader Dani Dayan—stood out more than the other because the Times editorial page is usually reserved for well-rounded and comprehensive criticism of just about anything to do with Israel, particularly when the subject is East Jerusalem, Judea and Samaria that the world likes to call the West Bank.
Dayan’s op-ed piece—“Israel’s Settlers Are Here To Stay,”—makes the bold declaration that, “The settlements of Judea and Samaria are not the problem—they are the solution.” This sentiment is of course not shared by most of the international community despite its rightness on a multiplicity of levels—both historic and diplomatic.
Also on Thursday in the Wall Street Journal Holocaust historian Rafael Medoff’s piece, “Romney Visits Jerusalem To Win Florida,” was prominently splashed on the Journal’s op-ed page. Articles of this kind are more familiar to readers of the Journal because their editorial politics lean to the right while The Times pulls with vigor in the opposite direction.
Medoff suggests that Republican presidential hopeful Mitt Romney’s visit to Israel this weekend and what will be a very visible meeting with Prime Minister Netanyahu may very well help Mr. Romney win a pivotal swing state—Florida—in what is anticipated to be a very close presidential election this fall.
Medoff explains that while the majority of Jews in America will almost always vote Democratic, Barrack Obama can garner a majority of the Jewish vote in November and still lose the election. In 2008 Obama received 78% of the American Jewish vote. This time around with the communities suspicion and angst over his treatment of Israel somewhat aroused, it is expected that the percentage of the Jewish vote Obama receives will be reduced.
Medoff points out that if Obama receives 60 to 62% of the Jewish vote this time around—he loses.
It’s a big world with myriad issues, interests and considerations that going into the equation that will select the next president. This week it seemed that on both the domestic and international level there was nothing more important in the papers of note than what the Jews in the news are up to.