Politics, the Jews & the '84 Election
Politics has been an avocation of the Jews for a mere two hundred years, and as Mark Twain once noted, despite their splendid capacities in other fields, they have not excelled at it. Twain wrote, of course, before the development of political Zionism, but so far as the American Jewish community was concerned, the 1984 political season offered little that might have persuaded him to change his mind.
Modern Jewish politics was forged in the crucible of 19th-century Europe, in the striving for liberty and political equality that swept the European continent from West to East. Heinrich Heine described the great task of his time as “the emancipation of the whole world—in particular of Europe.” In that struggle for emancipation, for the right to share in the privileges and obligations of citizenship, the particularist Jewish agenda fit perfectly into the universalist political agenda as Heine defined it.
The Jews found that, with few exceptions, those who would deny them political rights represented the old order—the aristocracy, the military, the nationalists, the political Right, and above all the Church. This was, on the whole, a true perception. Alexis de Tocqueville had noted that in France just before the Revolution, he “had almost always seen the spirit of religion and the spirit of freedom marching in opposite directions.” Therefore, in pursuing the politics of emancipation in Western and Central Europe, Jews joined the liberals and the liberal parties. Liberals advocated the rights of man, the liberty of the individual, freedom of conscience and of worship. Liberals upheld a political order which offered the Jews rights as citizens, security as a religious and communal group, and economic opportunity as individuals.
Thus, what has come to be known as the Jewish liberal “tradition” was shaped originally by the politics of emancipation in Western and Central Europe. One classic anecdote will suffice as illustration. In the Hapsburg empire, Jews won the right to vote and hold office during the revolution of 1848. One of the five Jews elected to the revolutionary Austrian parliament was Rabbi Dov Berish Meisels. He took his seat on the Left, joining the Radicals. When the speaker of parliament asked for an explanation of this apparently anomalous political gesture on the part of a clergyman, Rabbi Meisels, playing on the words for “right” and “rights,” said: “Jews are rightless”—“Juden haben keine Rechte.”
In Eastern Europe, liberal politics blossomed in the czarist empire in the 1860′s and 1870′s under Alexander II, to be all but extinguished after 1881 when Alexander was assassinated by terrorist revolutionaries. Thereafter, reaction and repression became the hallmarks of czarist rule, and eventually the liberals, the constitutionalists, and the centrists were crushed between the millstones of Right and Left; politics in the czarist empire became radicalized. Many Jews, understandably, found themselves attracted to the politics of the Left, the politics of revolution.
The revolutionary Left promised a social order from which evil, injustice, and inequality would be eliminated—in short, a utopia. The terms and tactics of this politics were secular, yet the commitment which the revolutionary movement demanded of its followers was the equal of that demanded by any religious movement. This attitude of political messianism characterized especially the Jewish radicals, who had abandoned their old religious traditions and were in need of new ones. But after the Bolshevik Revolution, after the political purges and murderous excesses of the Stalinist period, the messianic fever cooled, including among Jews outside the Soviet Union who had once lent it their support. Besides, Jewish nationalist politics—Zionism—now absorbed messianic energies aplenty, and rewarded them more fully and more concretely.
The European Jews who migrated to the United States brought with them their Old World political traditions. In the mid-19th century, those who came from Central Europe, where they had fought alongside the liberals for emancipation and equality, were attracted to the then newly formed Republican party. This was the party of Abraham Lincoln, the party which opposed the extension of slavery into the new territories, which condemned attempts to reopen the African slave trade, and which favored a liberal immigration policy.
Those who came later, in the mass migration from Eastern Europe, followed other political paths. The Orthodox among them practiced the politics of shtadlones, of intercession with those in power—at that time, the Republicans. The radicals enlisted in the Socialist party, which had its brief heyday just before World War I, or in the Communist party, whose time came in the 1930′s. But most Jewish immigrants from Eastern Europe, with their fervor for liberty, equality, and justice, turned to the Democratic party. In the big-city slums, the local Democratic club became the mediator between the green immigrants and the outside world, the defender of the poor and the advocate of the working people.
It was Alfred E. Smith, New York’s governor, the party’s presidential candidate in 1928, who first solidified the Jewish attachment to the Democratic party, but it was Franklin Delano Roosevelt who turned the Jews into Democratic fanatics. A Jewish Republican judge once described the fierce devotion of the Jews to Roosevelt with a pun on the Yiddish world velt, world. The Jews, he said, have three worlds: Yidn hobn drei velten—di velt [this world], yene velt [the world to come], un Roose-velt.
Under Roosevelt, the Democratic party emerged as the national party of the big-city poor and the unemployed, the new immigrants, the Catholics, the Jews, the blacks who had come North to look for work, the exploited workers of the sweatshops and the mines, the infant labor unions struggling against the unbridled power of corporate capitalism. Within a decade, all these groups forged a coalition that would keep the Democrats in power for a long time. As for the Jews, they saw the Democratic party as embodying both the political agenda of the emancipation and the social agenda of secular messianism. And they also saw it as a bulwark against anti-Semitism. In those days, in the United States as in Europe, anti-Semitism was part and parcel of right-wing politics. Father Charles Coughlin, the rabble-rousing radio priest who used his Catholic pulpit to vilify the Jews, seemed to many a living confirmation of the Church’s role in fomenting hatred. Coughlin’s attacks on President Roosevelt and the New Deal further convinced Jews that liberal politics was the best means of insuring their security and serving their interests.
Actually, public-opinion polls of the 30′s showed that anti-Semitic attitudes pervaded American society as a whole. Those attitudes would persist until World War II came to an end in 1945. Only then, when the Allied armies came upon the terrible camps with the dead piled high and the living barely alive, when the horrors were there for all the world to see, did anti-Semitism start to decline, and not just in America but in the West at large. For the next twenty-two years anti-Semitism in the Western world was little more than a ghostly presence, the six million murdered European Jews a ghastly reminder of its consequences.
But only in the Western world. Beyond the West, anti-Semitism continued to thrive, requiring a new kind of political response. Among Arabs the time-dishonored propaganda of the Protocols of the Elders of Zion circulated in new guises and disguises, one weapon among many in their ongoing war to destroy the Jewish state. In the Soviet Union, a country with a venerable history of anti-Semitism, Stalin and his successors turned the anti-Semitic gospel into a tool of domestic policy. Leonid Brezhnev, who succeeded Khrushchev in 1964, went Stalin one farther by making anti-Semitism an adjunct of Soviet foreign policy, and turning it, now labeled anti-Zionism, into another of the Soviet Union’s exports of lethal commodities. The scale of this anti-Semitic enterprise in the last two decades would have stirred envy in Adolf Hitler.
In 1965 a hint of what Jews would be faced with in the coming years emerged at the United Nations. A resolution had been introduced in a committee of the General Assembly which specifically condemned anti-Semitism. The Soviet delegate, believing that his country was the intended target of the resolution, substituted another in its place. The Soviet version moved to condemn “anti-Semitism, Zionism, Nazism, and all other forms . . . of colonialism, national and race hatred, and exclusiveness.” That motion never came to a vote—nor did the United Nations ever adopt a resolution against anti-Semitism—but it opened the door for the UN’s ugly condemnation, ten years later, of “zionism,” with a lower-case “z” as an added insult, as “a form of racism and racial discrimination.” One did not have to wait for Orwell’s 1984 to see Doublethink and Newspeak triumph in the precincts of the United Nations.
It was 1967 that proved the watershed year in contemporary Jewish history, marking the advent of a new set of political circumstances. This was of course the year of the Six-Day War, when Israel’s life hung in the balance and when Jews everywhere became fearful of a new Holocaust. The miracle of Israel’s victory gave rise in turn to a universal feeling among Jews of religious redemption. It seemed that the Divine Presence was once again manifest in Jewish history, and that the God Who had abandoned His people during World War II had at last returned to them. And if God had returned to the Jews, so the Jews began to return to Him and to their people—perhaps most dramatically of all in the Soviet Union, where Israel’s miraculous victory invigorated dissident Jews and gave them renewed conviction for their struggle.
There was, however, also a dark response to Israel’s swift victory. The Soviet Union intensified its anti-Semitic campaign abroad, its vast propaganda machine depicting the Jewish state as an aggressor nation, the tool and accomplice of the “imperialist West,” the “outpost of U.S. colonialism in the Middle East,” the “lackey of capitalist America.” And in the West as well, 1967 conjured up the seemingly banished ghost of anti-Semitism.
This was no resurrection of the old anti-Semitism of the fascists, reactionaries, and Christian Right. The new anti-Semitism emanated from the Left, from those whose political forebears a century ago had been the staunchest allies of the Jews in their struggle for emancipation. It infected the New Left, which split apart over the issue of Israel. Perhaps most shockingly, it infected a number of black intellectuals, professionals, and political leaders. And inevitably it made inroads into the Democratic party, then beginning its own process of internal disintegration and collapse. (In 1968, though the Democrats did finally succeed in nominating Hubert Humphrey as their presidential candidate, the party of the New Deal, as it had been constituted since 1928, came asunder. The South defected; labor began to defect; and the party’s political machine ceased to operate.)
This was not the first time that Jews, including especially Jews on the Left, had been betrayed by the Left. It had happened in czarist Russia in the 1880′s. It had happened in 1939 when the Soviet Union signed a pact with Nazi Germany. For Jews who still retained an element of Jewish pride, these successive betrayals were traumatic. So, in 1967, as in earlier times, some Jews abandoned the Left for good, while others retreated into wounded privacy. Still others, of course, stayed.
Today, the worldwide anti-Semitism of the Left has become if anything more open and unmistakable. In the late 60′s, at least, when anti-Semitic attitudes were still in bad repute in the West, sophistical distinctions were maintained between anti-Semitism and anti-Zionism. By 1982, during the war in Lebanon, few bothered with such distinctions any longer. And by the 1984 Democratic primary campaign it all came spilling out into mainstream politics.
Precisely because of the direction from which the new anti-Semitism flows, it is important to underscore the fact that the anti-Semitism with which Jews were familiar in the past is at a low ebb in this country (and elsewhere in the West). A recent Gallup poll showed that only 2 percent of Americans held unfavorable opinions about Jews. Overt anti-Semitism of the Right, too, has decreased. The Anti-Defamation League, which tracks incidents of anti-Semitic vandalism and violence and monitors the activities of anti-Semitic and neo-Nazi organizations, has found that of the 800 anti-Semitic incidents which were reported for the whole of the United States in 1982, none was perpetrated by organized hate groups. The ADL estimates current KKK membership at about 6,500 and the number of neo-Nazis at some 500. Although one organization specializes in denying that six million European Jews were ever murdered during World War II, that is an offense against historical truth which, however obscene, does not threaten Jewish security as did, for instance, Henry Ford’s promotion of the Protocols of the Elders of Zion in the 1920′s.
The anti-Semitism of the Christian churches has similarly dwindled to a shadow of its past. Fascist governments used to invoke Christian anti-Semitism to reinforce their ideology, while the churches’ anti-Semitic preachments sustained in turn the policies of the reactionary and fascist states. But fascism passed away in the wreckage of Hitler’s Germany and Mussolini’s Italy; it died with Rumania’s Iron Guard and Hungary’s Arrow Cross. As for the anti-Judaism of the Christian churches, it never recovered from the encounter with Auschwitz. One by one, the Protestant denominations came to address the question of Christian responsibility for the murder of the European Jews. The Second Vatican Council of the 1960′s, whatever its shortcomings, set the Catholic Church on a new course in its relations with Jews. Christian writings and textbooks have been revised to eliminate the “teaching of contempt.” Christians are now instructed to recognize the bonds between Judaism and Christianity and to respect Judaism not just as the forebear of Christianity, but in its own right.
This Christian education was accomplished, it is true, at a terrible cost. But now that most churches acknowledge anti-Semitism as a sin against God and man, even if they needed encouragement to do so, they no longer dispense it. Even at Oberammergau, where the Passion Play acts out the ancient charge of deicide, the program now contains a disclaimer that the production does not intend to blame the Jews for the crucifixion of Jesus. Just this year, the Lutheran World Federation, marking Martin Luther’s five hundredth birthday, adopted a declaration repudiating “the sins of Luther’s anti-Jewish remarks” and confessing “with deep regret” that Luther’s teachings had been used to justify anti-Semitism and Nazism.
None of this is intended to deny the presence of lingering anti-Semitic attitudes on the Right (or in the churches), only to stress that they seem, today, trivial when compared to the steady drumbeats emanating from the Soviet Union, the worldwide Left—including, incidentally, the Left-leaning Christian denominations—and the United Nations. The question is, how have Jews responded, politically, to this changed circumstance? And the answer is, not well.
Many American Jews, among them some leading rabbis and other official spokesmen, seem curiously reluctant to concede the decline of anti-Semitism in old places, or refuse to admit the rise of anti-Semitism in new places. Convinced that old-style Christian anti-Semitism is an inevitable feature of our society, they have located its current home in the heart of Protestant evangelical territory. Right after the election of 1980, for example, the head of a major Jewish organization claimed that the most serious growth of anti-Semitism in America since the outbreak of World War II has accompanied the rise of right-wing fundamentalism. That unfounded charge was repudiated by other Jewish agencies, but in 1984, once again, a battery of similar accusations was leveled against the evangelicals in the midst of the presidential campaign.
There is no need to question the sincerity of Jews who say they fear the threat posed by the evangelicals, but there is a need to ask whether that fear is founded on anything real. Evangelicals differ from other Protestants in their belief that they are commanded to spread the good news about Jesus and the centrality of Scripture. The first thing to know about them, however, is that they are not monolithic. Some are fundamentalists, that is, theologically conservative. But, according to a Gallup poll, more than half of all evangelicals consider themselves to be “Left of Center” or “middle of the road.” They ought not, then, to be stereotyped.
Since the early decades of this century, evangelicals have regarded the Jews and the Zionist movement with sympathy. In our time, their friendship and political support for Israel have been genuine and substantial. Rationalist liberals ridicule this support because they think it is premised entirely on Christian millennial expectations. But evangelical support for Israel is derived from the Bible, from God’s promise to Abraham to bless those who bless Israel and curse those who curse it. And even if the evangelicals did support Israel only for ulterior and religious ends, better such support now than the hostility which distinguishes their politicized brethren in the National Council of Churches.
The evangelicals number nearly fifty million Americans. Given such figures, it is to be expected that there are anti-Semites among them; how could it be otherwise? Yet just three years ago, Christianity Today, the largest and most influential of evangelical journals, published a lengthy editorial calling for “repentance, restitution, and action which will ferret out, expose, and actively oppose incipient and overt anti-Semitism.” The editor also declared, “to attack Jews is to attack evangelicals and such attacks will be resisted by evangelicals as attacks against themselves.”
Nor does the religious exclusiveness of the evangelicals in itself necessarily spell anti-Semitism. In 1984 many Jews recalled publicly the remark made four years earlier by the Reverend Bailey Smith, then president of the Southern Baptist Convention. He said that “God Almighty does not hear the prayer of a Jew.” Smith denied the re mark was anti-Semitic, and I for one believe him. After all, Jews have their own fundamentalists, who also practice religious exclusiveness, and some of whom say that God Almighty does not hear the shofar when it is blown on the High Holidays in a Conservative synagogue. (Fundamentalists of all persuasions are privy to knowledge of God’s hearing ability not vouchsafed to the rest of us.)
As for the Reverend Jerry Falwell’s Moral Majority, it represents the response of anti-modernist Christians to the cultural dislocation of our time. Every time America experiences a cycle of extreme social tension, in which the legitimacy of traditional moral values is questioned, Protestant America attempts to restore those moral and religious values which derive from the Bible, or, to use Jerry Falwell’s favored phrase, from “the Judeo-Christian heritage.” Such movements have recurred with predictable regularity in American history since the Puritans first arrived on these shores. The Moral Majority is such a movement. It speaks for religious Christians in their battle against secularization and the debasement of moral values in contemporary life; it does not speak against Jews.
Nor does it pose a serious threat to the separation of church and state. To be sure, Christian revivalists, especially when they feel beleaguered, have always tried to use the law to impose their religious views on a recalcitrant society. The archives of Congress and of state legislatures bulge with such failed bills. Over 140 bills on Sunday observance alone were proposed in Congress between 1888 and 1945. In the twenty-one years since the Supreme Court outlawed Bible reading and the recitation of the Lord’s Prayer in the public schools, some 200 bills to overturn those decisions have been introduced in Congress. But the wall of separation between church and state still stands, and stands firm.
Separation of church and state, however, does not entail the elimination of religion from society. Nor does it entail the utter privatization of religion; that was the goal of the French Revolution, not of the American. What agitates many Jews about the Moral Majority, though they might be reluctant to own up to it, is that it confronts them with the need to acknowledge that the goal of the French Revolution is also their goal. From the dawn of modernity, secular emancipated Jews have yearned not only for political equality but even more for a society in which all men would be joined in a mythic brotherhood transcending the barriers of religious difference. Since that maximum program is beyond realization, universalist Jews have been willing to settle for a minimum program, that is, for a society in which religion is thoroughly privatized. The infusion of a religious element into political discussion threatens this dream of universalist Jews; that is why they oppose the Moral Majority’s advocacy of Christian values even when those values coincide with Jewish ones.
This brings us to the Jewish vote in the election of 1984. Some 35 percent of the Jewish electorate voted for Ronald Reagan—about the same proportion that voted for him in 1980. That statistic does not qualify as epoch-making: the majority of Jews still remained loyal to the Democratic party. But it was not so long ago that only 10 percent of Jews, 20 at most, voted for a Republican presidential candidate; even 35 percent indicates a trend.1
But if, as I believe, a political realignment is beginning to take place among American Jews, the process is occurring at a markedly slower pace than among the electorate at large. In this election, indeed, the Jewish vote was almost exactly the reverse of the national trend. That is, while almost 60 percent of Americans voted for President Reagan, more than 60 percent of Jews voted for Walter Mondale. The lopsided Jewish voting pattern resembled that of the blacks, the unemployed, and persons in households earning under $10,000 a year, even though Jews in no way resemble those groups or share their social and political interests.
Why? The answer, it seems to me, has to do with the powerful residual hold of the universalist mind-set, a hold so encompassing that it has led to an alienation of the Jews as a political group from their rightful place in the American consensus. At times this alienation is even acknowledged explicitly. During the 1980 election, for example, one Jewish intellectual expressed his attitude toward the United States with singular frankness: “No country on earth has been better to the Jews than the United States; but it is not our country.” What I am suggesting is that this attitude of alienation may be more widespread than is generally thought; if so, it is a danger to the political health of the Jewish community.
One wonders, at any rate, whether an attitude of alienation, born out of and justified by the politics of universalism, may not have had something to do with the failure of the Jewish community to address the range of its concerns in this election. To be sure, Jewish organizations lobbied to have the correct views on Israel inserted in the platforms of both parties, but for the most part those in Jewish institutional life seem to have been so obsessed with the Moral Majority and the marginal issue of prayer in school or after school as to have neglected to attend properly to the Jewish interest, even in connection with Israel.
A case in point concerns UNESCO, the UN’s cultural organization, which has in recent years become a forum not only for anti-American but even more for anti-Israel activities. But when the U.S. government solicited testimony from nongovernmental agencies at a hearing on our possible withdrawal from UNESCO—surely an outcome devoutly to be wished by Jews—only one Jewish organization recognized that American interests and Jewish interests coincided in this regard, and responded positively.
What should have been on the Jewish political agenda in 1984? The indispensable requirement for Jewish security anywhere, happily taken for granted in the United States, is that Jews live under a government that will protect their liberties, insure their safety, and deal justly with them. In this respect, American Jews, being the largest, most secure, and most affluent Jewish community in the world, have obligations to less fortunate Jewish communities, be they in Chile, in Nicaragua, in Ethiopia, or in the Soviet Union. In voting, and just as importantly in their approach to the two major parties, Jews have an obligation, as Jews, to consider how these particular interests of theirs can best be advanced.
The Jewish agenda requires a strong government in the United States to insure Israel’s security. Jews who care about Israel are obliged to use their vote to that end. They did so four years ago, when for the first time in over fifty years the Democratic candidate for the Presidency, Jimmy Carter, failed to win a majority of the Jewish vote. In 1984, by contrast, a great many Jews seemed willing to ignore the drift of the Democratic party into isolationism and defeatism, not to mention the party’s embrace of Jesse Jackson, a man overtly hostile to a strong America and a strong Israel.
On the domestic agenda, one issue Jews needed to address in 1984 was black anti-Semitism. And this was, indeed, much talked about during Jesse Jackson’s primary campaign and during the Democratic convention, after which it became a non-subject. It should not have been allowed to, since its existence is undeniable and has been documented in every public-opinion poll taken in the last twenty years. These polls have charted the decline of anti-Semitic attitudes among whites, on the one hand, and the consistent rise, on the other hand, of anti-Semitic attitudes among blacks, especially younger and better-educated blacks. Did Jews exercise any pressure, moral or financial, on the Democratic party on account of the scandal of Jesse Jackson’s anti-Semitism? Did they punish the party at the polls for sheltering it, and for pointedly declining to adopt a resolution condemning anti-Semitism in the party platform?
No doubt most Jews who voted Democratic believed they were voting for the age-old liberal agenda, for the extension of rights to those still deprived of them. But the current agenda of those who call themselves liberals is less a matter of rights and more a matter of social and economic redistribution. The Democratic program to achieve that end is quotas, a policy which (since the word is still apparently taboo) now goes under the name of “affirmative-action goals, timetables, and other verifiable measurements.” And what the Democrats would impose on the country they also mean to impose on their party. A resolution setting up a Fairness Commission to plan the next Democratic convention provided that members of the commission were to be chosen according to gender, race, and sexual preference: “equally divided between men and women, and . . . fair and equitable participation of blacks, Hispanics, native Americans, Asian/Pacifies, women, and persons of all sexual preferences [sic!] consistent with their proportional representation in the party.” Under that system of “fairness,” Jews would never have a chance.
Quotas threaten America with the fate of the Hapsburg empire. There, the demands of diverse groups competed with the common interest, and the clamor of large groups drowned out the murmur of small ones; the system could not survive. Whether the democratic United States could survive institutional quotas we do not know, but it is certain that, politically, Jews could not.
This, at least, most Jews understand, and so have opposed quotas. Yet in continuing to give so much ungrudging support to the party that now stands for quotas, are they not, in the name of a misguided and ossified univeralism, failing once again to address their political agenda with the requisite degree of responsibility?
Jews cannot live by universalism alone. Can they, then, live by particularism? Whereas religiously liberal Jews voted disproportionately Democratic in the November 1984 election, Orthodox Jews tended to vote Republican. But many of these Orthodox—not all—suffer from their own brand of alienation. To protect themselves from the seductions of secular society, they persist in trying to erect high walls around their communities, to separate themselves, if not necessarily from other Jews then certainly from the Gentile world. While many Jewish universalists are in thrall to a 19th-century political tradition, many Jewish particularists are still committed to a view of Jewish life in 19th-century Eastern Europe.
The pitfalls of this can be illustrated with a story. In 1812 the hasidic rabbis in the czarist empire believed that the war between Napoleon and Czar Alexander I was the war of Gog and Magog, which presaged the coming of the messiah. Menahem Mendel the Seer of Lublin, the Maggid of Mezeritch, and Menahem Mendel of Rymanow all prayed for Napoleon to triumph over the Czar. They believed that by his victory the Jews would be delivered from their sufferings and persecutions. But Rabbi Schneur Zalman of Lyady, the founder of the Lubavitch dynasty, prayed for the Czar to defeat Napoleon. He explained his position in a letter to one of his followers: “If France should win, riches will increase among Jews and they will prosper. But they will become estranged from God. If Alexander wins the war, the Jews will become impoverished, but their hearts will be joined with God.”
The Lubavitcher rebbe was correct in his prediction of what would happen to European Jews in the next hundred years. For in those days, when Jews were given political freedom they prospered, and they assimilated. As for those Jews who remained restricted to a life of poverty and persecution in the Pale of Settlement, they also remained true to their religious traditions (though changes were in the making there too that the rabbi did not foresee).
There was no way, however, that Schneur Zalman could have predicted what would happen to Judaism in a free society. We are now in the midst of an extraordinary religious renewal among Jews that is a response to the murder of the six million European Jews and a rebuke to those today who continue to wish the Jews dead. By means of this revival Jews have demonstrated their confidence in themselves and in their ability to remain true to their traditions, even in the modern world. But America for its part has also demonstrated that Judaism can flourish in an open and pluralist society. Does this not justify a greater confidence, on the part of religious Jews, in America?
If Jews need to know their own interests as well as the interests of others, they also need to know the art of politics as well as the books of the Torah. They need, in short, to live in this world, not in the world of the politically utopian or the religiously messianic. Among other things, this means staking out an independent position and resisting an automatic commitment either to the Democrats or to the Republicans. Many Jews might be surprised to learn that—Mark Twain to the contrary notwithstanding—practicing the art of politics in this sense is a task to which their traditions, and their history, have admirably suited them, and can yet serve them well.
1 It should be noted that this figure has been challenged on the basis of surveys that show as much as a 40-percent Jewish vote for Reagan. But we will have to wait for the results of the more careful studies now being made.