In the new Republican-controlled House, Cantor, 47, will be second in line only to Speaker-in-waiting John Boehner. But while no Jewish lobby questions Cantor’s commitment to Israel, they generally share little of his domestic policies.
“His conservatism simply doesn’t appeal to mainstream Jewish voters,” said Tom Dine, the former head of the American Israel Public Affairs Committee, the influential pro-Israel lobby. “Poll after poll shows that the American Jewish community is progressive, and a smaller percentage is concerned about only Israel.”
Where most Jewish groups in Washington lobby for a strong social safety net, abortion rights and a strict separation of church and state, Cantor is most often on the opposing side. And even on Israel, some Jewish political leaders say, Cantor’s approach is too aggressive for Israel’s good.
To be sure, you can always find “some Jewish political leaders” who thinks a politician’s stance on Israel is either too far-right or too left-wing—and often multiple Jewish leaders who think both about the same politician. The insights about social issues, thought, have a broader appeal.
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