NEW YORK (Nov. 7)
A random sampling of Israeli-Americans who participated in Tuesday’s Presidential election showed that they preferred Walter Mondale over President Reagan.
Of 20 Israelis who were interviewed by the Jewish Telegraphic Agency, 13 said that they voted for the Democratic candidate while seven supported Reagan. All the Israelis who were interviewed voted in Manhattan.
The Israelis who supported Mondale said they felt he was better for Israel and that they liked his more liberal views, especially on issues of religion and social welfare. Few of the Israelis said that they prefer “Democrats over Republicans” and therefore voted for Mondale. Others said that Mondale was a better choice, especially because of the influence of the Christian Right on Reagan.
The Israelis who supported Reagan said his record on support for Israel was “excellent” that his economic policy has been a success “and that it is good for Israel, too,” as one Israeli said.
Many Israelis, however, who are American citizens, did not participate in the election. “I did not even bother to register,” said one, while another explained, “I have an American passport — but I don’t feel American. Mondale or Reagan, it simply does not matter to me.”
Although there are an estimated 200,000 Israelis in the United States, it is believed that only a Few thousand of them are American citizens. Many of the Israelis here have the status of “permanent residents,” who are not allowed to participate in elections. They can apply for American citizenship but decline to do so. “Once you take an American citizenship you are no longer an Israeli,” some of them reason.