But first I'll write about the Palestinians, with a little digression to the hysterical Jews and cynical Republicans who are trying to convince these very Palestinians that Barack Obama is their greatest ally. After all, he once was caught in a photograph with Edward Said. But these savvy Arabs are having none of this. They simply don't believe it.
In an article in the October 27 issue of The Jerusalem Report, Jihan Abdalla, writing from Ramallah, reports that "in a poll taken in early September, 33.5 percent of the 1,020 Palestinians from Jerusalem, the West Bank and the Gaza Strip who were surveyed preferred McCain and 27.7 percent backed Obama."
Then, there was another survey with 1,270 respondents in the West Bank and Gaza. This poll posed one query: "Democratic Candidate Barack Obama may win the next presidential election. Do you think his winning will positively or negatively affect the Palestinian cause?" Only 9.9% answered that Obama would have a positive effect. 44.9% said he would have a negative effect. 35% concluded that "he will have no effect." 10.2% refused to answer the question. Maybe the Arabs can fool you. (They've certainly fooled many of us.) But we can't fool them. After all, they come from a part of the world where mirages can get you into deep trouble.
The first poll was conducted by the Palestine Center for Public Opinion in Beit Sahur. The second one was conducted by the Palestinian Center for Policy and Survey Research, headed by the Khalil Shikaki, a noted name in sociological studies.
So what about the Jews?
A Quinnipiac University poll of Jewish voters in Florida was released Thursday. Of course, Jewish voters are not single issue voters. But there is plenty of evidence that the Jews of Florida care a lot about Israel, its future and its defensibility. They seem to agree with the Palestinians that Obama's support for Israel is rock-solid. In fact, 77% of Jewish Floridians will vote for Obama and 20% for McCain. Maybe we can attribute Obama's lopsided margin to my five day speaking visit to Florida on his behalf. Just kidding! Or am I?
A national poll released by the Gallup Organization also tracked Jewish voters. According to the Jerusalem Post, Gallup reports that Jews support by Obama over McCain by more than three to one. Specifically: 74% to 22%. This is a shade over Jewish support for John Kerry in 2004, six percent under Al Gore in 2000.
The conclusion: Except for black Americans, American Jews will back Barack Obama by the highest percentage in the country. So much for Jewish conservatism. So much for Jewish distrust of African Americans. Put that nonsense in the trash.