Tevi Troy wrote in a recent Politico piece on Republican trends among Jewish voters at the state level: "Jewish voters, like other voters, are worried about the economy, the deficit, and health care." Add immigration to that list — an American Jewish Committee survey has found that a majority of American Jews support the Arizona immigration law, 52 to 46. Here was the question which, if anything, is weighted to elicit a negative response:
A new law in Arizona gives police the power to ask people they've stopped to verify their residency status. Supporters say this will help crack down on illegal immigration. Opponents say it could violate civil rights and lead to racial profiling. On balance, do you support or oppose this law?
The reaction of the pro-amnesty Jewish leadership was befuddlement, at best. AJC executive director David Harris forthrightly admitted, "That one took us by surprise."
Others covered their ears and yelled "La la la! I can't hear you!":
"When I first heard about this, my first thought was, 'Why this question?'" said Ann Schaffer, director of the organization's Belfer Center for American Pluralism, who wasn't alone among her colleagues in wondering why the question was asked.
So, I guess it would have been better for a survey of Jewish opinion not to survey the opinion of Jews on this issue of widespread debate? Unbelievable.
Other American Jewish leaders basically said that Jews are idiots:
"'Racial profiling' is not a term that people understand, but they do know that something illegal is wrong," said Sammie Moshenberg, director of Washington operations for the National Council of Jewish Women. Even those who support comprehensive immigration reform oppose illegal immigration, she added, suggesting that it's possible to believe in a "path to citizenship" but still tell a pollster that you support the Arizona law.
But the question also said "violate civil rights" and even the most obtuse moron on "Jersey Shore" would know that's somehow ungood.
And then there's the condescending pat on the head:
Like others, Moshenberg said she had "faith" that if the question involved comprehensive immigration reform, rather than the Arizona law, most respondents would have sided with the immigrants.
None of this should be a surprise, though. We surveyed members of various religious groups last year, including Jews, and compared their views to those expressed by the institutions they belonged to, and found the same leaders-vs.-rank-and-file split on immigration as among minorities and business and labor. And CIS's Stephen Steinlight has written on this disconnect between the Jewish establishment and American-Jewish opinion. Sure, Jews as a whole are more liberal on immigration than other Americans, but it's a difference of degree, not of kind — despite the fantasies of those claiming to speak in their name.