In less than a month, American voters will go to the polls in what is shaping up to be a decisive midterm election. The entire House of Representatives and more than a third of the Senate will be up for grabs, as Republicans and Democrats duke it out for control of the legislative branch.
For pro-Israel Jews and Christians, this election couldn't come at a more opportune moment. After more than a year-anda- half of the administration's unprecedented bullying of Israel, those who cherish the relationship between America and the Jewish state will now have a chance to send a loud and clear message.To put it bluntly: It's payback time, and Israel's supporters should teach President Barack Obama a lesson by giving his party a stinging rebuke at the ballot box in November.
The stakes in this election are particularly high, as the Democrats face the prospect of losing their hegemony over one or both houses of Congress, which would be an enormous blow to their agenda to reshape America.
And by all accounts, things are not looking too good for Obama and his party. The Democrats, it appears, are about to be slammed by the political equivalent of a tidal wave, amid rising discontent over a weak economy and lackluster recovery. Various key figures in the party, including Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid of Nevada, may be swept away. Earlier this week, Reid slipped behind his Republican opponent Sharron Angle in the polls.
WITH THE races heating up, pollsters and pundits are predicting a further surge in support for the Republicans. As Michael Barone, the Washington Examiner's senior political analyst and one of the savviest observers of American elections, noted earlier this week, the data suggest a Republican majority brewing in the House "the likes of which we have not seen since the election cycles of 1946 or even 1928."
Over in the Senate, the party of Lincoln and Reagan stands to make significant gains as well. According to Real- ClearPolitics' composite average of various polls, the Republicans will pick up at least eight seats, placing them within striking distance of an outright majority.
Another four seats are said to be tossups; if the GOP can pick up two or three of them, it's game over.
The real dissatisfaction, of course, is with the president himself, who has predictably failed to live up to the near-messianic hype that surrounded his rise to power. As a result, Obama is poised to get a painful reproof from the very same electorate that embraced him just two years ago.
This admonition must also come from Jews as well, some 78 percent of whom are said to have voted for Obama in 2008. And there could be no better way to deliver that message than by joining hands to help Republican candidates prevail across the country.
The president has lambasted Israel at the UN and pressured it to make concessions to the Palestinians, even as he has courted the Muslim world and virtually pleaded for engagement with the atomic ayatollahs in Iran. Obama and his crew have shown themselves to be tonedeaf to Israel and its concerns, and it's time they paid a political price.
Indeed, even some of the president's most stalwart Jewish supporters have turned against him. Earlier this year, former New York City mayor Ed Koch told Fox News that "I have been a supporter of President Obama and went to Florida for him, urged Jews all over the country to vote for him, saying that he would be just as good as John McCain on the security of Israel. I don't think it's true anymore."
A growing number of American Jews seem to concur. In August, the Pew Research Center issued the results of a survey which found that the number of Jews identifying as or leaning Republican has reached 33% – a leap of more than 50% since the 2008 elections.
This is the highest such figure ever recorded.
Sure, Jews represent a small percentage of the electorate. But their concentration in key states such as Florida, California and New York gives added weight to their votes. And it's no small secret that Jewish donors play a critical role in bankrolling numerous political campaigns on both sides of the aisle. This clout and influence must now be brought to bear with all its force in the vote next month.
Politics, after all, is a game of messages.
Sometimes they must be implicit while at other times only an unambiguous reprimand will do. For the sake of Israel and its future, supporters of the Jewish state need to tame the administration and its arrogance at the ballot box as unequivocally as they can.
It is time to punish Obama politically, as scary as that may sound to some people.
Doing so will weaken his position, constrain his freedom of movement, and force him to devote more time and energy to domestic political battles.
And with his eye toward re-election in 2012, it may just give him pause to consider whether squeezing Israel is good for his own political future.