Heritage Florida Jewish News - Central Florida's Independent Jewish Voice

By Mel Pearlman

Israel and the mid-term elections


November 2, 2018

This coming Tuesday Americans will go to the polls, to elect a new House of Representative and one-third of the U.S. Senate.

This election has been called by the political pundits and media talking heads the most important election in American history. As a side note, I do not remember an election in my lifetime that has not been so categorized by the media.

The fact is every American election cycle is important, not only to Americans, but to people world-wide because America’s policies both at home and abroad effect vast numbers of the world’s population.

While the executive branch of government is given primary responsibility to conduct foreign affairs, congress has great influence on foreign policy through its exclusive appropriations authority and its law-making powers.

As the body most closely reflective (at least in theory) of the current political winds blowing into Washington, D.C., from all sections of the country, the actions of Congress must be considered as the will of the people. That is why voting in an “off-year election” is critical to the political health of our nation.

While bipartisanship on most issues has taken a major hit over the last few years, continued bipartisan support for the American-Israeli relationship in congress is in the best interest of both countries.

Beginning with our shared values, no other nation in the Middle East comes close to American juridical and social values as does Israel. No other nation in the Middle East has as stable a democratic government as Israel. No other nation in the Middle East shares it military and security intelligence and innovations with the U.S. as willingly as Israel. No other nation in the Middle East provides a stable location for storage of U.S. military equipment as Israel. No other nation supports the U.S. in the United Nations more than Israel.

Israel is the recipient of $3.8 billion dollars from the U.S. in annual military aid. Most of these dollars are spent in the U.S. providing jobs for Americans. For one of the smallest countries in the world, Israel has a very large footprint in deploying its economic, scientific, agricultural, water, medical and emergency first responder assets and innovations to third world countries, adding to the welfare and stability of these countries.

Despite being constantly threatened by terrorism and military aggression from both inside and outside its borders,, Israel continues to be a perfect example to all peoples of the Jewish value of “tikun olam,” our mission to fix the world, and to be a light to other nations.

Israel is not and should not be a partisan issue for either members of congress or the public at large. Support for Israel is not a conservative, liberal, right wing, left wing, Republican or Democrat issue. Israel is as American as apple pie and strong support for Israel is consistent with American and Jewish values wherever you sit on the political spectrum.

I have written before that Jewish Americans are doubly blessed by our heritage of Covenant and Constitution. When you go to the polls and cast your ballots, I respectfully request you consider the above thoughts and cast your ballots for those candidates of either party who will strengthen and not weaken the American-Israel relationship.

If you wish to comment or respond to any of the contents herein you can reach me at melpearlman322@gmail.com. Please do so in a rational, thoughtful, respectful and civil manner. Shabbat Shalom

Mel Pearlman holds both a B.S. and M.S in physics as well as a J.D. degree and came to Florida initially to work on the Gemini and Apollo space programs as a young physicist. He has been practicing law in Central Florida for the past 45 years. He has served as president of the Jewish Federation of Greater Orlando; on the District VII Mental Health Board, as Special Prosecutor for the City of Winter Park, Florida; and on the Board of Directors of the Central Florida Research and Development Authority. He was a charter member of the Board of Directors and served as the first Vice President of the Holocaust Memorial Resource and Education Center of Central Florida, as well as its first pro-bono legal counsel.


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