When Jewish voters go to the polls on Election Day 2008, they have critical choices to make: which party's candidates will best protect America from terrorism; best protect Israel from terrorism; and most effectively grow this economy.
Today's Democratic Party is not the same party of your parents and grandparents. It is the party of George Soros, their leading donor, who is hostile to Israel. It is the party of Jimmy Carter, who chairs Democrats Abroad and is renowned for his hostility to Israel, and it is a party that no longer has room for Joe Lieberman. The Democrats have strayed far from their traditions of Truman, John F. Kennedy and Scoop Jackson.
John McCain's 25-year voting record supporting Israel is unparalleled. He has co-sponsored dozens of pieces of legislation critical to the pro-Israel effort, including the Kyl-Lieberman resolution to designate the Iranian Revolutionary Guard a terrorist organization, the Palestinian Anti-Terror Act and the Iran Freedom Support Act. He has never, and will never, morally equate terror attacks and Israel's responses to those attacks.
In contrast, Sen. Barack Obama opposed Kyl-Lieberman and is committed to a presidential meeting with Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadenijad without preconditions, and has also committed to a presidential summit with heads of state in Muslim nations while excluding Israel.
Obama has a naive worldview, which reflects his lack of judgment and how ill prepared he is to serve as president. McCain is ready to be commander in chief on day one of his presidency. In contrast, Obama has relied on Middle East advisers, such as Gen. Tony McPeak and Zbigniew Brzezinski, who manifest profound hostility toward Israel. Other advisers such as Dennis Ross are the architects of the profoundly flawed Oslo Strategy, which President Bill Clinton pushed to the severe detriment of Israel, even after it was clear that Yasser Arafat was an unrepentant terrorist seeking the ultimate destruction of Israel, a fact that Ariel Sharon and most Israelis clearly understood.
McCain has stood up to the leadership of his own party when he thought it necessary. Particularly noteworthy was his call for the successful "surge" in Iraq. He is a man who has worked across party lines and has a demonstrated track record of doing so. Sen. Obama has never, not once, challenged his party's leadership on any key issue or demonstrated an ability to work across the political aisle. Nor has he one legislative accomplishment he can claim in the United States Senate.
Beyond foreign policy, McCain has the experience, judgment and ingenuity to lead America in its domestic challenges.
He is a fiscal conservative who understands that small businesses are the economic engines that create 70 percent of the jobs in our economy, and that lowering taxes, particularly in a difficult economic environment, is the way to promote and restore job growth. He will continue to promote free trade, which will also benefit American business and help enhance our diplomatic efforts while Obama opposes free trade, wants to repeal NAFTA and opposes a free trade agreement with Colombia.
McCain's position on tax cuts and the need to create the conditions for economic recovery are clear-cut and correct. Obama's plan is intended to ultimately punish entrepreneurs and job creators, which historically has prolonged recessions and reduced tax revenues.
Looking to the future, John McCain's energy independence plan outlines a market-based approach that will lead to workable alternatives to petroleum and not repeat the expensive mistakes of government-mandated solutions. He had the courage of his convictions to state in Iowa that ethanol subsidies were wrong for America. Once again, he placed his country first, ahead of political self-interest.
Elections are about choices, and Jewish voters are encouraged to make a wise one for foreign policy realism in a very dangerous world, for domestic reforms that work for our nation and for individuals -- and for a respected, tested American hero. For people who recognize America's security and economic challenges, and the rising threats to Israel, the choice is clear.
Steven L. Friedman and Myles H. Tanenbaum are co-chairmen of the Greater Philadelphia Chapter of the Republican Jewish Coalition.