21 Oct, 2020
JERUSALEM WEATHER

As politicians seek to attract special interest voter blocs, one small but significant group is rarely mentioned: Americans living overseas. In the case of Israel, an estimated 200,000 people in Israel are eligible to vote in the upcoming elections. American citizens who have made Aliyah and are dual citizens have the right to vote in U.S. elections. Also, children of American citizens born abroad (even if they have never resided in the U.S.) have the right to vote in 18 States. American citizens studying in university, yeshiva, midrasha, or any gap-year program have the right to vote in U.S. elections.

Mark Zell, chairman of Republicans Overseas Israel, noted that that actual figure of potential voters is probably closer to 300,000.

“We aren’t really working to draw the voters to Trump,” Zell said. “Most of the voters in Israel, traditionally about 80%, are Republican and their faithfulness has only increased under the current administration. It is self-evident to American voters in Israel that the best candidate is Donald Trump, not only because of all the amazing accomplishments in Israel but also because of his proven track record of accomplishments for the US.”

Zell noted that the votes from Israel would go to the individual jurisdictions, thereby diluting the effect. 

“The concentration of voters come from New York, Florida, and California, even Ohio and Pennsylvania,” Zell noted. “If the elections in these states are very close then the Israeli absentee ballots can make an impact.”

Zell referred to the 2000 presidential elections in which the Florida votes had to be recounted. The Florida vote was ultimately settled in Bush’s favor by a margin of 537 votes from 12 counties.

“We had 1,200 votes from those counties come from Israel for Bush,” Zell noted. “If those votes from Israel had not been cast, there would have been a different president.” 

Zell emphasized that such a close outcome in the upcoming elections was unlikely.

“The main impact of Americans voting from Israel is to demonstrate to millions of pro-Israel voters, mostly not Jewish, who are highly inspired by us voting for Trump.”

Zell emphasized that it will not be sufficient to simply win the upcoming election via the electoral college.

“We saw that even though President Trump absolutely won the election, because he did not win the popular vote, the legitimacy of his presidency was questioned in the most egregious ways,” Zell stated. “People need to vote, now more than ever.”

He also noted that several of these states which are traditionally ruled by the Democratic party could flip to the Republican party due to the Democratic governors and mayors mishandling the coronavirus, the economy, and the race riots.

“People who were Democrat urban dwellers are moving out of the cities and voting Republican,” Zell noted. “Things are happening, the demographics are changing.

Alan Silver is working for the Republicans Overseas Israel and has been helping to sign people up.

“People are coming out of the woodwork,” Silver told Breaking Israel News.”Some people who have been in Israel for 40 years without voting are registering to vote in November. Israeli Americans are very concerned with what is happening in America right now, with all the unprecedented violence in the streets. They are also scared of what may happen to Israel if Biden gets elected. It’s almost like an Israeli election.”

“Against all odds, Trump did many things for Israel, of course, but in doing so, he also did a lot for the world,” Silver noted. “Under Obama, Iran, the evil axis of the world, made a huge comeback and everyone suffered from that. $30 billion went to Iran to fund terrorism. This was not good for Israel, the US, or the world.” 

 

Israelis are painfully aware that the left-wing represented by the Democrats is growing increasingly anti-Israel with an estimated 70 Congressman holding anti-Israel positions. This has become more of an issue as younger freshmen congressmen like Ilhan Omar, Rashida Tlaib, and Alexandria Ocasio Cortez benign accused of outright anti-Semitism. Even Jewish Democrats like Bernie Sanders have tried to divert US aid to Israel, sending it instead to the coffers of Hamas in Gaza. 

The current generation of liberal, non-religious American Jews votes overwhelmingly Democrat. 71% of Jews supported Clinton against Trump. This compares to approximately 50% of Orthodox voters who voted for Trump while 21% supported Clinton. A full 15% said they would not vote.  In comparison, 54% of Orthodox Jews supported Trump in 2016.

Liberal non-religious American Jews favor the modern Democratic Party. Slightly more than 69% voted for Obama in 2012 while 78% voted for Obama in 2008, 74% voted for Kerry in 2004, and 79% voted for Gore in 2000.

Ironically, Trump’s disfavor among US Jews may be because of his pro-Israel policies and not despite the many positive things he has accomplished for Israel. A new study by the Ruderman Foundation reported that only 4% of Jewish voters in the US identify Israel as their first or second-most important election issue. Some 43% prioritize health care, 28% prioritize gun violence and 21% prioritize Social Security and Medicare. In a Pew Research poll, 42% of Jewish voters in the US say they think Trump is favoring Israel too much over the Palestinians. By comparison, Christians in the United States are more likely to say Trump is striking the right balance between the Israelis and Palestinians (59%) than to say Trump favors the Israelis too much (26%). Among evangelical Protestants, 72% say they think Trump strikes the right balance between the Israelis and Palestinians, and just 15% say Trump favors the Israelis too much.

 

EDITOR’S NOTE: Eligible voters in Israel can register online at the iVote Israel website or at the Israelis for Trump website.