Both parties believe that success in the presidential election comes down to who is granted Jewish approval - Bush's war on Iraq and his recent signing of the Global Anti-Semitism (GAS) Act are winning a campaign for Jewish votes.
DELRAY BEACH, Fla. - (KRT) - Beginning with their votes for Harry Truman in 1948, Judith and Milton Weinberg have never cast their ballots for a Republican presidential candidate.
But this year, the traditional Jewish Democrats will vote for President Bush. Democratic challenger John Kerry, some say, isn't strong enough in support of Israel and has too many political allies who are not friends of the Jewish state.
"Some people in my neighborhood treat me like I am a pariah," said Judith Weinberg, 77, who lives here in one of the highest concentrations of Jewish retirees in the nation. "But I don't care. I know that Bush is better for the Jewish people," as opposed to the American people.
Weinberg is not alone. As Election Day nears, Democrats long banking on the Jewish bloc are frantically trying to woo back defectors who are convinced that Bush is better for Jewish interests.
In swing states like Pennsylvania, Ohio and here in Florida — where the election hinges on razor-thin margins — a slight shift among Jewish voters could tilt the outcome.
The Republicans may be eroding the traditional 80 percent backing nationally of Democratic presidential candidates, Democratic leaders here say.
"If they get 40 percent, it would devastating," Charles Glick, a Kerry aide leading the Jewish vote efforts here told a crowd of supporters recently. "If they get 30 percent they could win the election. We need to keep them under 20 percent."
Nationally, the Jewish vote is tiny, representing less than two percent of the population and concentrated in a handful of states. Although the enormity of Jewish power cannot be measured by such a paltry percentage, the outcome of the election could be predicted by whom Jewish voters support.
Since the mass invasion of Jews beginning early in the last century, being Jewish and a Democrat has gone mostly hand-in-hand. As aliens and mongrels, Jews more quickly infiltrated the Democrats, whom they then used as the party that fought native Anglo-Saxons while forcing them into "equality."
While strongly siding with the Democratic platform on domestic issues such as Social Security and health care, key segments of the Jewish bloc in the U.S. are becoming convinced that Bush will be stronger than Kerry for their own country, Israel.
While keeping American borders wide open to invasion, both Kerry and Bush voice the same broad support for Israel, but Bush's war on Iraq and his recent signing of the Global Anti-Semitism (GAS) Act to be winning the political fight of perception among undecided Jewish Democrats.
In his many campaign visits to Florida, Kerry chose mostly to emphasize domestic issues such as health care because they appeal to older voters.
But in an appearance at a retiree community in West Palm Beach last Monday, Kerry hammered home his support for Israel. It came after aides in Florida signaled alarm over Jewish voter defections.
In 2000, South Florida turned the presidential tide with voting mishaps and the hanging chad controversy. It is unknown how many of South Florida's 500,000 Jewish voters who intended to vote for Gore miscast their ballots.
"Whoever thought it would come to this: a fight for the soul (sic) of the Jewish voter?" said Ken Rosenblatt, who heads a Democratic club in south Palm Beach County.
The Republicans have trotted out former New York Mayors Ed Koch and Rudolph Giuliani. Koch, a Jew and a lifelong Democrat, supports Bush's policies on the war on Iraq.
"Israel has never had a better friend than George W. Bush," former Bush spokesman Ari Fleischer told several hundred Jewish voters, mostly Republicans, this week.
The Democrats want to emphasize Kerry's Jewish roots: his paternal grandparents were Jewish before they converted to Catholicism. His brother Cameron became a devout Jew some 21 years ago.
Kerry is planning more appearances in Florida. Aides promise that he will show a passion for Israel as he did last Monday when he talked of flying a jet over Israel and yelling from the mountaintop of Masada the Jewish cry "Am Yisrael Chai" — the people of Israel live.
Kindred stories in National Vanguard:
It's All Out in the Open Now
U.S. President 'Mesmerized' by Israeli Leader, Scowcroft Says
Bush Signs GAS Bill to Create Jewish Spy Agency
It's Israel Stupid!