The Death of Jewish Liberalism

Daniel Greenfield, a Shillman Journalism Fellow at the Freedom Center, is a New York writer focusing on radical Islam. He is completing a book on the international challenges America faces in the 21st century.


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The latest numbers show that Obama’s national support among Jews is down to 64 percent. That puts Obama in line with stalwart vote-getters like Walter Mondale and Michael Dukakis. More significantly a Siena College poll shows that Jewish support for Obama in New York City has fallen to 51 percent.

Those numbers might seem strange until you read the latest study on the Jewish population in the city which finds that 40 percent of the city’s Jews are Orthodox—up from a third, ten years ago.

74 percent of all Jewish children in the city are Orthodox, a baby boom that will completely transform the city’s Jewish population. And that means the transformation of the Jewish vote. Within another decade, New York City will have an Orthodox majority; within a generation that majority will be so decisive as to define its political orientation. The end of the New York Jewish liberal is here.

As the New York Times disdainfully puts it, “Members of these Orthodox groups also have been known to be far more likely to adopt more conservative positions on matters like abortion, same-sex marriage and the Israeli approach to the Palestinians.”

The Siena College survey gives us a preview of what the new American Jewish vote will look like by studying the changing Jewish political attitudes of New York City today.

62 percent of New York City Jews believe that America is headed in the wrong direction. 34 percent rate Obama’s job performance as poor, tying for the number that rate him as good, while only 7 percent rate him as excellent.

46 percent would prefer to vote for someone other than Obama. 42 percent have a favorable view of Mitt Romney. 43 percent are planning to vote for Mitt Romney. 48 percent think that Romney would be better at addressing the deficit. 45 percent think that Romney would be better at improving the economy (versus 43 percent for Barack Obama).

New York City Jews are suddenly polling as more conservative than Protestants and only moderately more liberal than Catholics. There is no doubt that Obama’s poor performance has played its part, but the most significant element is simple demographics.

These numbers may seem strange to some, but they are why Congressman Bob Turner won the battle for Anthony Weiner’s Congressional seat and why Republican Russian-Jewish candidate Storobin defeated his Democratic challenger for a state senate seat.  Democrats have responded by using gerrymandered districts to destroy as much of the Orthodox vote as possible, with the district juggling efforts of Judge Roanne Mann, a slimy Clinton appointee. But the temporary disenfranchisement of voters is not going to win them over. It is only going to further alienate them.

Orthodox Jewish neighborhoods in New York City are routinely divided into three or five districts, set aside for minority politicians who will reliably vote the Democratic Party line. When no amount of redistricting will do, then they are piled into a Super-Orthodox district.  If any other group were subjected to a similar pattern of targeted disenfranchisement, it would be grounds for a Voting Rights action by the Justice Department. But these bigoted tactics can only slow down the inevitable transformation of New York City’s political landscape. They can’t stop it.

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  • RonL

    Daniel,
    About 1/3 of Jewish households and 64% of children are now Orthodox. In fact, the affect is seen in young adults, where 51% of Jews 18-35 have attended a Jewish day school for at least one year. This means that NYC Jewry will be more socially conservative. However, while most "Russian" Jews are economically conservative, the same is not true for many Haredim and Hassidim. Many Hassidism will vote according to the dictates of their dynastic rabbi. And these rabbis make political deals to benefit their community for subsidized housing and such. Similarly, those 12 kids are very expensive and lead many ultra-Orthodox to be welfare dependents, who vote as such.

    While all cities are getting more Orthodox, the communities in other cities are much smaller.

    • Joe

      When given the opportunity, the Orthodox virtually inevitably vote on social issues rather than economic ones.

      • Daniel Greenfield

        They tend to vote on both, but will religiously assert the social.

    • Daniel Greenfield

      That's the stereotype. The situation is somewhat more complicated. The Storobin and Turner votes went against the social welfare benefits and were endorsed by Rabbis.

      • RonL

        We will see what happens when the Democrats run candidates who are not pro-gay marriage or obtuse enough to say that they are for homosexual marriage because they are Jewish. Orthodox Jews will vote Republican, but they are not reliably Republican.

  • Sage on the Stage

    The Jewish community more conservative…a big Amen to that .

  • Lady_Dr

    Please do an article with the same theme on Israel. The big problem there is too many panty-waist liberals especially in government. Of course the welfare dependent religious are also a problem there.

    • Daniel Greenfield

      It's a major factor in Israel and one reason the left is badly on the decline.

  • Stephan

    The reason for this "Change" is that Mitt Romney will be such a nice Schwarzenegger-style Republican.

    Everyone should read the article "Mitt Happens" by Don Feder. The article should be posted here at Frontpage Magazine.

    • Daniel Greenfield

      It's not really about Romney. These are general figures that transcend him.

  • Leroy Whitby

    Hello Mr. Greenfield. Great article. Thank you for sharing. I was involved in some NYC campaigns many years ago and this is heartening news. Do you have a twitter account? If so I would like to follow you. My twitter is @LeroyWhitby

  • kafir4life

    Decades? If President Stinky (-bo) has his way and his coreligionists get *their* way, the Jewish people don't have decades. Stinks is the worst thing that's happened to the Jewish people (and the world) since Adolf Hitler (yes, I said it, and I'm a Jew). Hitler was more honest on the surface than our beloved dear leader Stinky.

  • http://www.facebook.com/pages/Florida-Jews-to-Oust-Obama-FJOO/230261020397897 Steven Kruh

    Fine Article. Nevertheless, I don't see any chance of BHO losing NY state. Am I wrong? Florida seems a far more reasonable target, especially given these changes in the Jewish vote. Perhaps, you can show support for my group Florida Jews to Oust Obama (FJOO). A page on facebook: http://www.facebook.com/pages/Florida-Jews-to-Ous

    • Daniel Greenfield

      Losing NY State this election is unlikely. Florida doesn't have the same Jewish demographics, but best of luck in your efforts.

  • Kevin Stroup

    Please, Jews will be liberal even as they step into BHOs cattle cars. Nothing will change on that point.

    • Judas

      There are some of us that will need to be dragged onto those "Cattte Cars" you mention. Google Tuva Bielsky.

  • Judas

    The best news I have heard in a long time. I didn’t grow up extremely religious, but after a few years in Iraq and Afghanastan I suddenly became interested. I was always a Conservative and it was almost embarrassing that so many of my fellow Jews were stupid enough to fall for the BS of the DNC. This is good news.

    • Jeff Cohen

      Judas, it's not "almost" embarrassing that so many of our fellow Jews are stupid enough to fall for the BS of the DNC – it's downright embarrassing! I would further add that fellow Jew Debbie Wasserman Shultz, Democratic National Committee chair, is the biggest embarrassment. She is the epidomy of the term, "useful idiot."

      • Judas

        Jeff- I stand corrected! You are right, it is downright embarrassing.

    • Daniel Greenfield

      Indoctrination that's all around you and is integrated into the temple and day school is going to have a great deal of influence.

  • Steve Chavez

    Ah, let's see. Obama's election year pandering has included the Republican's War on Women and with the invention of "JULIA." He is having fundraisers focusing on GAYS. Now ILLEGALS.

    "I'M LOSING THE JEWS here and in Israel? Did they see through me? Well, I'll just… just… maybe… no maybe… I'LL ATTACK IRAN! See I saved the Jews from being wiped off the map. BINGO!" "Ah Mr. President, what about your Nobel Peace Prize?" "This is for Peace. Have they ever given two to the same person? I deserve it. I saved the world."

    BE CAREFUL WITH FAKE JEWS STANDING UP FOR OBAMA, THE FAKE ISRAEL AND JEW SUPPORTER!

    • Daniel Greenfield

      I don't see Obama doing anything about Iran.

      Instead he's trying to kill two birds with one stone by leaking information on the cyberwar, to show how much he's done while undermining Israel.

      • Steve Chavez

        I was also going to add "before I wipe Israel off the map myself using my new found friends, the Muslim Brotherhood and of course, my old friends Hamas and Hezbollah."

        Being that we're still dealing with Jimmy Carter's Iran, we'll be dealing with Obama's Muslim Brotherhood for decades to come too on top of a nuclear Iran.

        Daniel, do you know where all the anti-nuke protesters are concerning Iran's pursuit of one? Here is their chance to stop a country from building one which is surely easier than trying to get a country to get rid of the ones they already have. The same crowd screams "No War On Iran" but isn't the reason there is talk of war is Iran's pursuit of the bomb so it then stands to reason that if they don't want "War on Iran" then they would try to stop the reason there could be war?

        If Iran did use their nuke on Israel or anywhere, then there will be a World War III and fought with nukes leaving the whole Middle East turned into GREEN GLASS. (I grew up in Socorro, NM about twenty miles from Trinity Site where the sand was melted into GREEN GLASS.) SO, the anti-nuke and anti-war crowd should be protesting against Iran and maybe if Obama had supported the GREEN REVOLUTION as vigorously as he supported the Arab Spring, that brought to power his new found friends, many of the world's problems would have been solved with a FREE AND NUKE FREE IRAN!

      • Steve Chavez

        Daniel, do you think it is possible that Russia/Putin would give Iran a nuke to test in order to stop any Israeli attack since just yesterday Israel warned Iran "that time is running out"? I believe China gave North Korea their nukes to test in order to stop any invasion plans by Bush and South Korea which it did since China did not want any U.S. influence in the area than it already has.

        I also call what's happening in the Middle East "PUTIN'S REVENGE." The U.S. aided in the Soviet defeat in Afghanistan which one piece of the puzzle that brought down the Iron Curtain and the Soviet Union. Now, KGB Putin wants revenge by aiding any group or country that seeks our defeat in Iraq, Afghanistan, and the whole Middle East with the destruction of Israel as the icing on the cake. Notice Putin's and China's toothless sanctions on Iran and now Syria and Obama's inaction towards bought but showing weakness to Putin with his "off the mic" remarks Medvedev and then yesterday's on camera shots of Putin and Obama where Putin seemed angry. HE'S DROOLING BLOOD AND HES' GOING TO USE OBAMA, WHO IS WILLING, TO CREATE THE CONDITION$$$ FOR THE ULTIMATE REVENGE: THE DOWNFALL OF THE UNITED STATES!

        "When the Wall fell, we cheered, THEY CRIED! When the Twins fell, we cried, THEY CHEERED!" (Steve Chavez) "THEY" ARE OUR COMMUNISTS who loved the Soviet Union more than their own country and that includes OBAMA! EVERYTHING THAT IS HAPPENING IN THE WORLD FITS LIKE A PUZZLE: PUTIN'S REVENGE!

        • Daniel Greenfield

          It's not impossible, but if Russia was going to go that far to the mat, they could just extend their nuclear umbrella over Iran.

          I don't think Russia really wants Iran to have nuclear weapons, but they want Iran to be on the way to having them, which is perverse and convoluted, but that's how global politics often are.

  • BS77

    Perhaps liberalism….you know, big government Nanny State spend spend spend PC open borders huge bureaucracy system will go the way of the Dodo.

    • Daniel Greenfield

      It will… one way or another.

  • H&R_ Barack

    RE: "The Death of Jewish Liberalism….?"

    Moses Laughs.

  • Irwin Ruff

    Mr. Greenfield, you left out an important factor that you mentioned in today's Sultan Knish blog, "The Progressive-Traditionalist War". Orthodox Jews almost universally send their children to yeshiva, while liberal Jews almost invariably do not. Thus Orthodox Jewish children are generally not subject to the brainwashing that is universal in public schools. They would tend to be taught a conservative viewpoint. Now if only Israel would follow Lady_Dr' prescription and get rid of the leftists.

  • mrbean

    Jewish liberals will always be liberals because it is a mental disorder that will return the next time a pro Israei liberal shows up even if he is a far left Marxist.

  • zalukas

    Good news! I almost wanted my foreskin back after 85% voted for Dear Chairman.

    And we can sleep tight knowing that NYU jews would not procreate to replace themselves,
    due to their predominant orientation to same sex.

  • TomSolomon

    Don't celebrate quite yet. The children and grandchildren of today's Orthodox may well populate future Reform congregations.

    • stern

      HIghly unlikely. Studies show that Orthodox Jews tend to remain Orthodox through the generations – perhaps because they understand their faith. Unfortunately, Conservative and Reform Jews tend to disappear. I see this happening so clearly with a friend. He grew up Conservative, his wife grew up Reform, their son had a Bar Mitzvah and since then, none of them has observed anything. I will be absolutely amazed if that kid marries Jewish.

    • Daniel Greenfield

      It's not impossible, but if Russia was going to go that far to the mat, they could just extend their nuclear umbrella over Iran.

  • http://Zionadvocate.com Zionadvocate

    While the demographics are certainly changing the voting patterns the quantitative edge of non-religious (liberal) Jews is too high for my comfort. I would like to see a movement of non-religious Jews toward conservatism. Obama is certainly the greatest help in the cause but I would like to see more programming in the shuls and otherJewish events.

    At a recent Israel 64th event there were local democratic politians but no Jewish Republican groups.
    @zionadvocate

  • retired

    Mr. Greenfield,
    Your analysis is way off in it's timelines.The demise of the liberal Jews (if you want to call them Jews) is imminent,just around the corner.The reason for this is financial, notpolitical .The opponents are not Obama (Democrats) & Romney(Republicans).The struggle is between Von Mises (Austrian) Vs. Keynes (Socialist).The battle is not being lost by the left statists in NYC or Washington.They are going down in Greece,Spain,& Italy.The EU & the Central Banking System which underpins it are going down for the count .This tidal wave of broken governments & broken banks will soon by on the American side of the Atlantic.When it hits here we will be,along with the rest of the world,in a deep recession(Depression?).Society will be turned upside down because of the new economic realities.Liberal Jews,because of their high concentration in upper middle class professions will be economically devastated by the new economy that will emerge.Many will be impoverished & drop out completely.All liberals,Jews included,are finished.It's just a question of how quickly their social programs unravel.The Central banking system is busted,without huge amounts of money the leftist programs are dead!

  • http://taspeaker.blogspot.com/ T. A. Speaker

    This is good news. Still, one would hope that on-going events will eventually inspire the non-orthodox / secular community to re-consider the blind eye it has historically turned to the Jew hatred that permeates the political left. Given the level of anti-Israel sentiment that is tolerated, and often openly encouraged, on the nation's campuses, the tipping point may be belated realization by Jewish college students that "anti-Zionism" is but a stalking horse for anti-semistism and that they, not just their co-religionists half a world away, are the target. Perhaps some of their Jewish professors will come to the same conclusion. But that may be hoping for too much.

  • whoanelly44

    The dog-eater-in-chief has so far this (election) year "evolved" in his support of the homosexual voters and signed an unconstitutional amnesty bill, for the illegal-alien voters; stay tuned for some grand gesture toward Israel and the Jewish people to get their votes as well.

    If, after the 31/2 years of blatant hostility from this unabashedly anti-semitic democrat administration,64% of the jewish voters (both the normal and the liberal ones), are STILL willing to cast their votes for obama, then they will only have themselves to blame for the consequences of another 4 years of the same.

  • Willy Rho

    I am happy and thankful for the change in direction of the Jewish community. It has always been a puzzle to me that there are some things which seem to blind Jewish People to apparent Truths. It is like they have a hole in their vision, yet they are the most brilliant people on the Earth. It must be some forbidden place not to go or … But I am a Christian and I Love them and wish the best for them. If I were king, there would be no Palestine and Israel would be from the Sea to the Jordan. And peace would be there.

  • Nevadabrit

    I hope the Jewish population is waking up. The Democratic party is now the National Socialist Party, the same as Hitler.

  • SCREW SOCIALISM

    Willy, I believe that Jews worship the same G-d that patriarchs Abraham, Isaac and Jacob did. All of who lived before Jesus.

    And that will never change with real Jews – demonstrated by the millions of Jews who live today, after 3,000 years.

  • a Orthodox Jew

    just for the record the Orthodox Jewish community voted against anti Obama more then any other demographic.

    the only area in the whole country with over 50,000 people where McCain got over 90% of the vote was in Borough Park. McCain's best ED in the whole country was in Lakewood NJ where McCain won 885-3-1 (99.6% of the vote).

    we hate the democrats for things like gay "marriage" abortion on demand, supporting terrorists, not fighting Iran, opposing school vouchers, in general being anti religion. The Jewish community is sick of being used as a fund raiser for the public school pension despite the fact that we don't send our kids to public school. Ever since the anti semetic Carter administration the Orthodox Jewish community has been a swing vote in elections many times swinging over 70% either way

  • Dan Glanz

    Finally!

    It has always amazed me that Jewish people, from the days of Franklin Roosevelt, have voted primarily the Democrat column at the polls. Never for the most part, looking to see what the candidate or party or party platform stood for … or against.

    Our 44th President, Mr Obama, has consistently thrown Israel and its interests under the bus — more likely, under a grenade attack. No one President, since FDR's turning away of the Jewish refugee ship, has so callously disregarded our nation's most staunch ally, period. Our most staunch alley in the volatile Middle East for sure.

    The Constitution? Fuggeddaboudit! I am the President. I won. You lost!

    We have a government that refuses to obey the law. Congress would not pass the dream act, it is unconstitutional. I just will pass it by decree. The Defense of Marriage act , a Clinton measure, fuggeddaboudit! Holder will not enforce it. Senatorial conformation? Fuggedaboudit! ((The Democrat-led US Senate held hostage by Harry Reid) was in session when Obama appointed the NLRB members when he couldn't get confirmation.

    Energy and Jobs. The XL pipeline would create more than a million jobs … after its construction. The price of oil would drop precipitously and it would be an American Product. Forget that one too. Some moose family in Jippip hired a union lawyer with ties to Valerie Jarrett (Gosh, another winning acolyte ) and it is she who makes the decisions whenever Barry is out campaigning or playing golf or taking one of Michelle's multi-million dollar vacations.

    If those of us who routinely vote for the left (no longer is there a Jewish liberal in Congress since Lieberman is leaving,); do so for any number of fallacious reasons … my parents voted D, so I do, too. I am not rich, so the Dems are for the little guy. I am a union member, I vote who they say. I want my social programs. I am pro-choice. I want my milk and cookies. Please change my diaper.

    Many, if not most, small businesses, are owned by Jews. Whether retail, or wholesale, Doctor or lawyer; it is these families that provide the jobs that oil the machines of commerce. These entrepreneurs are the middle-class. They populate the suburbs with well-maintained nice homes, drive nice cars, support the local community and give generously of their time and money.

    These folks are Obama's targets for more taxes. The fact that taking these entrepreneurs capital stops hiring, growth and expansion. And brings more government regulations, more government watchers, and more government waste. Can you spell solyndra?

    I could recite more instances of why Jews should open their eyes to the realities of Obama. But this is a comment, not a treatise.

  • Fajwel

    Hussein Obama is probably one if Israels biggest enemies. His love for the muslim world, bowing to a muslim king and everything else about that moron tells the world who he really is. Its time for ALL Jews in America to wake up, understand who this guy is, and take him out of office.