Wednesday, September 17, 2014 Elul 22, 5774

Friends on Both Sides

November 2, 2006
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Next week's Congressional elections have produced a lively and at times nasty debate between the Democratic and Republican parties as they battle for Jewish votes.

As has been the case in recent years, the Republicans are trying diligently to make inroads in the Democrats' solid Jewish majorities and are using the question of support for Israel as their wedge issue. Democrats have responded with their own ripostes on domestic issues, as well as defending their party's stance on the Middle East.

With so many close races still hanging in the balance, it may well be that the margin of victory or defeat will be found among the Jewish voters who have been the object of this protracted tussle.

The results of this political donnybrook will be known next week, but no matter how it turns out, it's important to keep in mind a number of key points.

No matter where it stands on domestic issues or on Israel, no party should ever consider Jewish voters to be in its pocket. The Jewish community and the State of Israel have good friends on both sides of the political aisle. There is nothing wrong with holding either party accountable on issues of concern. Like any sector of the electorate, we should expect candidates to compete for our votes just like any other community. But that process shouldn't give either side a monopoly on our support.

Friends of Israel and the Jewish community in general have worked and will continue to work with both parties. Partisan loyalty must be respected but it must never take precedence over the interests of the community.

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