Today on Tablet, we’ve enlisted the help of Rabbi Sharon Brous and Rabbi Shmuley Boteach to make the case for each presidential candidate (except for Jill Stein and Gary Johnson).
In the Obama corner, we’ve got Sharon Brous:
If you vote for Gov. Romney, don’t let it be because you think President Obama is bad for Israel. Something odious was born in the Jewish community five years ago, when fear of a candidate with the middle name Hussein led otherwise intelligent people to habitual mass-forwarding of loathsome accusations that the senator was a closeted Muslim, a terrorist, a socialist, and a liar—someone who would threaten the very existence of the Jewish state. Even now—after four years of unprecedented collaboration between Israeli and American intelligence; after Defense Minister Ehud Barak said he could not remember a period of more steadfast American support; after the United States funded the Iron Dome missile defense system and spearheaded crippling sanctions against Iran—President Obama is treated with deep suspicion in some Jewish circles. His staunch commitment to Israel continues to be assaulted by lies and innuendo.
If you don’t like President Obama, OK. But don’t vote for Romney because you have succumbed to the cynical fiction that the president “threw Israel under the bus.” It diminishes and endangers the alliance between Israel and the United States, and it makes a mockery of our intelligence.
And in the Romney corner, it’s Shmuley Boteach.
The problems with Obama aren’t just domestic. In the presidential debate that focused on foreign policy there was only one candidate who called for Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad to be indicted for incitement to genocide against the Jewish people. It certainly wasn’t President Obama, who has stood by as the Iranian mullahs threaten to wipe Israel off the map. Now, they are four years closer to that goal.
Judaism is emphatic: “Thou shalt not stand idly by the blood of your neighbor” (Leviticus 19:16). But President Obama waited nine days to condemn the Iranian regime for slaughtering its own people in June 2009, when Iranians took to the street to protest their government. Obama has spoken often of his admiration for Martin Luther King Jr., the man whom I consider to have been the greatest American of the 20th century. But his foreign policy seems much closer to the realpolitik of Henry Kissinger than the freedom-for-all agenda King would have surely championed.
Check them both out and don’t forget to vote!