Rafael Medoff: The Jewish Vote as a Factor in U.S. Politics

Roundup: Talking About History

Rafael Medoff is director of the David S. Wyman Institute for Holocaust Studies and the coauthor with Sonja Schoepf Wentling of the new book Herbert Hoover and the Jews: The Origins of the 'Jewish Vote' and Bipartisan Support for Israel.

One does not usually think of the conventions of the major U.S. political parties as having any particular impact on Jewish history. But 68 years ago, the Republican National Convention adopted a plank that would shape the future of U.S.-Israel relations and redefine the role of Jewish voters in American politics.
This surprising turn of events was the result of efforts by an unlikely trio: a former president, a maverick journalist-turned-congresswoman and the father of Israel's current prime minister.
The race for the 1944 GOP nomination was settled early. After his sweeping win in the Wisconsin primary, New York Gov. Thomas Dewey was set to get the party's nod.
There were, however, several surprises in store when the Republicans gathered in Chicago at the end of June...

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