Nate Silver of the New York Times analyzes yesterday's Republican win of the New York-9 Congressional seat vacated by Rep. Anthony Weiner and concludes that "local" concerns played a major role. One of the "local" issues is that a large part of the district includes heavily Jewish neighborhoods in Brooklyn that, says Silver, may have been tipped by "Israeli issues." Among other things, Turner was helped by "local" rabbis and the "local" former Mayor Ed Koch.
"Israeli issues" are now "local"?
The Republican winner, Bob Turner, is a Catholic. His opponent, David Welpin, whom he beat by eight points, is an Orthodox Jew. Yet Turner won the votes of Jewish voters in the normally Democratic district.
Many Jews (and others) are upset with the Obama Administration's tepid support for Israel. If this is a "local" issue in Brooklyn, it may turn out to be local also to Israel supporters elsewhere in New York, New Jersey, Florida--and on and on.
The political subway train Turner caught would seem to be more an Express than a Local.
If the Obama Administration's spine suddenly stiffens at the United Nations this fall and vetoes endorsement of a Palestinian state (without a peace agreement with Israel) it may be the result of "local" considerations all over the country.