POLITICS


POLITICS
-Introduction Jewish involvement in national politics in the various countries in which they settled dates from the period of Jewish emancipation at the end of the 18th and the first half of the 19th century. In fact, personalities such as joseph nasi , duke of Naxos, and solomon ashkenazi held powerful positions in Ottoman politics in the late Middle Ages; Jewish ministers held office in medieval Spain; and Jews served as court advisers to various rulers in Holland, Germany, and Sweden. Nevertheless, professing Jews entered representative institutions of modern states only at a much later date. Until the Emancipation, Jews who were eager to hold political office were generally obliged to content themselves with participation in local government (as in Russia) or to convert to Christianity. The political emancipation of the Jews came in the U.S. from the late 18th century and in parts of Western Europe it was effected soon after the outbreak of the French Revolution. Thus, in Holland, moses asser and jonas daniel meyer were appointed in 1797 to the legislative council and state council and, in Venice, following the overthrow of the oligarchy, the elected municipal council contained three Jewish members. In France and Germany, Jews were still generally excluded from political office but, even after the onset of reaction at the end of the Napoleonic Wars, it was clear that Jewish emancipation could not be long delayed. Soon after the 1848 revolutions in Europe, Jews were permitted to become members of representative institutions in nearly all major European states, outside the Russian Empire. In English-speaking countries other than Britain and Canada, Jewish entry into political life developed more rapidly than elsewhere. The small Jewish community in the United States enthusiastically supported the revolutionary cause, and in 1775 francis salvador was elected to the South Carolina Provincial Congress, probably the first Jew to be elected to a representative assembly in modern times. The Declaration of Independence, issued the following year, affirmed the principle of equality and Jews were freely admitted into all American legislative bodies from that time onward. No restrictions ever existed on Jewish political activities in Australia and South Africa, and Jewish pioneers in these territories were prominent in public affairs, as mayors of cities, legislators, and, in the case of Sir julius vogel and vabian solomon , as prime ministers. On the other hand, in Canada and Great Britain, where Jews received the right to serve as representatives in parliament in 1832 and 1851, respectively, they had previously been refused this right because they could not swear "on the true faith of a Christian," as the oath required. Once admitted to parliament, Jews rapidly achieved top government posts in the democracies outside America and rose to ministerial rank in France in the 1850s (achille fould ), Holland in the 1860s (michael godefroy ), Australia in the 1870s (Sir Julius Vogel), Britain in the 1880s (henry de worms ), and Italy at the turn of the 20th century (luigi luzzatti ). On the other hand, professing Jews were generally deprived of ministerial status in Germany and Austria, but there was no discrimination against converts, and Franz Klein, Austrian minister of justice, was the only unconverted Jew to become a minister in a Central European national government before 1918. In America, on the other hand, Jews were not victims of discrimination, but neither were they as a rule sufficiently integrated into American society to participate in national politics. One important reason why Jews did not hold ministerial posts in many states, especially before World War I, was that Jewish politicians were generally numbered among the opposition radical parties of the center and left. This was particularly true of Germany and Austria where, following the upheavals after World War I, a number of Jews who had been prominent in the Socialist parties assumed senior government positions. The same situation proved true of France and Britain, where Socialist administrations brought Jews into cabinets, but conservative governments rarely included any Jewish members. Thus, in France all three Jewish prime ministers professed varying shades of socialism, and in England, of ten professing Jews to become members of British cabinets (up to 1970), only Sir Keith joseph was a Conservative. A similar trend was noticeable elsewhere. A number of reasons have been advanced for the Jewish tendency toward radical parties. One of the most obvious is that liberal and left-wing political groups have generally been far less hostile to underprivileged newcomers (as Jews generally were) than conservative parties. The Right associated itself with the Church, the establishment, and social tradition – three concepts with which Jews had no connection – and was frequently antisemitic, while the radical groups, committed to challenge the establishment and alter tradition, were obviously more attractive to Jewish voters and prospective politicians alike. This reason also explains why Jews found advancement in left-wing parties much easier than in rightist ones (e.g., ferdinand lassalle , eduard bernstein , leon blum , and others). Even in 1970 it was as true as at the beginning of the 20th century, that Jews in Western Europe were found mainly in the Socialist and Liberal parties and in the United States in the Democratic Party.   In pre-revolutionary Russia Jews were officially discriminated against and deprived of the opportunity to air their grievances democratically. Many of them, particularly young intellectuals who did not choose to emigrate overseas or join the Zionist movement, were impelled toward revolution. The Socialist revolutionaries and both Menshevik and Bolshevik factions of the Social Democrats seemed to be the only real alternative to the autocracy of the czars, which openly professed antisemitism. Many middle-class Jews in Russia did vote for the liberal Constitutional Democratic (Kadet) Party, but many more supported political groups that sought not to reform, but to destroy the existing regime. As a result, a significant proportion of the Social Democratic party consisted of the jewish bund , and among the leaders of the general revolutionary parties the number of Jews was also disproportionately high. Undoubtedly, Socialist doctrine, with its emphasis on equality and the destruction of the ruling classes, had a considerable appeal to Jewish intellectuals fighting against discrimination. This proved true not only in Russia, but in other European countries amid the convulsions at the end of World War I. Jews practically dominated the short-lived Communist regimes in Hungary (Béla Kun) and Bavaria (kurt eisner ), and it is reasonable to assume that this fact contributed to their quick downfall, since they lacked support in the general population. They were murdered or forced into exile when the counterrevolutionaries took control. After World War II Jews were again prominent at the head of East European Communist regimes (rakosi became the party leader in Hungary, minc and berman leading members of the Polish Communist regime under Bierut, and a number of Jews held key ministries in Czechoslovakia). This was largely a result of the fact that during the Stalin period Moscow could rely more on Soviet-trained old Communists of the satellite countries, among whom Jews played a prominent part. These Jews, however, did not reflect the general political attitude of the Jewish population in those countries and ultimately, when the Stalinist regimes crumbled there, they mostly disappeared or were openly attacked, frequently with antisemitic allusions (particularly in Poland and Czechoslovakia). In the Soviet Union the number of Jews in the top leadership sharply declined from the great Stalinist purges of the 1930s onward. In contrast to the prominent position of individual Jews in the Communist movement, Jews were never active in other totalitarian regimes and hardly any right-wing dictatorships included Jewish ministers. Clearly, Jews could not be expected to support regimes whose policy was specifically antisemitic, and in other dictatorships not characterized by antisemitism, the authorities were nonetheless reluctant to number Jews in their party in order not to cause offense to antisemitic elements. An important issue connected with the involvement of Jews in politics is the degree to which Jewish and national interests have clashed. In Germany most leading Jews generally accepted the principle that German national interests were of paramount importance (e.g., levin goldschmidt ), and were anxious to prove their loyalty to the state in the face of attacks by antisemites. Furthermore, Jewish politicians, with very few exceptions – mostly Zionists – were assimilationists and had no interest in Jewish affairs. Most Jewish Socialist politicians in Germany as well as Austria rejected Judaism and, either by converting to Christianity or professing atheism, demonstrated their detachment from any Jewish interests. On the other hand, in English-speaking countries, where Jews were less subject to antisemitic pressures and were not required to prove their social integration by assimilation, Jewish politicians were frequently prepared to oppose government policies even in face of accusations of "dual loyalty." In the United States and Great Britain Jewish political leaders repeatedly pressed their governments to take steps to stop antisemitic excesses in Central and Eastern Europe and help Jewish immigration and settlement in Palestine. Later, in the United States, Jews were also in the forefront of demands upon the government to increase its assistance to Israel in the face of Arab threats. In supporting Israel, Jewish politicians in English-speaking countries often clashed openly not only with the government of their country but also with their parties as, e.g., Labor MPS in Britain during the Sinai Campaign (1956) or Jewish supporters of De Gaulle in France after the Six-Day War of 1967. Jewish politicians in South Africa generally accepted Israel's clear stand at the UN against their government's apartheid policy. However, the degree to which Jewish politicians canvassed Jewish issues often tended to reflect the political advantage to be gained by it. Jewish politicians in New York City have an interest in the large Jewish vote; those in most parts of Europe are more conscious of the antisemites. Nevertheless, though Jewish interests have been pressed hard on occasion, Jews rarely organized themselves for solely political purposes and have in most instances denied the existence of a Jewish political interest. In some East European countries, before World War II, many Jews were elected to parliament as Jews, i.e., as representatives of the Jewish community or of Jewish parties, and in such cases there was no question of conflicting loyalties. In Hapsburg Austria-Hungary Jews had the choice of voting for the assimilationist Socialists, many of whose leaders were Jewish, or the Jewish, i.e., Zionist Party, while before and after World War I Jews from different political parties united to defend the Jews from state persecution. Although these groups never had substantial influence in general politics, they played an important part in maintaining the unity of the Jewish communities and providing a forum for airing Jewish grievances. -Australia No discrimination existed against Jews in Australia and they played an important part in the early development of the Australian colonies. As a result, Jews were identified with Australian political life from the first years of self-government. The first Jew to be elected to an Australian legislative body was Sir saul samuel , who became a member of the New South Wales legislative council in 1854. He was joined by Jacob Montefiore,   who was elected in 1856 while the first Jewish members of the Victoria legislative assembly were Nathaniel Levi who was elected in 1860, Charles Dyte who represented Ballarat East from 1864 to 1871 and championed miners rights on the Ballarat goldfields, and J.F. Levien, who was a member of the Victoria parliament for over 30 years. Other prominent figures included judah moss solomon who represented Adelaide in the South Australian parliament from 1858 to 1874, Edward Cohen (1822–1877) who represented East Melbourne from 1864 until his death, and Ephraim Zox (1837–1897) who succeeded him as member for East Melbourne. Jewish representation in the 19th-century Australian parliament was out of proportion to their total number and in Adelaide where the Jewish population was only 500 there were four Jewish members of the legislative assembly (Judah Moss Solomon, Emanuel Solomon, Vabian Solomon, and Lewis Cohen). Four Jews also held ministerial posts in Australian colonial governments: Sir Saul Samuel was minister of finance and trade, Edward Cohen served as commissioner of customs, Sir julian salomons became vice president of the New South Wales executive council, while Vabian Solomon was premier of South Australia for a short time in 1899. When the first Australian federal parliament met in Melbourne in 1901 there were three Jewish members, Vabian and Elias Solomon, and Pharez Phillips. However, few Jews were subsequently elected to the Australian federal parliament, prominent exceptions being Senator sam cohen , who was deputy leader of the Australian Labor Party, and Max Falstein. Many Jews played an important part in the various state parliaments, however, particularly in Victoria where several rose to the rank of minister, among them theodore fink , minister without portfolio, Henry Isaac Cohen who held several ministerial appointments, Harold Edward Cohen who was minister of public instruction and solicitor general, and in New South wales abram landa who was successively minister of labor, housing, and cooperative societies. In addition, Matthew Moss was a minister in the government of Western Australia and Sir Asher Joel was a member of the New South Wales Legislative Council. Two Jews also acquired distinction as speakers of parliaments, Sir Daniel Levy being speaker of the New South Wales parliament and Sir Archie Michaelis (d. 1975) was speaker of the Victorian parliament. Most distinguished of all was sir isaac isaacs , chief justice of Australia, who was governor-general of Australia from 1931 to 1936, the first Australian-born governor-general and the first Jewish governor-general of any British Dominion territory. In subsequent years, fewer Jews have served in Australia's federal parliament, although four – peter baume , Joe Berinson, barry cohen , and sam cohen – have served in Australian cabinets since the 1970s. Sir zelman cowen was governor-general of Australia in 1977–82. (Isidor Solomon) -Austria Although a few Jews were prominent in Austrian political society in the 17th and 18th centuries as court advisors to Hapsburg monarchs, Jews were not generally allowed to hold political posts until after the reforms which followed the outbreak of the 1848 Revolution. Five Jews were elected to the first revolutionary parliament of that year: adolph fischhof , Joseph Goldmark, Abraham Halpern, Isaac noah mannheimer , and Rabbi Dov ber meisels . The suppression of the revolutionary movement, however, led to the renewal of restrictions on Jews and they were denied the right to hold government or municipal offices. These rights were restored in 1860 when liberal legislation allowed the Jews various civil liberties and two Jews, ignaz kuranda and Simon Winterstein, were elected to the Reichsrat. In the same year Baron anselm von rothschild was made a member of the Austrian upper house. The constitution of 1867 abolished all discrimination on the basis of religion, and for over half a century Jews suffered no legal restrictions on their entry into public life though anti-Jewish prejudice frequently acted as an equally effective bar. Except for Franz Klein who was twice minister of justice, no professing Jews held ministerial posts in the Hapsburg Empire until October 1918. In the half century between the promulgation of the constitution of 1867 and the collapse of the Hapsburg Empire, a number of Jews became prominent figures in Austrian politics. They included successful industrialists and bankers such as Simon Winterstein, Baron Anselm von Rothschild, Moritz von koenigswarter , and rudolph auspitz . Most Jews were members of the German Liberal Party but toward the end of the century many turned to the new Social Democratic Party under victor adler which acquired wide support among the Jews of Austria and rapidly became the target of antisemitic attacks. Among the leaders of the party were wilhelm ellenbogen , Friedrich Austerlitz, and otto bauer , all of whom pledged their sole allegiance to the Socialist cause, supported Jewish assimilation, and opposed all forms of Jewish nationalism, believing that this was an effective way of combating growing antisemitism. By contrast, Rabbi Joseph samuel bloch formed the Union Oesterreichischer Juden to defend Austrian Jewry against the antisemites and on the two occasions he was elected to the Reichsrat fought strenuously against anti-Jewish discrimination. Following the granting of universal suffrage at the end of 1906 four Jews were elected to parliament as members of the newly formed Jewish National Party (volkspartei , Juedische) which advocated an independent Jewish policy and was pro-Zionist. Its members were Heinrich Gabel, Arthur Mahler, and Adolf Stand, all from Galicia, and Benno Straucher from Bukovina. During World War I many Jewish Socialists opposed the war and for most of the war were an ineffective minority, but the pro-Western liberal politician joseph redlich became increasingly more important and was briefly minister of finance at the end of the war. With the creation of the Austrian Republic in November 1918, a Socialist government took office with the Socialist leader Otto Bauer as foreign minister. Bauer and friedrich adler were among the party leaders to combat the threat of a Communist revolution which became a serious possibility as long as the short-lived Bolshevik regime of Béla Kun held   power in Hungary. But though the Socialists retained their respectability as an anti-Communist party, the fact that a large number of their leaders were of Jewish origin, among whom were julius braunthal , Robert Danneberg, and hugo breitner , was a continual source of embarrassment to the party. Many Vienna Jews voted for the Socialist Party but many also supported the Zionist candidates of whom robert stricker was elected to the Austrian National Assembly and three others were elected to the Vienna city council. The Zionist candidates were not subsequently successful, however, largely because the Jewish refugees from the eastern part of the old Hapsburg Empire, who were the least assimilated and the most pro-Zionist, were denied the right to vote at all. However, toward the end of the 1920s the Zionist parties gained strength in the Jewish communal elections while the Jewish Socialists declined in importance in both communal and national politics following the resurgence of the nationalist and later fascist parties. When chancellor dollfuss assumed rule by executive decree, Jewish Socialist leaders like Braunthal and Breitner were among those temporarily imprisoned as part of the policy of destruction of the Social Democratic Party, but for a time Jews were allowed to become members of the Vaterlaendische Front. However, following the Anschluss with Germany in March 1938 Austrian Jews were deprived of all their political and civil rights and many fled the country to avoid arrest, among them Otto Bauer, Friedrich Adler, and Hugo Breitner. After World War II few Jews were active in politics in Austria, a notable exception being bruno kreisky who became successively foreign minister, chairman of the Social Democratic Party, and in 1970, chancellor of the Austrian Republic, remaining in office until 1983. -Canada Prior to the British conquest in 1759, Canada was a French colony. Only Roman Catholics were legally allowed to settle in the colony. Protestants and Jews were excluded. But when France ceded Canada to Great Britain at the Treaty of Paris in 1763, the common law of England became the law of the new British colony. Nevertheless, as a Jew Ezekiel Hart, first elected to the Legislative Assembly of Canada in 1808, was prevented from taking his seat and again in 1809. The Jews of Montreal petitioned the Legislature of Lower Canada for the recognition of a Jewish religious corporation. A "Jewish Magna Carta" of 1831–32 was passed in which it was declared that Jews were to be "entitled to the full rights and privileges of other subjects of His Majesty … and capable of taking, having, or enjoying any office or place of trust within this Province." Nevertheless, long before the passage of the 1832 Bill of Rights, a tradition of public service among the early Jews of Canada had already existed – as early as Aaron Hart, who was postmaster in Three Rivers in 1763, and in 1790 John Frank, chief of the fire brigade of Quebec. The theoretical question of whether Jews possessed equal rights had long before been resolved by parliament in England where almost a full century earlier rights had been accorded Jews in 1740. In 1832 Jews in the British colonies of North America were granted naturalization although in Canada the problem was at first complicated by the absence of an oath-taking procedure appropriate to Jews. And even later, after the Law of 1832, it took Royal intervention to smooth the way. Thereafter, however, Jews could stand for and hold political office without any of the former impediments. As early as 1871, Henry Nathan from Victoria, British Columbia, was elected a member of parliament in Ottawa. Almost a half-century would pass before another Jew, Samuel Jacobs from Montreal in 1917, was sent to Ottawa as an elected member of parliament. After World War I, Peter Bercovitch, Maurice Hartt and A.A. Heaps were elected in the House of Commons. During and after World War II, the numbers of Jewish members of parliament increased significantly, especially during the 1960s. Jews were elected for most parties, including fred rose , the only Communist ever elected to the House. david lewis of the New Democratic Party was the only Jew chosen to lead a federal party. In 1969, Pierre Elliott Trudeau appointed the first Jew to a federal cabinet minister, herbert gray , as minister without portfolio. Since that day, a government without a Jew in a cabinet post has become the exception rather than the rule. In 2005 two Jews were members of the federal cabinet, Justice Minister and Attorney General irwin cotler , and Jacques Saada, who was the minister of the Economic Development Agency of Canada for the Regions of Quebec and minister responsible for the Francaphonie. Jews have also been prominent in provincial politics. They have led major political parties in Ontario, Manitoba, and British Columbia. dave barrett , leader of the New Democratic Party in British Columbia, went on to become the first Jewish provincial premier, serving between 1972 and 1975. There have also been many Jewish elected mayors of towns and cities across Canada, particularly in the smaller towns of Ontario, and in the West. The first Jewish mayor elected in the Province of Quebec was William Hyman of Gaspé in 1858. Vancouver elected a Jewish mayor, David Oppenheimer, in December 1887. He was a crucial figure in the creation of the services necessary for the city. In Toronto nathan phillips , elected in 1952, was the first non-Protestant ever elected mayor of Toronto. His election was a major step in the transformation of Toronto from a solid and stolid outpost of British and conservative values to a modern pluralist metropolis. Philips served for eight years. Since then, philip givens and mel lastman have also served as mayors of Toronto. In 1955 Leonard Kitz was elected mayor of Halifax. In 2004, Stephen Mandel was elected mayor of Edmonton and Sam Katz mayor of Winnipeg. The widening acceptance of Jews in civil society in the first decades after World War II encouraged politicians to appoint Jews to ranking public service positions. Prime among them was louis rasminsky who, after some disappointments, was named the governor of the Bank of Canada in 1961; little more than a decade later, with bora laskin pointed chief justice of the Supreme Court of Canada in 1973, the fact of Jews   being appointed in the upper reaches of the public service was becoming so accepted that it hardly merited comment. This included the appointment of Jews to major diplomatic posts. Canadian Jews have, for example, served as ambassadors to the United States, Germany, Turkey, the United Nations, and to Israel and the Palestinian Authority. As in other arenas of Canadian public life, such as the judiciary and the press, Jews have achieved a presence in Canadian politics and what was exceptional before World War II became increasingly commonplace by the late 1960s. In the early 21st century Jews were politically active in the Canadian public square from one ocean to the other and at all levels of government. (Stuart E. Rosenberg / Richard Menkis and Harold Troper (2nd ed.) -England After the resettlement of the Jews in England in 1656, they enjoyed social freedom, but did not achieve full political emancipation until 1858. For a century and a half their exclusion from national and local government was shared by nonconformists and Roman Catholics, although these minorities were emancipated in 1818 and 1819, respectively. The insistence of the House of Lords on retaining the words "on the true faith of a Christian" in the parliamentary oath prevented Jews from sitting in parliament for almost 30 more years. Thus, before 1858 only converts or the descendants of converts were able to enter parliament or hold any state or municipal post. Nevertheless, the very fact that such men were permitted to sit in parliament testified to the fact that the bar was purely religious and not racial. benjamin disraeli , for example, who was an active supporter of Jewish emancipation, was regarded as a Jew by many of his contemporaries and was the victim of social discrimination but not of any legal bars. In 1845 the Jewish Disabilities Removal Act allowed Jews to hold office in municipal government and two years later david salomons became an alderman of the City of London. In the same year Lionel de rothschild became the first Jew to be elected to parliament but was not allowed to take his seat. In 1851 Sir David Salomons was elected to parliament but was forcibly removed from the Commons Chamber after he had voted three times and even made a speech to explain his position. Eventually, a bill was passed in 1858 allowing each House to fix its own oath to be administered to a Jew; Lionel de Rothschild became the first Jewish member (but, incidentally, never made a speech). Lionel de Rothschild was one of eight Jewish MPS in the Liberal Party during the 19th century; the others were Sir David Salomons, Sir Francis Goldsmid, Sir Frederick Goldsmid, Sir julian goldsmid (who sat for 30 years and became speaker of the House of Commons), Sir john simon , Sir george jessel , who, as solicitor general in 1871, became the first Jewish minister in a British government, and arthur cohen . The first Jewish Conservative member was Saul Isaac, elected in 1874, who was followed by Lionel louis cohen and henry de worms , who as Lord Pirbright was made parliamentary secretary to the board of trade and undersecretary of state for the colonies. Jews at first found the road to political advancement easier in the more progressive Liberal Party, but after Disraeli became prime minister, the Conservatives became the party of reform. Nevertheless, most Jewish politicians were to be found in the ranks of the Liberal Party, among them herbert samuel who became Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster, postmaster general, home secretary, and the first Jewish cabinet minister in Britain. Others included Rufus Isaacs, lord reading , who was Lord Chief Justice of England and later viceroy of India, and edwin montagu who was Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster, minister of munitions, and secretary of state for India. The decline of the Liberal Party in the 1920s led many Jews to switch their allegiance to the growing Labor Party and a number of Jews sat in parliament, first in the Liberal cause and later as Labor members. Among them were harry nathan , who was minister of civil aviation in the Labor government after World War II, George Spero, and barnett janner . Few Jews held important positions in the national governments of the 1930s, though a prominent exception was leslie hore-belisha , who was minister of war from 1937 to 1940. In the general election immediately after World War II the number of Jewish Labor members of parliament rose from 4 to 26. Considerable influence was also wielded by harold laski who was chairman of the Labor Party. Jewish MPS from other parties were virtually eliminated, a notable exception being Phil Piratin (1907–1995), the only Jewish Communist in parliament in Britain. Jewish liberals were gradually eliminated by the failure of the party at elections while Jewish Conservative candidates tended to be passed over by the constituency associations, though Henry d'Avigdor goldsmid sat for many years in the Conservative interest and Sir keith joseph became the first Jewish Conservative cabinet minister. Lord Reading had served in 1931 as foreign secretary in a national government and Leslie Hore-Belisha as a National Liberal in Conservative-dominated conditions. Several Jews became cabinet ministers in the Labor governments of 1945–51 and 1964–70. In the former Labor government under clement attlee , lewis silkin was minister of town and country planning; emanuel shinwell was minister of fuel and power and secretary of state for war; Harry Nathan was minister of civil aviation; and george strauss was minister of supply. In the Labor government of 1964–70 there were more than 30 Jewish Labor MPS and Jewish ministers included john diamond and harold lever , who held senior posts at the Treasury, and john silkin ), who was minister of public building and works. In addition, several Jewish members who never held ministerial posts had considerable influence on Labor policy, in particular sydney silverman and Ian Mikardo (1908–1993). Nevertheless, Jews played little part as Jews in the formation of government policy and there was never a "Jewish vote" even on the Palestine question during the last days of the British Mandate. A few Jewish women played a part in Jewish parliamentary life. Marion Phillips (1881–1932) was the first Jewish woman member, while Barbara Ayrton Gould (c. 1890–1950) was chairman of the Labor Party (1939–40). Two Jewish women were returned to parliament in 1970, Renée Short (1919– ) for the Labor Party and Sally Oppenheim (1930– ) for the Conservatives. Four women were among the first ten Jews to be made life peers: Dora Gaitskell (1909–1989), Beatrice Serota (1919–2002), Alma Birk (1917–1996), and Beatrice Plummer (1903–1972). The government of margaret thatcher brought about a reversal of the traditional affiliation of most active Anglo-Jewish politicians with the Left. From her accession in 1979 there were now many more Jewish Conservative MPS than Laborites, with five Jews being members of her cabinet in the 1980s, among them the chancellor of the exchequer and the home secretary. Under her successor John Major, Sir Malcolm Rifkind served as foreign secretary. The Jewish presence in the Labor government of Tony Blair, which took office in 1997, has been much less marked. michael howard became leader of the Conservative Party in 2003, stepping down at the end of 2005 after the Conservative election defeat. -Ireland robert briscoe , who represented the Fianna Fail Party, was the only Jewish member of the Irish parliament from 1927. On his retirement in 1965 he was succeeded by his son, Benjamin. (Vivian David Lipman) -France Before the French Revolution of 1789 Jews had neither civil nor political rights and very few took part in French public affairs. They were granted civil rights in 1791 and from then onward no formal bars remained before their advancement in politics, though for many years they were not active in public affairs largely because of the exclusiveness of French society. One of the first Jews in politics in France was Benjamin David (1796–1879), who was elected deputy for the department of Deux-Sèvres in 1834 and became mayor of his native city of Niort in 1846. The first Jewish minister was the banker michel goudchaux who led the opposition to King Louis Phillipe's economic policy and himself became minister of finance in 1848, shortly before the revolution of that year. The famous advocate, Isaac Crémieux , was another prominent opponent of the regime who participated in the revolution and was briefly minister of justice. After the revolution achille fould served as minister of finance until 1852 when he became a senator and then minister of state, the first Jew in France to hold these positions. His three sons, Ernest Adolphe, Edouard Mathurin, and Gustave Eugène, and his grandson Achille Charles (see fould family ) were subsequently elected to the chamber of deputies. During the Franco-Prussian War of 1870 two Jews came to the fore. Camille Sée became secretary general of the Ministry of Interior in the government of National Defense and leo frankel , a Hungarian émigré, was minister of labor in the Paris Commune. Subsequently, Jewish politicians tended to support socialist or radical parties largely because the royalist and clerical groups tended to be antisemitic. Thus Camille Sée was a member of the Republican Party as was david raynal , who was minister of public works in Gambetta's ministry in 1881 and later minister of the interior. Nevertheless, Jews were not particularly prominent in French politics at the end of the 19th century and the antisemitic attacks during the dreyfus case were directed more against Jews in the professions generally than against Jews in public affairs. Following the turn of the century, however, an increasing number of Jews served in Clemenceau's war cabinet from 1917 to 1919: georges mandel , who was chef de cabinet, Edouard Ignace (1864–1924), and louis klotz , the latter serving as minister of finance. After the war Klotz was raised to the senate, abraham schrameck , formerly governor of Madagascar, became minister of the interior and minister of justice, and Maurice Bokanowsky was minister of commerce and industry from 1926 to 1927. Thereafter, however, most Jewish politicians tended to represent socialist parties, a notable exception being Mandel who served in several non-socialist cabinets before the outbreak of World War II and was minister of the interior until the fall of France. salomon grumbach was a member of the Socialist Party central committee, leon meyer was a Socialist minister of mercantile marine, and in 1936 Léon Blum became prime minister of France, the first Jew and the first Socialist to hold this post. Blum's cabinet included jules moch as minister of public works and Jean Zay as minister of education. Blum was briefly prime minister of France after World War II as were the Radical Socialist René Mayer and the Radical leader Pierre Mendès France . France was thereby the only European state in which three Jews held the post of prime minister, each representing a different shade of socialist policy. In addition, Moch, René Mayer, and the Socialist Party leader Daniel Mayer all held posts in postwar French coalition cabinets until the end of the Fourth Republic in 1958 and the return to power of General de Gaulle. Few Jews held positions of influence during De Gaulle's term of presidency from 1958 to 1969 but following the election of Georges Pompidou as president in June 1969 two Jews were appointed to ministerial posts, maurice schumann , as minister of foreign affairs, and leo hamon as secretary of state to the prime minister. In subsequent years simone veil became the most prominent Jew in French politics, serving in numerous cabinets and becoming president of the European Parliament in 1979. The main Jewish organizations continued to follow the old tradition of not giving any directions on how to vote. Constituting about 1 percent of the French electorate, they could only play an important role in specific localities such as Paris and Marseilles. On the basis of analyses of voting behavior, it is known that the Jewish vote is spread among all parties, while Jews are active within the machinery of every party. -Germany Although individual Jews acted as Hoffaktoren and Hofjuden (court jews ) to monarchs in a number of German states during the 17th and 18th centuries, acting both as advisers and financial agents, Jews played no part in German national politics until the middle of the 19th century, and almost no part   in government until the 20th. Jews who converted to Christianity, however, enjoyed full political rights and rose to high office. Thus, Friedrich julius stahl became leader of the reactionary Conservative Party and a firm opponent of political emancipation for his former coreligionists. Other converted Jews who rose to high office included martin eduard von simson , president of the Reichstag, Heinrich von Friedberg (1813–1895), Prussian minister of justice, and Karl Rudolf Friedenthal (1827–1890), Prussian minister of agriculture under the Empire. The first professing Jew to hold a public position in Germany was david friedlaender who was elected to the Berlin municipal council in 1809. Not until the 1840s, however, did the Jews gain electoral rights, including the right to vote for the German National Assembly and to be elected to the Assembly or to state parliaments. Jews participated in the liberal revolution in 1848, and among the Jewish representatives to the National Assembly held in Frankfurt after the revolution were moritz veit and gabriel riesser , who was vice president of the Assembly. Both were staunch champions of Jewish emancipation as were fischel arnheim , the only Jewish member of the Bavarian Diet and johann jacoby , an early leader of the liberal movement. The German states finally removed all political restrictions from the Jews during the 1860s and after the unification of Germany (1871) they were granted legal equality in most spheres. Nevertheless, they were still effectively excluded from holding government office and with the exception of moritz ellstaetter , minister of finance in Baden from 1888 to 1893, no unbaptized Jew held ministerial office. On the other hand, Jews were very active in political life, being among the leaders of the progressive political parties. They were particularly well represented among the liberals, whom the Jews tended to favor. Thus eduard lasker was one of the founders of the National Liberal Party and was influential in framing the social legislation of his regime while his colleague ludwig bamberger helped organize the state finances. Other Jewish politicians included Max Hirsch, the trade unionist and advocate of popular education, leopold sonnemann , a leader of the Democratic Party, ludwig loewe , a founder of the Progressive Party in North Germany, and wolf frankenburger , leader of the Liberal Party in Bavaria. Toward the end of the 19th century Jewish politicians became increasingly prominent in left-wing parties. At the same time the political allegiance of German Jewry was itself undergoing a process of radicalization, moving from moderate to progressive liberalism, and eventually to Socialism, with the upper strata of Jewish society retaining a traditional allegiance to liberalism. Thus Jews were very prominent in the leadership of the Socialist Party though they formed but a fraction of the electorate. The party itself was founded by ferdinand lassalle who adopted the ideology of karl marx and formed the General German Workers Association (ADAV) which was the forerunner of the German Social Democratic Party. The Social Democratic Party was later much influenced by eduard bernstein , who called for a fundamental revision of Marxist doctrine arguing that the party should work for social reform rather than revolution, and by rosa luxemburg , who advocated workers' control by revolution and led the abortive Communist rising at the end of 1918. After the outbreak of World War I the German Social Democratic Party split into two factions, the majority supporting the war while the minority opposing the war included a number of Jews, among them, hugo haase , president of the German Social Democratic Party in the Reichstag, Bernstein, and Luxemburg. The prominence of Jewish left-wing intellectuals in German political life was successfully exploited by the antisemites and right-wing parties and revolutionary socialism became identified with Jewry especially since the Soviet and Hungarian revolutions after World War I were led by Jews. In Germany, too, Jews rose to high office in the revolutionary ferment that followed the collapse of the German Empire at the end of 1918. Paul Hirsch (1868–1938) was briefly prime minister of Prussia, kurt eisner headed the revolutionary government of Bavaria and Hugo Haase and otto landsberg were two of the six people's commissars in the first postwar government. In addition paul levi succeeded Rosa Luxemburg as head of the Communist Party and the Communists included many Jewish members, among them ruth fischer and gerhart eisler . During this period of the Weimar Republic there were no restrictions on Jews holding political posts and four Jews held high ministerial office. hugo preuss , one of the drafters of the Weimar Constitution, became minister of the interior, Otto Landsberg was minister of justice, walther rathenau was foreign minister, and rudolf hilferding minister of finance. The Nazis deliberately overstated the importance of Jews in German politics, however, and condemned the Weimar Republic as being the hated Judenrepublik dominated by Jews. Soon after the Nazis came to power in 1933 all political parties were banned except the Nazi Party from which Jews were excluded. Jewish politicians were either arrested or forced to leave the country. After World War II a small number of Jews took part in German political life, among them herbert weichmann who was president of the Bundesrat and Joseph Neuberger (1902–1977) who was minister of justice in North-Rhine-Westphalia. In East Germany the only figure of importance was Gerhart Eisler, who was for a time minister of information. Though for many years not a single professing Jew has been a member of the Bundestag, at the beginning of the 21st century there were a few well-known younger Jews active in political life, such as Michel Friedman for the Christian Democrats and Prof. Micha Brumlik for the Greens. Together with the late ignatz bubis , a leading member of the Free Democrats, these most visible Jewish politicians all came from Frankfurt. -Holland The first Jewish politicians in Holland represented William III of Orange in international diplomatic negotiations. Thus Samuel Palecke was made representative of the king of Morocco in Holland, isaac belmonte was agent-general of the king of Spain to the Netherlands, and several Jews were involved in his   negotiations to secure the British crown. Jews were not active in Dutch internal Politics, however, until after their emancipation in 1795, following the conquest by France and the formation of the Batavian republic. In 1798 Jews were given the right to vote and be elected to state offices and two Jews, H.L. Bromet and H. de H. Lemon, were elected to the national assembly, being the first Jewish parliamentarians ever. Subsequently, two Jewish lawyers held high government posts, Moses salomon asser who became a member of the legislative council and jonas daniel meyer who was appointed to the state council during the reign of Louis Napoleon. In the first half of the 19th century Jews were represented in the city councils of Amsterdam, The Hague, and Rotterdam, but they did not enter provincial and national politics again. These local Jewish politicians were seen as the representatives of their communities. After 1848, when the Netherlands became a constitutional monarchy, Jews entered the provincial and national political scenes as well. One of them, michael godefroi , became minister of justice and samuel sarphati became a leading campaigner for social reform. In the 19th century Jewish politicians were foremost active within the liberal parties and from the end of the century on in the socialist parties as well. Jews elected to the second chamber of parliament included Abraham Hartogh (1844–1901), Samuel van den bergh , abraham wertheim and joseph limburg (1866–1940), all of whom were members of the Liberal Party. In the 20th century two Jewish women were prominent in Dutch politics: aletta jacobs (1854–1929) and Betsy Bakker-Nort (1874–1946), both of whom championed the rights of women. Several Jewish socialists sat in Parliament, among them A.B. Kleerekoper , henri polak , Ben Sajet, and the Communist Party chairman, david wijnkoop . However, only two Jews were appointed to ministerial posts before World War II besides Godefroi: eduard van raalte , minister of justice at the beginning of the 20th century and Salomon rodrigues de miranda who was socialist minister of housing in the 1930s. After World War II two more Jewish ministers of justice held office, Ivo Samkalden being appointed in 1956 and 1965 and carel polak taking office in 1967. Other prominent Jewish politicians included the ministers Sidney van den bergh (1959), Aaron Pais (1977–981), Ed van Thijn (1981–82, 1994), and Hedy d'Ancona (1989–94). Within the Second Chamber the leader of the Socialist Party, Jacques Wallage, was prominent as well as the liberal chairman of the Second Chamber, Frans Weisglas. In the post-World War II period Amsterdam had no fewer than four Jewish mayors: Ivo Samkalden (1967–77), Wim Polak (1977–83), Ed van Thijn (1983–94), and Job Cohen (from 2001). (Bart Wallet (2nd ed.) -Italy In 1778 Jews were given the right to become members of municipal councils in Tuscany and this right was extended to other parts of Italy at the end of the century following the French invasion of Italy under Napoleon. Thus in 1796 the venerable oligarchic government of Venice was overthrown and a new municipality was elected that included three Jews: moses luzzatto , Vita Vivante, and Isaac Grego. After the defeat of Napoleon at the hands of the Holy Alliance, Jews were deprived of their newly acquired civic equality and as a result actively supported the secret revolutionary forces, such as the Carbonari and Young Italy movements. In this respect Italy was the only 19th-century European state in which substantial elements of the Jewish population took up a political cause. Following the outbreak of the 1848 Revolution, Jewish rights were restored in most parts of Italy and two Jews became ministers in the Venetian Republic, headed by the half-Jew Daniel Mantin: Leone Pincherle, minister of agriculture and commerce, and Isaac Maurogonato (1817–1892), minister of finance. In 1855 isaac artom became private secretary to the Piedmontese prime minister Count Cavour and in the following year Sansone d'Ancona became director of finance and public works in the government of Tuscany. When the reunification of Italy was completed in 1870, a number of Jews were members of the Italian parliament and by 1894 their numbers had increased to 15, representing a wide variety of political views. The number of Jewish deputies and senators never became large in proportion to the size of the Italian parliament but a number of Jews held important posts at the turn of the century. luigi luzzatti served as minister of finance on several occasions and later became prime minister, the first Jew in modern times to achieve this distinction; leone wollemborg was minister of finance for a short period in 1901, guiseppe ottolenghi was minister of war from 1902 to 1903, and ernesto nathan became mayor of Rome. The rise of Fascism after World War I virtually brought to an end Jewish involvement in Italian politics. Many Jews did support Mussolini at first but with the exceptions of Guido Jung, minister of finance (1932–35), and Aldo Finzi, who was assistant minister of the interior, none held important posts in his party or government and Jewish politicians of the left such as the socialist leaders Guiseppe Modigliani and claudio treves (1869–1944) and the Communist umberto terracini were systematically persecuted or forced into exile. When the Fascists became antisemitic in the late 1930s Jews were expelled from the Fascist Party, by then the only legal political party in Italy, and effectively excluded from all political activity. Political rights were restored to the Jews after World War II but only Terracini, who became a leading Communist figure in the Italian senate, played a significant part in Italian politics in the early postwar period. In later years, two Italian Jews were elected to parliament: Bruno Zevi on the Radical ticket in 1987 and Enrico Modigliani, a Republican, in 1992. In 1992, Oscar Luigi Scalfaro was elected president of the Italian Republic only two months after having been named the first president of the newly formed Italy-Israel Parliamentary Friendship Association. -Muslim States TURKEY Jews played an important part in Turkish politics in the 16th century, a few Jews acting as ministers and financial   advisers, among them joseph nasi , Duke of Naxos, solomon ashkenazi , and esther kiera . The decline in the status of Turkish Jewry from the beginning of the 17th century led to the exclusion of Jews from public affairs, and civil rights were not granted to Turkish Jews until the middle of the 19th century. Exceptional were the picciotto family of merchants, five of whom, Hillel, Raphael, Ezra, Elijah, and Moses ben Ezra, were consuls for European powers in Aleppo. In 1876, daniel carmona became the first Jew to serve in the Turkish Parliament and in 1899 behor ashkenazi became the representative of Turkish Jewry in the Ottoman Parliament, later becoming vice prefect of Istanbul and a member of the senate. A few Jews joined the Young Turk movement at the beginning of the century, among them haim nahoum who was appointed chief rabbi of Egypt when the Young Turks came to power. After World War II Solomon Adato was the sole representative of Turkish Jewry in Parliament and after his death in 1953 he was succeeded by Henry Soviano. EGYPT Jews took little part in Egyptian affairs during the centuries that Egypt was under Turkish rule. One of the first Jews active in Egyptian politics in modern times was joseph aslan cattaui who worked with Sir ernest cassel on engineering projects and was made pasha in 1912 and a member of the legislative assembly. He was appointed minister of finance and transport and later became a member of the senate. Other prominent Jews in Egyptian politics who were elected to the senate were joseph picciotto , a leader of the Egyptian Zionist movement, and Cattaui's elder son, Cattaui Bey. Following full Egyptian independence after World War II, Jews were made to suffer for the government's anti-Zionist policy and no Jews held positions in the government or parliament. IRAQ Few Jews were prominent in politics in Iraq either during Turkish rule or after independence but a few were elected to the Iraqi parliament where at one time seats were specifically reserved for candidates elected by the Jewish community. The first Jewish representative from Iraq in the Turkish parliament was Menahem ben Salaḥ Daniel who was appointed in 1876. sir ezekiel sassoon was the first Iraqi delegate to the Turkish Parliament after the Young Turk revolution and from 1920 to 1925 was Iraqi minister of finance during the British protectorate. Following Iraqi independence in 1924, three Jews were elected to the Iraqi lower house and Menahem ben Salaḥ Daniel, at the age of nearly 80, was appointed to the senate. On his retirement in 1935 he was succeeded by his son Ezra. The number of Jews representing Iraqi Jewry was raised to six and many prominent Jewish businessmen were active in politics. The anti-Zionist campaign after World War II led to a change in government policy toward Iraqi Jewry. The right of separate Jewish representation in parliament was abolished and Jews were deprived of civil rights. Following the death of Ezra Daniel in 1952 no Jews sat in the Iraqi parliament. MOROCCO Jews were prominent in Moroccan state affairs during the reign of the Marinids (1269–1465). Two members of the Roggasa (or Waqqasa) family were influential ministers and toward the end of the dynasty aaron ben batash was prime minister. In the 17th century Abraham Maimaran and moses atar were ministers and advisors to King Mulay Ishmael. In the 18th century samuel sumbal was advisor to the sultan on foreign affairs and his son Joseph Ḥayyim was Moroccan ambassador to London. Several members of the corcos family were advisors on financial and foreign affairs to five successive sultans during the 19th century, and Meir Macnin was ambassador to London. However, wealthy Jews no longer held a prominent place in state affairs during the period of the French Protectorate (1912–56). Following Moroccan independence in March 1956, leon benzaquen was made minister of posts and David Benazeraf became a member of the advisory council. Growing Muslim nationalism acted as a brake on Jewish political activity from July 1957 to 1961 but after the accession of King Hassan II Jews once again held representative posts, David Amar as a senator and Meyer Obadia and Jacob Banon as members of the National Assembly. TUNISIA Although Jews held powerful economic and political positions in Tunisia in the Middle Ages, Jews were deprived of all their rights in the 16th century. Nevertheless, members of the Cohen-Tanudji family were advisors on foreign affairs to the bey and in the 19th century Abraham Belaish and nessim samama were finance ministers. Several members of the valensi family were statesmen and one was Tunisian minister of war. In the 20th century Jews tended to support the French administration and many fought in the French army in World War I. Later many Jews joined the Zionist movement and some were active in the nationalist Destour Party, among them albert bessis who was made minister of public works in the Tunisian cabinet upon independence and André Barrouch who was appointed to the cabinet on Bessis' resignation. The anti-Zionist campaign at the end of the 1950s led to Barrouch's resignation and a sudden decline in Jewish involvement in politics. Following the mass emigration from Tunisia in the 1960s, Jews ceased to take any part in Tunisian politics. -Poland Until the end of the 18th century Jews played no part in public life in Poland. Their interests were bound up with those of the Polish Jewish community as a whole and in any case they were granted no civil rights in Polish society. The decline in the cohesion of the Jewish community, however, led to increasing involvement of the Jews in the large cities in Polish affairs and after the partition of Poland and the outbreak of the French Revolution a number of Jews joined the insurrection against the Russians in 1794, among them berek joselewicz who commanded a force of 500 Jews in the defense of Warsaw. Nevertheless, though Jews fought in the army of Napoleon, they were not granted political rights in the Grand Duchy of Warsaw, nor, after 1815, when the Russians regained control over most of Poland. During the Polish insurrections of 1830 and 1831 Jews were again prominent as supporters   of the revolutionary cause and following the suppression of the insurrection, Stanislaus Hernisz Ludwig Lubliner and Leon Hollandaerski were leaders of the group of émigré Polish leaders agitating abroad for Polish independence. In the 1860s Rabbi dov ber meisels , chief rabbi of Warsaw, organized the Jewish community's support for the Polish nationalist movement. He was arrested by the czarist authorities for closing the Warsaw synagogues as an act of solidarity with the Catholic leaders who closed the churches in defiance of the authorities. Meisel's funeral in 1870 was the occasion for a mass demonstration of Polish national feeling. Other Jewish revolutionary leaders were henry k wohl who became head of a department in the insurgent government of 1863 and was later arrested and imprisoned and bernhard goldman . Toward the end of the century a number of Jewish intellectuals joined the Social-Democratic Party of Poland and Lithuania, one of whose founders was rosa luxemburg . The party's leaders included herman diamand , feliks kon , herman lieberman , adolf warski-warszawski , and boleslaw drobner , the last being among the many Jews to take part in the anti-czarist uprisings between 1905 and 1907. Following the granting of universal suffrage in the Austro-Hungarian Empire and the establishment of the Duma in Russia, Polish Jews were allowed to vote for and to be elected to the Austro-Hungarian Reichsrat and the Russian Duma. Herman Lieberman and Herman Diamond were elected to the Reichsrat in 1917 as representatives from Galicia and several Jews stood as candidates for the Duma. None was successful, however, largely because they attracted the Jewish vote only and also because they were officially opposed by the authorities. Furthermore in the elections to the fourth Duma, the Jews supported the Polish Socialist Party candidate en masse and this led to an organized boycott of Jewish traders in protest. After the outbreak of World War I, Jews ceased to play any part in politics in Russian Poland even after the Central Powers occupied the territory. Nevertheless Jewish representatives from Galicia sat in the Austro-Hungarian Reichsrat. Following the declaration of Polish independence at the end of World War I the Polish government concluded a minorities treaty granting full equality to the Jews and other minorities and the provisions of the treaty were incorporated in the Polish constitution. In the first Sejm of 1922, 45 Jews were elected, six of them being elected to the senate. Jews represented Zionist parties, the non-Zionist Agudat Israel and the Polish Socialist Party, the last being the only non-Jewish political party which was not antisemitic. Most of the Jewish members of the chamber of deputies joined together to form a Jewish parliamentary club ("Kolo") headed initially by the Zionist leader Yitzḥak Gruenbaum and were mainly concerned with attempting to improve the social and political condition of the Jews in the face of government-inspired antisemitism. Jewish Socialists, of whom Herman Lieberman and Boleslaw Drobner were among the leaders of the party, were more concerned with general Polish politics. In 1925 the Jewish club agreed to support the government on condition that the government acted to improve the condition of the Jews. However, when it became clear that the government had no intention of fulfilling its side of the bargain, most of the Jewish members rejoined the Socialists in opposition. Government policy became increasingly antisemitic and during the 1930s the number of Jews in the Sejm dwindled to seven and many of the Jewish Socialist leaders were imprisoned or exiled, among them Herman Lieberman who led the opposition to the government, isaac schwarzbart and the Polish communist leaders roman zambrowski and Adolf Warski-Warszawski. The destruction of Poland on the outbreak of World War II and the Nazi Holocaust did not result in the end of political activity among Polish Jews. adolf berman cooperated with left-wing political groups in Warsaw and fought in the Warsaw uprising of 1944. Herman Lieberman was briefly a member of the Polish government in exile in London and a number of Polish Jews who fled to the Soviet Union in 1939 held important position in the Soviet-sponsored Union of Polish Patriots and the Polish army in the U.S.S.R., among them eugeniusz szyr , Stefan Wierblowski, Roman Zambrowski, hilary minc , jacob berman , and Drobner. On the formation of the Polish Committee of National Liberation in 1944, Drobner was made minister of labor and social care, the first Jew to hold a portfolio in a Polish government. The liberation of Poland at the end of World War II led to the formation of a Provisional Government of National Unity in which the Communist Party with its prominent Jewish members played a key part. All discrimination against Jewish politicians ceased and when the pro-Communist Socialists merged with the Communists into the Polish United Workers Party, Boleslav Bierut became head of the party with two Jews, Jacob Berman and Hilary Minc, as close colleagues, the latter serving as minister of commerce and later as vice premier. Berman and Minc were, like Bierut, loyal supporters of Stalin and included several other Jewish Stalinists in the government and party, among them Szyr, Starewicz, and Wierblowski, and julius katz-suchy . Following the death of Bierut, however, and the rise to power of Wladyslaw Gomulka, Berman and later Minc were forced to resign. In the 1960s Zambrowski and Szyr held important party posts but the former was dismissed during the government-inspired antisemitic campaign of 1968 in which a number of Jews holding lesser positions were also forced to resign. By 1971, two Jews were left in the government – Szyr as deputy prime minister and Edward Sznajder, minister for home trade. -Russia As early as 1783 Jews were given the right to hold municipal office in Belorussia. The right was extended to all parts of Russia in 1835 but was later limited to western Russia, where most Jews lived, so that Jews could not be elected as mayors or municipal chairmen, nor could they constitute more than a third of the number of municipal councilors even in areas   where Jews constituted a majority of the inhabitants. Jews were thus prevented from playing an influential part in municipal affairs while they were completely excluded from national politics by the very nature of the autocratic and antisemitic czarist rule. As a result, many Jews, particularly among the secularly educated, joined or supported the illegal revolutionary organizations that sprung up in the 1870s. Their number included pavel axelrod , Aaron Zundelevich, and O. Aptekman (see socialism ). The abolition in 1882 of the right to vote for local councils or to be elected to them added impetus to the Jewish opposition to the regime. Several Jews were founders of the Narodniki (Populists) and of the Social Democratic Party (among them Axelrod and Lev Deutsch), both of which groups received wide support in Jewish assimilationist or semi-assimilationist circles. Most Jews, however, remained in purely Jewish frameworks; they were Orthodox, Zionists, or joined the bund . The failure of Nicholas II to make any substantial reforms brought about a resumption of revolutionary activity at the turn of the century. Jews held leading positions in the Social Democratic Workers Party but when the party split in 1903, most of the Jewish members, among them members of the Bund, joined the Menshevik group under julius martov , among them fyodor dan , raphael abramowitz , and Grinevich, who from 1905 to 1917 was chairman of the All-Russian Council of Trade Unions. Jews were also prominent in two other political parties, the Socialist Revolutionary Party, which continued the heritage of the Populists, and the liberal Union of Liberation. The Socialist Revolutionary Party, formed in 1902, appealed mainly to the peasants as the Social Democrats appealed to the industrial workers. Its leaders included chaim zhitlovsky , grigori gershuni , and Mikhail Gots. The Union of Liberation was a radical liberal group who drew their support from the urban professional classes and attracted Jewish professionals such as the lawyers maxim vinaver and henry sliosberg . When the abortive 1905 revolution led to the setting up of the first duma , the Union of Liberation, called Kadet (short name for the Constitutional Democratic Party), formed the largest single political group, their 179 members including nine Jews. However, owing to changes in electoral law during the period of reaction, the party's strength in the later Dumas declined, and there was also a decline in representation of the small Jewish parties (Zionists, Folkspartei, Jewish People's Group, and Jewish Democratic Group), whereas Jewish socialists were not elected at all. The outbreak of revolution in February 1917 brought the immediate abolition of all restrictions against Jews, and four Jews from the Kadet and Menshevik groups were offered posts in Kerensky's provisional government, M. Vinaver , L.M. Bramson, Fyodor Dan, and M.I. Liber. All refused on the grounds that the time was not yet ripe for Jews to enter a Russian government. On the other hand, A. Galperin was secretary of the provisional government and later Mark Vishniak became secretary of the Constituent Assembly, which was dispersed by force by the Bolshevik Soviet government -U.S.S.R. In Lenin's first Soviet government Jews were prominently represented, not only among the Bolsheviks (e.g., trotsky , zinoviev , kamenev , sverdlov ) but also among their left Socialist-Revolutionary partners in the short-lived coalition (e.g., the people's commissar for justice, isaac steinberg ). Jews were also strongly represented in republican and local soviets and in all echelons of the ruling party hierarchy. Some Jewish politicians in areas densely populated by Jews, and during the first stages of the birobidzhan experiment particularly those engaged in yevsektsiya work, could be regarded Jewish representatives, since they communicated mainly with the Jewish population or represented its interests. This situation changed quickly in the 1930s. The Yevsektsiya itself was closed down in 1930 and with the purges of the later 1930s most leading Jewish Bolsheviks were imprisoned and liquidated, together with other members of the Old Guard. Simultaneously, the last shreds of Jewish regional and cultural autonomy disappeared and the Birobidzhan experiment, as a "nascent Jewish republic," was practically abandoned. Prominent exceptions were lazar kaganovich , a close associate of Stalin, and maxim litvinoff , people's commissar for foreign affairs. During and after World War II, very few Jews remained in the Soviet top leadership. Under Stalin only Kaganovich was a member of the ruling circle and when Khrushchev assumed personal leadership in 1957 Kaganovich was declared a member of a subversive "anti-party group" and disappeared. No other Jew ever became a member of the policy-making bodies of the party, particularly the Politburo, which is the real government of the country. In 1962 the Jewish economist venyamin dymshyts was appointed one of the six deputies of Soviet prime minister Khrushchev and put at the head of the central planning body Gosplan, but the post was without much political significance. Jews also practically disappeared from the middle and lower party hierarchy and the number of Jews in the representative organs of central and local government (both houses of the Supreme Soviet of the U.S.S.R. as well as the republican, regional, and local soviets) declined rapidly. By 1970 it was much below the percentage of the Jews in the total population, not only of the cities (where 95% of the Jews live) but even of the population at large. In the new Russia, after the fall of Communism, the so-called Jewish oligarchs achieved political influence in a cozy relationship with President Boris Yeltsin, but fell out of favor with his successor, Vladimir Putin. (Binyamin Eliav) -South Africa Although Jews first settled in South Africa in the beginning of the 19th century, for many years they played little part in South African politics. An exception was benjamin norden , one of five brothers who emigrated from England in 1820 and became a municipal commissioner (city councilor) in Cape Town in 1840. Norden was narrowly defeated in the elections to the Cape parliament. saul solomon was elected to the Cape parliament in 1854, 20 years after he and his brother Henry had   converted to Christianity. He and simeon jacobs , who was elected in 1866, campaigned for the separation of Church and State in Cape Colony. Four other Jews were elected to the parliament of Cape Colony, Julius and Joseph Mosenthal, Ludwig Henry Goldenschmidt, and Ludwig Wiener. Jews were also among the pioneers of some of the other South African colonies. One of the first settlers in Natal was nathaniel isaacs who unsuccessfully canvassed a treaty between the Zulu monarch and the British crown as the basis for the European settlement of Natal. Another was Jonas Bergtheil, who emigrated to South Africa in 1834 and became the first Jewish member of the Natal legislative council. In the Orange Free State, Isaac Baumann, who arrived in South Africa from Germany in 1840, became chairman of the municipal board of Bloemfontein, and Adolphe Coqui, an immigrant from Belgium, negotiated the establishment of republican government for the Orange Free State after Britain announced that she was terminating her sovereignty over the territory. A third Jewish personality in the early days of the Orange Free State was Moritz Leviseur, who was elected to the provincial parliament in 1905 and became mayor of Bloemfontein in 1906. Leviseur was elected to the Union of South Africa parliament in 1921. The first Jewish parliamentarian in the Transvaal (Zuid-Afrikaansche Republiek) was M de Vries, a Dutch immigrant who was chairman of the Transvaal Volksraad (Parliament), 1872–73. The discovery of diamonds and gold brought a number of Jews to prominence in South African politics. barney barnato became a member of the Transvaal parliament and a personal friend of President Paul Kruger. Barnato did not commit himself in the Anglo-Boer dispute but his nephew solly joel became a member of the reform committee which organized the Jameson raid. Barnato's cousin, Sir david harris , took Barnato's seat in the Cape parliament after the latter's death. He was one of six Jews elected to the first Union parliament in 1910, the others being morris alexander , who was a member for over 30 years, Emile Nathan, Sir Lionel Phillips, C.P. Robinson, and sammy marks , a member of the senate. Subsequent Jewish members of the Union parliament included morris kentridge , the first Jewish Labor member of parliament, who sat continuously from 1924 to 1958, leopold lovell , Hyman Davidoff, Sam Kahn – the first Jewish communist MP, who was unseated in 1952 following the Suppression of Communism Act, bertha solomon , who advocated the cause of women's rights in parliament and initiated the Matrimonial Affairs Act of 1953, Abe Bloomberg and Charles Barnett. Jewish senators included: Franz Ginsberg, Fritz Baumann Adler, Alfred Friedlander, Hyman Basner, and Leslie Rubin. The 36-year parliamentary career of helen suzman commenced in the Union Parliament in 1953 and continued after South Africa became a Republic in 1961. In 1959 she was a co-founder of the Progressive Party, which opposed the government's apartheid policy, and was the sole Progressive elected in the elections of 1961, 1966, and 1970. Other prominent Jewish parliamentarians after 1961 included harry schwarz (1974–89), Ruth Rabinowitz (representing the opposition Inkatha Freedom Party from 1994), Ben Turok, and tony leon (from 1989), who became Leader of the Opposition Democratic Party (later Democratic Alliance) after the 1999 elections. Four Jews have served as cabinet ministers. They are henry gluckman , who served as minister of health in the smuts cabinet from 1945 to 1948, louis shill (minister for national housing and of public works, 1993–94), joe slovo (minister of housing, 1994–95), and ronnie kasrils (minister of water affairs and forestry, 1999–2004, and from 2004 minister of intelligence). Two Jews have served as deputy cabinet ministers, ronnie kasrils (deputy minister of defense, 1994–99) and Gill Marcus (deputy minister of finance, 1996–99). -South America Before World War II Jews were not generally active in politics in South America, although in most South American states there were no legal bars to their entering parliament. They were handicapped by the fact that most were immigrants from Central and Eastern Europe and by deep-rooted antisemitism in many of the Catholic states. Nevertheless, a few Jews did achieve considerable prominence in political life. One of the first was horacio lafer who was appointed Brazilian delegate to the League of Nations in 1928. He was a member of the Federal Chamber of Deputies from 1934 to 1964 and served as minister of finance and foreign minister in postwar Brazilian governments. Another important figure was Angel faivovich hitzcovich who was elected to the Santiago municipal council in 1935. During a 30-year political career he was president of the Chilean Radical Party and vice president of the senate. The number of Jews in politics gradually increased after World War II, particularly in Argentina where the Jewish population was at one time over half a million. Several Jews represented the Argentine Radical Party (Union Civica Radical Intransigente) in the Chamber of Deputies, among them Santiago Nudelman, david blejer , who was undersecretary to the ministers of the interior and of labor, Isaac Breyter, david schapira , and Naum Jaroslavsky. Enrique Dickman and Adolfo Dickman were prominent socialist deputies. Few Jews were prominent in Argentine politics during the rule of the dictator Domingo Peron but an exception was Jose Alexenicer who was head of Peron's "Justice" Party in Cordoba and a member of the provincial parliament. In Chile, miguel schweitzer , was minister of labor, and several other Jews were elected to the Chamber of Deputies. Among them were jacobo schaulson numhauser who was president of the Chamber of Deputies, and daniel schweitzer , both of whom served as Chilean delegates to the United Nations. There were also two Jewish communist deputies in Chile, Adolfo Berman and Volodia Teitelbaum. Jews were also elected to parliament in Brazil where Marcos Melzer and Aarao Steinbruch sat in the Chamber of Deputies, while in Uruguay jacobo guelman was a member of the senate as was benazar serfaty in Venezuela. In panama max delvalle became first vice president of Panama and was president for two months in 1968 following a controversial decision of the National Assembly to remove   the constitutional president. He thus became the only Jew ever to become president of a state (outside of Israel). In South America in general, both the Foreign Office and the army remained almost closed to Jews, and the few Jewish ambassadors who served owed their appointment to personal friendships with the president in office. In Argentina, after the establishment of a democratic regime in 1983, Raúl Alfonsín, a progressive and charismatic president, opened the doors to Jews: Bernardo Grinspun became minister of the economy and Mario Brodersohn district secretary; Adolfo Gass obtained a seat in the Senate, Marcelo Stubrin and César Jaroslavsky (the latter, head of the district bank) entered the Chamber of Deputies, and Jacobo Fiterman, ex-president of the Argentinean Zionist Organization, became secretary of public works in the Buenos Aires municipality. In the field of education and culture, traditionally a Catholic enclave, Marcos Aguinis became minister of national culture. Manuel Sadosky was minister of science. Under Menem additional Jews served in government: Moisés Ikonicoff (minister of planning), Enrique Kaplan (director of protocol), Néstor Perl (governor of Chubut), and Carlos Corach (presidential adviser). In Brazil, before the Parliament was dissolved in 1968, six Jews representing various parties were elected to the federal legislature in the 1966 parliamentary elections. There were also Jewish politicians in the state legislatures and city councils. horacio lafer was a leading Jewish political figure and served as finance minister and foreign minister of Brazil. A former federal deputy, Aarão Steinbruch , was elected senator, the first Jew to be elected to that prestigious post. Under the government of Fernando Collor de Melo (1990–92, when the president was politically impeached), Celso Lafer was minister of foreign affairs. In the two terms of President Fernando Henrique Cardoso (1994 to 1998 and 1998 to 2002) numerous members of the Jewish community took an active part in the government. (Paul Link / Efraim Zadoff and Roney Cytrynowicz (2nd ed.) -United States At the turn of the 21st century American Jews play an outsized role in American politics, representing a dramatic change from earlier eras. For example, when the first edition of the Encyclopaedia Judaica was published in the early 1970s, the section on United States politics cited three "facts in connection with Jews in American politics": 1) "Jews have not been prominent as political office holders, political appointees or party leaders"; 2) "Jews have never expressly organized themselves for solely political purposes…. They were at pains to deny the existence of Jewish political interests"; 3) "…(S)upport for liberal and left of center parties and candidates is proportionally higher among Jews…." By 2006 two of the three "facts" were no longer facts. First, the American Jewish community in the last third of the 20th century became the most highly politicized ethnic/religious groups in America. As a result, during the first decade of the 21st century the Jewish community is highly over-represented among political opinion leaders – including such groups as major donors to the political parties, elected federal officials, political journalists, political consultants, and high-level political appointees. Second, Jewish organizations have become quite adept at trying to organize the community for political purposes, and most are not reluctant to speak about Jewish political interests. The third fact of 1972 – the community's allegiance to liberal and left of center parties and candidates – remains true today. The Jewish community continues to strongly back the Democratic Party and its candidates. This remains true despite dramatic demographic changes in the community in 80 years; despite dramatic changes in Jewish public opinion between the early 1920s and the first decade of the 21st century; and despite the fact that the Democratic and Republican parties of the 1920s were entirely different from what they are today. It is exceedingly difficult to reconstruct the political behavior of American Jews in the earliest days of the Republic – the Jewish community was tiny (2,000 people or .038% of the U.S. population in 1800), and historical Jewish voting data for this period is nonexistent. However, one can assume that most American Jews during the period were Jeffersonian or Jacksonian Democrats. In the first few decades after the adoption of the Constitution there were a handful of Jewish officeholders, all of whom were Democratic-Republicans (the earliest name for the Democratic Party). Jews were among the earliest leaders of the pro-Jeffersonian Tammany Hall, and an early 19th century speaker of the Pennsylvania House was a Jewish Jeffersonian. Probably the best-known Jewish politician of the age, mordecai noah , started his career as a Democratic-Republican (he was appointed U.S. consul to Tunis by President Madison) and was an early supporter of President Jackson as well. Moreover, there is evidence that the Federalist Party used overtly antisemitic rhetoric in the hard-fought 1800 presidential elections as a means of attacking Thomas Jefferson's candidacy. Between 1840 and 1860, the Jewish population grew from 15,000 (.09% of the population) to 150,000 (less than .5% of the population) largely because of immigration from German-speaking parts of Europe. In this era, Whigs (and by the late 1850s, Republicans) battled Democrats for political supremacy. There is anecdotal material that points to some Jewish support for the Whig party of Henry Clay – especially by the older Sephardi community. However, most of what is known about the period indicates that a majority Jews of this era were Democrats. Of the five Jews who served in the U.S. House of Representatives in the 1840s and 1850s, four were Democrats and one (the first Jewish Congressman, lewis levin ) was a member of the anti-Catholic American Party. Of the two Jewish U.S. senators who served in the same period, one – david yulee – was a Democrat. The other Jewish senator of the period, judah benjamin (who went on to serve in the Confederate Cabinet), was elected in 1853 as a   Whig and re-elected in 1859 as a Democrat. The Rothschilds' agent in America, augustus belmont , was appointed chairman of the Democratic National Committee in 1860 by Stephen Douglas and continued to serve as the chairman until 1872. As late as 1860, an Illinois state Jewish legislator who was helping Abraham Lincoln in his presidential campaign wrote about the Jews of New York as a constituency that had been voting 2–1 Democratic. The roughly three-decade period from 1860 until 1896 was an intensely partisan era, which is usually characterized as the third American party system. In that era the country was evenly divided geographically – the south overwhelmingly Democratic and New England and the upper Midwest overwhelmingly Republican. At least one prominent political scientist has concluded that starting with Lincoln in 1860, American Jews swung their support over to the new Republican Party. Again, Jewish voting data is scarce for this period, and it appears as if the truth is a bit more complicated. The Jewish population continued to grow, especially in New York City. By 1890 there were 475,000 Jews in America, representing 0.67% of the total population. There is evidence that in Midwestern cities like Chicago, the Jewish community began voting Republican by the 1860s. Many German Jews were attracted to the GOP but the newer Yiddish-speaking Jews probably did not have strong party loyalties. Meanwhile, the Jews of the South remained Democratic and the city with the largest Jewish population – New York – remained a largely Democratic stronghold in the latter half of the 19th century. There were a few prominent Jewish political leaders in the period – men like Abe Reuf, the powerful Republican Party boss in San Francisco, and oscar straus , who served as President Cleveland's minister to Turkey. Fourteen Jews served in Congress during this period. They included nine Democrats and five Republicans. A review of a larger database of 60 known Jewish officeholders during this period reveals a close partisan split between Democrats and Republicans. In the first decade of the 21st century, Americans are used to an ideologically congruent party system – a reliably liberal Democratic Party and a reliably conservative Republican one. But this was not the case in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. In the first 60 years after the Constitution was ratified, it can be argued that the Jeffersonian and Jacksonian Democrats with their more egalitarian views on white manhood suffrage were more liberal than their Federalist and Whig opponents. By the time of the Civil War, however, the Democrats were largely the party of states rights and support for slavery. And in the years after the Civil War both parties supported economic policies that were pro-business. Thus Jewish support for one party or the other prior to the 1920s cannot be attributed to liberal or conservative proclivities of the community. The election of 1896 ushered in a 35-year period of national dominance of the Republican Party. The minority Democratic Party in this era was made up of rural populists in the west and south and a few urban machines, like New York's Tammany Hall. This was also a period in which the Jewish community grew exponentially as poor Yiddish-speaking Jews from the Austro-Hungarian and Russian empires streamed into Ellis Island. By 1920 there were 3.15 million Jews in America – three percent of the total population – and in New York State the Jewish population became the key swing vote in city- and statewide elections. It is also during this period that one can start tracking the voting behavior of heavily Jewish voting districts. Former Jewish Democratic businessmen like Oscar Straus (who was appointed the first Jewish cabinet official by Teddy Roosevelt) became Republicans in reaction to the populism of William Jennings Bryan. The newer and more numerous immigrant voters did not have strong partisan attachments. Sometimes they voted for Eugene Debs' new Socialist Party, and two Jewish Socialists were elected to Congress – Meyer London in New York and victor berger in Wisconsin. Sometimes these immigrants voted for reform politicians (often these reformers were WASP-Republican politicians) in reaction to the graft of urban political machines. Sometimes these Jewish newcomers turned against WASP reformers who advocated Sunday blue laws and voted the machine politicians back into office. It is clear that in presidential elections, American Jews strongly backed Republicans Teddy Roosevelt in 1904 and Warren Harding in 1920, and more narrowly backed Democrat Woodrow Wilson in 1912 and 1916. From 1896 through 1930, 15 Jewish Republicans, 15 Jewish Democrats, and two Jewish Socialists served in Congress. Two Jewish Democrats were elected governor in the west – simon bamberger in Utah and moses alexander in Idaho – and President Wilson appointed the "people's attorney," louis d. brandeis , as the first Jewish Supreme Court justice in 1916. Most people attribute the modern Jewish community's attachment to the liberal policies of the Democratic Party to the presidency of Franklin D. Roosevelt. However, the beginnings of this Democratic trend began a decade earlier in 1922. In 1920, Jews (as well as the rest of the country) voted overwhelmingly Republican in reaction to disillusionment with Wilson's Treaty of Versailles and a series of economic recessions. In the Congress that convened in 1921 there were 11 Jewish congressmen – 10 Republicans and one Socialist (in New York five Republican Jews and one Socialist were elected). In 1922 former New York Governor Al Smith ran to avenge his defeat of 1920, and in winning he carried the Jewish vote overwhelmingly. Though Smith was a supporter of Tammany Hall, unlike many Tammany politicians he supported progressive labor legislation like the eight-hour day, and he opposed many of New York's blue laws. This was the perfect combination for New York State Jews, which at the time accounted for one-half of American Jewry. In the Congress, which convened in 1923 there were 10 Jewish congressman – four Republicans, five Democrats, and one Socialist. In New York State only one Jewish Republican survived, and four new Democrats were elected. From 1922 onward New York Democratic candidates were usually in the mold of Al Smith and Senator Robert Wagner – progressive reformers who ran   with Tammany support – and the Jewish vote increasingly solidified as a Democratic bloc. In 1928 the national Jewish vote split 72–28 in favor of Al Smith, the first non-Protestant (he was Roman Catholic) to run for president. In 1932 FDR carried the Jewish vote with 82%. In his first re-election he carried 85%, in his second re-election he carried 90%, and in 1944 he won 90% of the Jewish vote. Between 1948 and 1968 Democrats captured between 60% and 90% of the Jewish vote in each presidential election. Jewish voting for Democrats at the state and national levels was perfectly understandable in the 1920s and 1930s. The New York Democrats and increasingly the national Democratic party was the party of liberalism, economic populism, and the "little guy." The Jewish population of the 1920s and 1930s was overwhelmingly poor and working class. However, after World War II the Jewish population was increasingly middle class and highly educated. Yet at the state and national levels, Republican candidates could not secure a respectable Jewish vote. Only at the municipal level could Republican candidates like Mayor Fiorello La Guardia win a majority of Jewish voters. Another development in this period was the rising importance of "reform" political clubs in cities like New York and Los Angeles. Though there were few Jewish professional politicians (Chicago's political boss Jake Avery was one of the exceptions) in this era, the amateur reformers became increasingly important in Democratic politics, and a disproportionate share of these reform leaders were Jewish. The other arena where Jews came to prominence was in the labor union movement. sidney hillman was the most prominent of these labor leaders. In 1944, Hillman – as the head of the CIO's Political Action Committee – acted as one of FDR's most trusted political allies. Between 1932 and 1970, a number of Jewish Americans became prominent at the highest levels of American politics. In the Senate five Jews served during this era – the most prominent being former governor lehman of New York and jacob javits of New York. Jews also became increasingly common as presidential cabinet officers – henry morgenthau , Jr. in FDR's cabinet; lewis strauss in Eisenhower's cabinet; arthur goldberg and abraham ribicoff , the sons of Jewish immigrants, not German-Jews, in the cabinet of Irish American John F. Kennedy, the first Catholic elected president; and wilbur cohen , who served under President Johnson. Moreover, during this period presidents appointed felix frankfurter , benjamin cardozo , Arthur Goldberg, and abe fortas to the highest court in the land. There was a tradition of a Jewish seat on the Court. Though there were well-known Jewish personalities in the public arena in mid-20th century America, in 1950 politics was not considered a Jewish profession. Fifty years later American politics was a decidedly Jewish occupation. In the last third of the 20th century, very significant changes took place in the role that Jewish Americans played in the political process. In 2005 Jews represented something less than 2% of the U.S. population. Yet in the same year they represented 11% of the U.S. Senate. In 1970 14 Jews were elected to the U.S. Congress; in 2004, 37 were elected. By the first decade of the 21st century Jewish Americans were significantly represented among the top political appointees and senior civil servants in the elite agencies of the U.S. government. At the same time a substantial proportion of top political journalists and nationally prominent political consultants (a new profession which largely replaced the political boss in American politics) were Jewish. Perhaps equally important, both major political parties (but particularly the Democrats) and their candidates for office were heavily reliant on contributions from Jewish Americans to help fund their election year expenditures. This increase in the political roles played by Jewish Americans was complemented by a change in how Jewish Americans were "accepted" in American society. In the 1930s, Jewish Americans were subjected to some of the worst antisemitism in American history. In that decade Ivy League colleges and medical schools had strict quotas on Jewish enrollment, and at the same time many law firms and corporate management slots were strictly off-limits to American Jews. In 1937 the Gallup Poll found that only 46% of Americans were willing to vote for a Jewish candidate for president. By the 1970s most of these barriers to Jews in American life were gone, and by 1999 – according to Gallup – fully 92% of Americans were willing to vote for a Jewish candidate for president. The list of Jewish Americans who rose to prominence on the American political scene in the last 40 years is so large that it is only possible to highlight the most famous in an article of this size. In the early 1970s robert strauss was chair of the DNC, and between 1997 and 2005 three Jews (two Democrats and one Republican) were national party chairs. Richard Nixon appointed perhaps the most prominent secretary of state of the 20th century, henry kissinger , in his second term. President Gerald Ford had two Jewish Americans in his cabinet. President Jimmy Carter, despite his periodic disputes with the organized Jewish community, appointed three Jews to his cabinet. President Clinton appointed five Jews to his cabinet, and there were at least as many Jewish appointees who held cabinet-rank positions. Moreover, both of Clinton's Supreme Court appointments – Ruth bader ginsburg and stephen breyer – were Jewish. As of 2005 President Bush had one Jewish American in his cabinet, but the director of his Office of Management and Budget and numerous senior White House and subcabinet appointees were Jews. Some observers describe the chairman of the Federal Reserve Board as the second most powerful person in the world. From 1987 to 2006, that position was held by alan greenspan . His successor, chosen by President Bush in 2005, was another Jewish American, Ben S. (Shalom) Bernanke. But perhaps the most widely-known Jewish political figure at the turn of the 21st century was Senator joseph lieberman . In   August of 2000, Vice President Al Gore picked Lieberman as his vice presidential running mate. This was the first time in history that a Jewish American had been on the presidential ticket of a major American political party. Despite the concern of some that America was not ready for a Jewish president or vice president, Lieberman was widely credited with running a good campaign and was seen as an overall asset to the Democratic ticket that year. He began his acceptance speech as nominee with the proto-typical American Jewish phrase "only in America." Not only did the doors of opportunity open for Jewish Americans in the last third of the 20th century, but Jews also became increasingly comfortable in publicly acknowledging their ethnic and religious background. The Six-Day War in 1967 engendered a great deal of ethnic pride and in the following decades the american israel public affairs committee (AIPAC) became a major Washington lobbying institution that represented the Jewish community's very public commitment to fostering strong U.S.-Israel relations. In the late 1980s two partisan Jewish organizations – the national jewish democratic council (NJDC) and the republican jewish coalition (RJC) – emerged as an acknowledgement that Jewish Americans were now comfortable in asserting a particular Jewish agenda in the public arena. Moreover, a review of nearly any Jewish weekly at the turn of the 20th century would turn up a headline or two that asked the very public question, "What is good for the Jews?" In the 1960s Milton Himmelfarb observed that "Jews live like Episcopalians and vote like Puerto Ricans." In the latter third of the 20th century, many commentators examined an American Jewish community that was one of the richest and most highly educated groups in America and predicted that such a minority was bound to become Republican. However, the GOP realignment among Jews never happened. In 1968 Republican Richard Nixon captured about 17% of the Jewish vote in his run for president. Four years later against George McGovern the Nixon percentages doubled to 35%. Elsewhere Nixon was elected in a landslide. In the next four presidential elections the Jewish Republican vote bounced between 30% and 39% – the trend seemed to be away from the community's New Deal loyalties. Jimmy Carter received a plurality of Jewish votes and Jews voted in significant numbers of John Anderson, the third party candidate. However, in 1992 George H.W. Bush only received approximately 12% of the Jewish vote, and in the next two elections, the Clinton-Dole-Perot election, the GOP garnered 16% and then 19% of the Jewish vote in the Gore-Lieberman-Bush-Cheney election. Between 2001 and 2004, the administration of President George W. Bush adopted a pro-Israel stance toward the ongoing violence in the Middle East. Republican political operatives openly targeted the Jewish vote as they prepared for the 2004 election. During the same time frame there were numerous predictions by Republican spokesmen and Jewish organizational leaders that the Jewish vote was about to shift to the Republican party. On election day 2004, John Kerry defeated George W. Bush in the Jewish community by a margin of 77% to 22%. Why did the Jewish vote continue to be a reliable Democratic bloc at the presidential level in the 1990s and the first four years of the 21st century? The most important reason has to do with the nature of the two American political party coalitions. The modern Republican coalition's most dominant element has been evangelical Christians. Though this group is widely viewed as pro-Israel, the other issues it champions – opposition to abortion rights, gay rights, and the separation of church and state – clash with the issue agenda of the vast majority of American Jews. Republicans have tried to paint the Democratic Party as anti-Israel, but this has been unsuccessful as both parties in America are broadly seen as pro-Israel. The progressive world-view that the vast majority of American Jews adhere to does not mean that Republican candidates can never win majorities in the Jewish community. Party-identification in 2004 was less strong than it had been in previous eras. Jews split along religious lines with Orthodox Jews voting far more often for George Bush than did their non-Orthodox counterparts. In municipal elections Republican candidates are often successful with Jewish voters. Moreover in the northeast states, where GOP candidates are often much less conservative than their brethren in the rest of the country, individual moderate Republicans have run fairly strongly in Jewish constituencies. But as long as the national GOP strongly identifies with conservative Christian constituencies, it will be hard for most state and national Republican candidates to compete effectively in the Jewish community. By the first decade of the century, the American Jewish community played an unprecedented role in the politics of the United States. Jewish actors were placed in significant roles throughout the process. Unlike in Europe, antisemitism has not surged in recent years and American Jews are comfortable in running for office and even in asserting a Jewish agenda in the political process. Jewish public opinion remained much more liberal than most other segments of the American electorate and Jewish voting remained largely, if not universally, Democratic. Antisemitic appeals by candidates have been fairly rare and largely ineffectual over the last few decades. When they are used they are usually the work of fringe candidates, or they are of the "whispering campaign" variety, or they have engendered an immediate backlash. Candidates, whose records on Jewish-related issues have been problematic, have tended to go out of their way to move toward a more pro-Israel, pro-Jewish point of view as they move into the mainstream. Of course, there have been exceptions such as Patrick Buchanan. It is difficult to predict the future political landscape for the American Jewish community, but demographic trends provide a few hints. By 2001 Orthodox Jews comprised less than 10% of the Jewish electorate. However, given fertility rates it is expected that Orthodoxy will represent a larger percentage of the Jewish electorate in future decades. It is also the least progressive segment of the Jewish community. Moreover, if   current overall rates of assimilation and lower birthrates persist, it will be very difficult for the Jewish community to be as influential in the political process by the latter half of the 21st century. (Ira Forman (2nd ed.) -ADD. BIBLIOGRAPHY: F.C. Brasz, in: Studia Rosenthaliana, 19 (1985), 299–311; J. Michman, Dutch Jewry during the Emancipation Period 17871815, Gothic Turrets on a Corinthian Building (1995); B. Wallet, in: Zutot, (2003), 173–77. L.H. Fuchs, Political Behavior of American Jews (1956); J.J. Goldberg, Jewish Power; Inside the Jewish American Establishment (1996); S.D. Isaacs, Jews and American Politics (1974); L.S. Maisel and I.N. Forman (eds.), Jews in American Politics (2001); K.F. Stone, The Congressional Minyan: The Jews of Capitol Hill (2000).

Encyclopedia Judaica. 1971.

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