CBN News, JERUSALEM, Israel — Americans living in Israel are already voting in midterm elections. CBN News visited one center where Americans could turn in their ballots.
“We’ve helped them, informed them how to fill out their ballot,” said Matt Solomon, director of iVoteIsrael, a group that encourages Americans living in Israel to register and vote in U.S. elections.
“We haven’t chosen the candidates for them. That’s their business,” Solomon told CBN News. “But on the other hand we’re here to lend a hand and help them participate in the election.”
Americans in Israel have a unique vantage point — living in a Western-style nation in the Middle East surrounded by enemies, which some say the United States often doesn’t understand.
We asked Americans here why they’re voting and what’s important to them in the elections.
“First of all, I care about America. And second of all, I think that the elections are not only going to influence American citizens but also the entire world,” said Sarah Haber, 24. Haber has lived here since 1997.
Jonathan Druckman, originally from Portland, Oregon, is finishing a master’s degree in political science.
“Israel’s security is important, the threat of a nuclear Iran and the more approximate threats. But I also care deeply about what’s happening in the United States. So when I vote, I vote with the interests of both countries at heart,” Druckman said.
“One of the most important things is to get a balanced government in the United States, to not have Obama calling all the shots,” said Yaffa Brochin, originally from Chicago.
The “greatest concern” for Malka Kideckel “is the faltering relationship between America and Israel.”
Some say those relations are faltering because President Barack Obama doesn’t understand the Middle East or history.
“He’s been very naïve with us thus far. He’s been demanding concessions from us time after time and not demanding, not receiving anything in return from the Palestinians — and the way he’s reacted to the situation in Syria, the situation in Lybia, the situation in Iran,” said Daniel Sturman, a father of three from New Jersey.
“I’ve made the joke many times that Obama never had any experience in foreign policy so he had the CIA send him a list of the countries in the world in the order of how friendly they are to the United States and then he hung it on the wall backwards by accident,” Sturman added.
Kideckel said Israel has been a “true and trusted friend, ally to the United States and we’ve been true blue, we’ve been trusted, we’ve held back our fire in, we’ve held back defending ourselves in situations such as the Gulf War.”
Brochin said the trouble isn’t just about anti-Israel sentiments.
“This is about anti-Semitism,” she said.
David Bogenreif is a Christian from Iowa who has lived in Israel for decades. He said relations are strained between Israel and the United States.
“It looks a bit difficult with the Iranian issues, the nuclear bomb, other political issues happening,” Bogenreif said.
He also said there’s trouble because current political plans don’t line up with the Bible.
“I don’t believe in a two-state solution,” Bogenreif said. “The Land [Israel] was given to the sons of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, the Jewish people.”
And does God figure into the equation in the Middle East?
“Absolutely,” Druckman said. “I’m not sure that we can see it so well, but I absolutely believe he does figure in. Faith for Jews but also for Christians is really important with all of the challenges we are facing today.”
Report via CBN News