Yisrael Medad, a resident of the West Bank settlement of Shiloh and director of information resources at the Menachem Begin Heritage Center, cast his vote in October. Medad, 66 years old, came to Israel 42 years ago from New York. “I am an American citizen residing in YESHA,” he told me, using the Hebrew acronym for Judea and Samaria. “I was born and educated in America, and I believe that America is the flagship of democracy, liberalism, and human rights. So, Americans should be supporting my right, as a Jew, to live here in the land of my ancestors. I believe that Romney upholds these values.”
And so is my wife who holds a different opinion on voting:
Not everyone agrees. Even though Batya Medad thinks Obama is “terrible for the entire free world,” unlike her husband, Romney-voter Yisrael, Batya isn’t voting. “I didn’t leave America in anger, but growing up, it was always clear to me that America was not a home for Jews, and I am first and foremost a Jew,” she said. “Americans living in America should make their decisions for their own sake, not for ours.”
But since Americans, through voting for their elected representatives on the local, state and federal levels, indeed do influence Israel, its diplomatic standing, its economy, its security and, through American history and the sympathy and identity of Presidents, Senators and Congressmen for the idea of the Jewish national home, I think that voting, in principle and utlilitarian-wise, is correct.