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January 25, 2012

Obama Reflected the Policy Concerns of the Vast Majority of American Jews

Listed in: Other Domestic Policy, Other Foreign Policy, NJDC News, Opinions

Originally published in Politico

By David A. Harris, President and CEO of the National Jewish Democratic Council 

One key demographic will recognize President Barack Obama’s address tonight as a ringing endorsement of their own values - American Jews. This constituency as much as any other has historically felt strongly that taxes must be progressive, and they will respond positively to the president’s proposals to make taxes less regressive and ensure shared responsibility among all Americans. These core principals will simply ring true to the vast majority of American Jews. Other central domestic policy priorities outlined by the President reflect the concerns of American Jews as well.

But on two foreign policy issues of special concern to the American Jewish community - Israel and Iran - President Obama’s words tonight spoke volumes. The President rightly observed that Iran’s leaders are more isolated than ever before. His clarion words on this core issue of our day - ‘Let there be no doubt: America is determined to prevent Iran from getting a nuclear weapon, and I will take no options off the table to achieve that goal’ - was a powerful statement on the world’s stage. Similarly, his reminder regarding his strong leadership surrounding the U.S.-Israel relationship, in which he noted that ‘Our iron-clad commitment to Israel’s security has meant the closest military cooperation between our two countries in history,” was both important and deeply appreciated by American Jews - and indeed so many Americans - in this address. One common thread was consistent for the American Jewish demographic throughout this State of the Union; whether encouraging shared responsibility or on foreign policy, this president reflected the policy concerns of the vast majority of American Jews. And come November, they’ll vote accordingly.