Voting our issues

Voting our issues

Jewish voters, like other Americans, pick candidates whose views on issues such as abortion rights, gun control, the environment, Medicare, and Social Security are closest to theirs. To suggest that Jews should be voting to support the present government of Israel, rather than what they believe is best for our country, is unconscionable (Letter, “Time to switch,” May 8).

Benjamin Netanyahu, in his speech before AIPAC in March, thanked Democrats and Republicans for their past and present support. The prime minister, joined by Shimon Peres and the heads of the Mossad and Shin Bet, have praised the cooperation between the Obama administration and Israel on security and defense. It is true that there are differences on how to handle Iran and the situation in  Syria, and the Obama administration has been critical of the decision by Netanyahu to continue the expansion of settlements in the West Bank. These differences do not warrant asking Jewish voters to vote for candidates they do not support.

Yes, it is time to switch — to switch and stop demanding blind allegiance to any government that represents Israel. It is time to switch from trying to stifle debate to encouraging a dialogue between all  Jews regardless of party. Labeling people who criticize the present government of Israel as anti-Israel is akin to calling Americans who criticize our government anti-American.

In Israel, as in America, there are people who do not support the present government and have spoken out against Prime Minister Netanyahu. Are they to be labeled anti-Israel? Their right to speak out and vote their conscience is called democracy. They are voting for what they believe to be in the best interest of their country. Jewish voters in America should be encouraged to do likewise.
Marvin Bograd
East Windsor

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