Chris Wilson posits an interesting question in a Slate piece: Where can Republicans threaten to move to if Barack Obama wins? Liberals threaten to move to Canada — and in some cases, France — when Republicans win. Wilson’s top candidate for a conservative exodus is Israel.
Kory Bardash, the chairman of Republicans Abroad in Israel, argues that Americans in Israel, who are largely Jewish, are not nearly as stridently supportive of Obama as their domestic counterparts. Bardash describes American voters in Israel as “Joe Lieberman Democrats” who might have backed Bill Clinton but who don’t connect with Obama’s domestic message and are more persuaded by charges that he lacks experience in foreign affairs. (Hillary Clinton won a majority of the Israel vote in the Democrats Abroad primary.) Israel’s political leanings are difficult to fact-check, but it’s safe to say that U.S. Republicans seeking refuge in Israel won’t have too much difficulty finding kindred spirits.
Wilson’s argument doesn’t make much sense. Anybody who has ever walked around Tel Aviv can’t help to be struck to the multitude of progressive attitudes, causes, and ideas expressed. Israelis, to be sure, know first hand the realities of facing terrorism daily. But the overall Israeli political spectrum, if anything, is to the left of the American. This is a country, I would remind Wilson, founded on explicitly socialist roots with large and important state bureaucracies still in control of many aspects of life.