The ‘Jewish Vote’

The fears are not based on empirical evidence


The ‘Jewish Vote’
by Trita Parsi

A Western diplomat recently told me that the negotiations on Iran’s nuclear program are neither about Iran nor about nuclear bombs: They are about Israel.

Whether or not one accepts this claim, it is clear that Israel is central in the talks. “There’s a three-way race going here,” one of Obama’s strategists told The New York Times in 2009. “We’re racing to make diplomatic progress. The Iranians are racing to make their nuclear capability a fait accompli. And the Israelis, of course, are racing to come up with a convincing military alternative.”

It has been hard enough to find a compromise that satisfies both the U.S. and Iran. To make it meet Israel’s red line is next to impossible—by design. Throughout Obama's presidential term, the Netanyahu government has set the bar for diplomacy at impossible levels, demanding that diplomacy result in the dismantlement of the Iranian program, that is, complete Iranian capitulation. As I describe in A Single Roll of the Dice, Israeli officials even told U.S. decision makers that Israel would approve of diplomacy as long as the U.S. expected the talks to fail. (In contrast, Israel defines success for military action against Iran not at a complete dismantlement of the program, but at a mere two year delay.)
Wendy Sherman

Since the Netanyahu government aims not to strengthen the West’s bargaining position but rather to make a deal more difficult, why is the Obama administration trying so hard to satisfy Bibi? Immediately after the Baghdad talks, U.S. lead negotiator Wendy Sherman flew to Israel to brief Netanyahu on the discussions with Iran. Explaining Sherman’s timely visit, a U.S. official told journalists in Tel Aviv, "We updated the Israelis in detail before we updated our own government." But if the U.S. objective is to “make diplomatic progress,” as the White House told The New York Times, why is the administration going out of its way to reassure a political element that doesn’t favor diplomatic progress?

The answer, Washington journalists and diplomats tell me, is the “Jewish vote.” Obama fears that if he cuts a deal with Iran that doesn’t meet the Netanyahu government’s red line (which would be any plausible deal), he will lose the “Jewish vote” and by extension the presidential elections. Or so the argument reads. Underpinning this reasoning is the assumption that the “Jewish vote” would follow the Israeli government’s cue.

But that assumption is questionable. Every Democratic President has been threatened that, if he pursues a foreign policy that puts the U.S. at odds with Israel, he will lose the “Jewish vote." Yet, no Democratic President has ever really lost the Jewish vote.

The American Jewish community has voted overwhelmingly Democrat since 1928. Democrats have won more than 70% of the vote in fifteen of the last twenty one Presidential elections. In five other elections, more than 60% of Jewish Americans voted Democrat. The lowest turnout for the Democrats occurred in 1980, when President Carter won 45% of the Jewish vote, compared to Reagan’s 39%. Since 1920, the Republicans have not managed to outdo the Democrats among Jewish voters.

Current support for Obama among Jewish voters is significantly higher than among the general population. According to the Jewish Telegraphic Agency, Obama’s support among registered Jewish voters is nearly identical to what he enjoyed at a comparable point in the 2008 campaign.

According to the American Jewish Committee, 61% of Jewish voters prefer Obama’s handling of national security threats to Romney’s. Similarly, in 2008, 57% had greater confidence in Obama than in McCain. On the specific issue of Iran’s nuclear program, the AJC poll shows that 61% of the Jewish voters prefer Obama to the Republicans.

Moreover, polls show that most American Jews prioritize other issues such as the economy and health care. A recent poll by the Public Religion Research Institute shows that only 4% of Jewish-Americans will cast their vote based on the candidates’ handling of Israel. Iran, the survey showed, will be a determining factor for only 2% of the Jewish community.

The fears regarding the Jewish vote are not based on empirical evidence. American Jews vote overwhelmingly Democratic—period. The variations in past elections have been minimal.

Rather, this fear is a political construct. Much like the Israeli threat to bomb Iran, it appears largely to be a bluff. Its creators want the White House to think that compromise will exact a political price, because they want to discourage a shift away from the preferred policies of pro-Likud Jewish-American organizations.

On Iran, that means saying “no” to sanctions relief in return for Iranian nuclear concessions, even at the cost of war.

First published in


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Banafsheh Zolfaghari

Author's obsession with Israel and the Jews

by Banafsheh Zolfaghari on

The author's obsession with Israel and the Jews is mind bogggggling, replacing Daiee Jaan Napel'on's Engilees'ha with the 'Jews!'

Dissapointing in that it is so unoriginal.

No, Mr. Pasri, life does not begin and end with a grand Jewish 'zionist' conspiracy.

That kind of bigotry is only propagated by the not-Islamic, not-republic of goons running Iran.  And no, the entire white house, media and political strategy around the forthcoming election does not begin and end with the "Jews!" If you must know, it begins and ends with the undecided independents.  Because the rest are all accounted for.  

I cant be sure, but you think the way you do (and yes it is a common implicit theme in a lot of your writings, which I have only recently researched and read) because you are either very, very I'll-informed, quite naiive to still be hanging on to the 'old conventional line and wisdome,' or are quite simply a bigot!?

Which ever the reason, none is cool.  

Get with it sir, your kind of thinking is stale, quite very passe and certainly unoriginal.  "I trust you can do much better, put your well-earned degree to better use!" would say the later Paul Nitze.

(If you must, reply kindly and gently.) 





joking with Demo

by مآمور on

Rajavi va pahlavi jokes? pendar would have plenty of those!

I have one for Demo!!and, dont be jealous I will have one for u too!!

Aziz baradar hasti


I wear an Omega watch

iraj khan

مزاح میکنی‌ مأمور

iraj khan

Any new Rajavi jokes

or Reza Pahlavi's


این داستان واقعی است


بعد از تصویب حمله به ایران در جلسه کابینه وزرا اسرائیل، بی بی به دفترش  میرود و تلفن را برمیدارد شماره میگرد بعد از مدتی زمزمه نامفهومی میکند و فوری خط را قطع میکند!! در حالی همه وزرا و رجال منتخبین خداوند منتظر هستند که فرمان آغاز حمله توسط نخست وزیر داده شود بی بی چندین بار دیگر همان کار را تکرار کرد!!
شاموئل مفؤ به بی بی نزدیک میشود و میگوید عزیز از ما بهتران(آخه شامولی ایرونی) چرا دستور حمله را صادر نمیکنی؟؟ به اهل عیال یک سفر تجارتی مثلأ زیارتی به ایران قول داده ام!! بریم مال اموال را پس بگیریم من مثل تو پولدار بشم!! دِه بزن این شاسی به فشار آن دگمه را!!
بی بی با خنده از شامولی خواهش میکند که اجازه دهد  فقط یکبار دیگر به احمدی زنگ بزند! وقتی احمدی جواب میدهد بگه َ احمدی خره َ و تلفن را قبل از اینکه احمدی بگوید َ نیتین یابو تره َ قطع میکند!!

I wear an Omega watch


hey guy, look...

by shushtari on

there's another bache akhoond on this site praising dear tria the traitor....

must be sargord pirouz LOL 

iraj khan

We have ended up

by iraj khan on

with Netanyahu's childern here on IC.

Where are those enlightened

progressive jews who wrote here once?

I'm talking about J Streeters and others.



Trita is an IRR pupet!


And you better believe it!

Dr. Love Israel

iraj khan


by iraj khan on

My reaction to the last 2 comments.

Disrespectful and hateful as usual.

But Trita rocks.

Mehrdad A

Connect or disperse??

by Mehrdad A on

He and his organization had their chances many years ago to give a damn about egregious human rights abuses in Iran, and they didn't. Because, they didn't have what it would take to relinquish their personal ambitions and talk about others' right to speak or write. He certainly has been successful in connecting all anti-Semites with Sandisis and the pervert, Soviet-era leftists all on one page. But again, that's only a small page.


Iraj Cha-Khan

by Faramarz on



I agree that he can connect oil company and insurance company lobbyists with the Regime Mafia. But the only problem is that the sanctions will not allow any business dealings between the Regime and the US companies. So you guys are kind of stuck!

Also, please consult Mehrdad Bavafa about being a US bitch! 

iraj khan

Re: Congratulations!

by iraj khan on

He can connect Iranian Americans, progressive Americans and progressive jews.

We need more people like him, many more.


تیریتا و تُخم دو زرده!


"Trita is the most published Iranaian?? American." Iraj Khan

"that even many progressive jews agree with him and want to attend and discuss Iran/Israel/U.S. with him."
Iraj Khan

Mr. T is the author of the 2007 book, Treacherous Alliance: The Secret Dealings of Israel, Iran, and the United States.

Well, well, well!!! Clear with any doubt that not only our Mr. T is an American boy but he is also Jewish! So, from now on let's call him TJ!


iraj khan

Trita is so respected

by iraj khan on

that even many progressive jews agree with him

and want to attend and discuss Iran/Israel/U.S. with him.

"Of the 35 states that have made the transition from authoritarianism to democracy since 1955, only one did so under the weight of an embargo: South Africa. Twenty states endured limited sanctions, and the remaining 14 found the path to democracy without any sanctions. Of the 10 states that endured embargoes, again only one democratized and gave up its nuclear program: South Africa. The others became more undemocratic, reactionary and oftentimes more dangerous."




Thought Free

by vildemose on



10 women of Shiraz Jian June 18th marks the anniversary of the hanging of the 10 Bahai women in Shiraz (June 18, 1983). I wanted to remember and honor each of these individuals, one of whom, Mona Mahmudinizhad was only 17 years old. I know that there are many Iranians -- from a diverse array of religious and philosophical belief systems -- that have been inspired by the remarkable qualities of these Iranian women:
*Nusrat Yalda'i (Age 54)
* Izzat Ishraqi (Age 50)
* Roya Ishraqi (Age 23)
*Zarrin Muqimi (Age 28)
* Tahirih Siyavushi (Age 32)
* Shirin Dalvand (Age 25)
* Akhtar Sabet (Age 24)
* Mashid Nurimand (Age 28)
* Simin Sabiri (Age 25)
* Mona Mahmudinizhad (Age 17)

All Oppression Creates a State of War--Simone De Beauvoir

iraj khan

Israel Lobby

by iraj khan on

1. Give our President Obama elbow room to deal with Iran.

2. Trita is the most published Iranaian American.

But why?

Because he is one of the most comapssionate

and wisest Iranians around,

the one who tells it as it is.

I'm just saying,



Thought says accept and learn

by Thought on

When you realize, if you realize that you were ignorant, learn and move on rather than fight it. Life should be a learning lesson. Admit you were wrong that it's the first step to learn the right. 

Thought now asks a quiz, to gain votes do you need voters? 

Thought hopes that student has learned.

Thought believes putting the potato chips away and jugging is good because healthy minds exist in healthy bodies.

Being ignorant is not so much a shame, as being unwilling to learn
-Benjamin Franklin


Tart Has a Crush on Trita!

by Faramarz on


Tart doesn't like Masoud and Tudeh anymore!

Tart likes "Joojeh Khooroos!"


trita joon is very naive

by mousa67 on

his hopes of getting invited to  white house even as a janitor would never materialize unless he learns to look beyond his little black & white, jews vs islam world.

he needs to learn that nothing has cemented the US-Israel relationships better than his ahmadinejad/khameni joon. islamist terrorism brough home to the rest of the world, what the brave little israel, the only democracy in ME has been fighting for the past 60 years. ahmadinejad joons "wipe the israel off the map" was just the icing on the cake.

i still think that trita joon would make a good iran ambassador to israel after regime change in tehran. but first he needs to see uncle mousa.



 thought should look for

by vildemose on

 thought should look for some bahai's under his bed...

The cold passion for truth hunts in no pack. -Robinson Jeffers

All Oppression Creates a State of War--Simone De Beauvoir


And the winner for the most ignorant comment goes to:

by Thought on

"or that Obama's admin[i]stration is worried about losing the Jewish vote or anyone elses vote for that matter."

Thought asks think before your write. Election revolves around votes from voters and attracting groups is the largest part of any campaign.

Although Thought does not feel emotions but still laughs at the level of nonsense.



    In statistics,

by vildemose on



In statistics, "empirical" quantities are those computed from observed values, as opposed to derived from theoretical considerations.

In economics, "empirical" generally refers to statistical or econometric analysis of numeric data. Other forms of observation-based hypothesis testing[clarification needed] are not considered to be "empirics."

The use of the adjective empirical, especially in scientific studies using statistics, may also indicate that a particular correlation between two parameters has been found, but that so far, no theory for the mechanism of the connection is known.


I wonder how many papers terita has written using real scientific method to produce valid empirical data??

I wonder how terry did in his scientific method 101? 

Can we see some of his grad or undergard papers using the scientific method? 



All Oppression Creates a State of War--Simone De Beauvoir


Terita and IRI operate

by vildemose on

Terita and IRI operate under the assumption that the US foreign policy is dictated by AIPAC or that Obama's adminstration is worried about losing the Jewish vote or anyone elses vote for that matter. That cannot be farther from the truth if one only removes their blinders and follow the money. 


All Oppression Creates a State of War--Simone De Beauvoir


Terita as usual is myopic

by vildemose on

Terita as usual is myopic and barking up the wrong tree.


All Oppression Creates a State of War--Simone De Beauvoir

Mehrdad A

What Does “I” stand for?

by Mehrdad A on

The great psychologists and psychiatrists of the early 20th century adopted a concept of the Wagnerian music drama called “leitmotif” to determine the most dominant recurring themes of human mind. Yet, it is hard to fathom the depth of Mr. Parsi’s mental engagement with Israel when Iran is involved. Which “I” stimulates him more? Is it the “I” for Iran or the “I” against Israel? Since he has become so irrelevant in influencing the Washington’ policies on and for Iran, one can safely surmise that his debacle in creating an Iranian competition for AIPAC (the joke of the last decade) has turned him and his ilk into frustrated, simpleton anti-Israeli activists. Whatever fails regarding Iran on a gamut from botched nuclear negotiations with the West to economic disasters, in their minds, is because of Israel.

One thing that they have excelled in is the addition of so much impurity to the already weak elements of democracy movement in Iran and conditioning it on external forces like Israel and the US. And what they failed is rather behemoth. They failed to stop the sanctions against the IRI and how the Obama administration has rallied the world against their favorite theocracy.

But the apocalypse of personality doesn’t stop here for this guy. He doesn’t really stand for any of those “I”s. He wanted to promote his own “I” as the head of NIAC, and that didn’t happen. That’s what happen when lose your organic touch with the society you try to promote, when you leave it at the age of 5.

Arash Kamangir

Trita Parsi: your analysis is not up-to-date

by Arash Kamangir on

I don't think your analysis of the affairs is up-to-date. Presently IR is loosing his biggest ally in syria and If a few weeks ago the West could agree to some sort of enrichment, they are now pushing for total stop of enrichment. The IR is loosing a battle which eventually will result in its defeat. Moreover I don't think you know Israel well enough and its determination to stop IR in all fronts. If IR was not taking Israel's threat seriously, they would not sit on the table and talk.

Dr. Mohandes


by Dr. Mohandes on

It is not all cut and dried and black and white as you portray the situation.

Violent exterimism has it roots in precisely the same ideology many in those muslim countries subscribe to rather sheepishly, namely political islam and the boorish and idiotic concept of jihadism. That is what is breeding violence and exterimism to a great magniture as compared with US policies that may have been driven by active jewish organizations.

Who do you think exercise more prejudice, The muslim against the jews or vice versa?

Interesting thing is that while you make a point of mentioning that it was those lazy ass ancestors high on their hookas who share the biggest part of the blame, you still maintain Israel for implementing malicious policies upon muslims.

Can you make up your mind? 


The world according to Trita Parsi:

by Reality-Bites on

Summary --> It's all the Jews/Israel's/US's fault.

Implication --> the Islamic Republic, which has obviously been a totally innocent bystander in all this, is entirely blameless.

And I (Trita Parsi) am going to repeat the same line over and over and over again......


demo and fred are absolutely right

by shushtari on

this paid stooge doesn't give up.....notice, there is never ever any mention of the 33 years of murder and oppression by his band of thieves.

I wonder if parsi ever wonders what our poor youth are going through in evin and other prisons.....

parsi is lower than a microbe IMO 


And Another "Mr. T's" Tokhm!

by Demo on

Is anybody really reading any of the Mr. T's "Tokhmi" repetitive writings? No wonder that IC's admin is not allowing any comments on the today's posted "Penis Questions" as all the "Tokhmi" questions/remarks of "Fred, Inc."  are to be posted here instead!


Israel loves Iran but insists IRR must go!


That's the crux of the matter and you better belive it!

Rabbi Shlomo Israel, Ph.D.