Most of America went to bed on Tuesday night not knowing whether Donald Trump would be the next president. That reality awaited them yesterday morning, after Hillary Clinton conceded victory in a telephone call in the early hours. It is going to mean changes for many, but what is it going to mean for American Jews?
There used to be a time when there was a ‘Jewish vote’ which counted in American elections, particularly, so it was said, in New York and Florida.
But in hours of channel-hopping on Tuesday evening, searching for sage comments from the array of studio experts,
I only heard one reference to such a phenomenon. That was from former New York mayor Rudy Giuliani, commenting on the Florida turnout – and he was just speculating whether it may have been significant.
The numbers are now out, and we can see that there has been no shift in the overall Jewish vote from its historical overwhelming preference for the Democratic Party.
Despite one late television advertisement that seemed anti-Semitic in tone – implications of the power of money that appeared
to be ‘Jewish money’ – Trump is pro-Israel. His leading Middle East adviser, originally
a Lebanese Christian, thinks the nuclear
deal with Iran was lousy, and his leading adviser on Israel is his lawyer, who is Jewish.
Of more concern for American Jews will be continued Republican control of the Senate and the House of Representatives.
There is a vacancy on the Supreme Court, which President Trump can now fill. For sure it will be a conservative who may block ‘progressive’ social changes and try to turn back the clock on what, to many Americans, not only Jews, have been the advances of recent decades.