Why might the next US elections influence your life, as an Israeli citizen? Part One.

For some American ex-pats, voting in the US elections seems futile: I won’t have to live with the consequences of the American elections, so why should I continue to vote?  That may be valid reasoning for American ex-pats in some countries but for American citizens living Israel, that simply isn’t the case.  Here’s a quick glance at the issues that the US president may influence and thus, have a direct effect on your life here in Israel:

Iran.  Everyone’s talking about sanctions vs. military intervention,  but what does it have to do with the US?  Whether or not Israel will attack Iran’s nuclear facilities remains to be seen and is a subject that is widely debated.  However, the current and future US president is heavily involved in the movement to put sanctions on Iran in order to attempt to put a stop to their alleged quest to develop nuclear weapons.  In the event that Israel doeschoose to take military action against Iran, it is likely that some sort of cooperation between the two countries will be required– be it financial or military intervention from the United States.  If you’re concerned about how Israel will handle the situation with Iran, there is no question that the next US president will influence the outcome of any diplomatic and/or military interventions.

The Establishment of a Palestinian State.  Will a Palestinian State be established?  If so, where will the borders be drawn? What will happen to Israeli settlements in the West Bank? To what extent will Israel be able to defend its new borders?  If these are all questions whose answers are important to you, it’s imperative to acknowledge the fact that the current and future US president, for better or for worse, have a large influence on the negotiations that take place.

Jerusalem.  Will Jerusalem be split into two entities, or will it remain the undivided capital of the Jewish State? Will Jews be able to build homes in East Jerusalem?  Similar to the negotiations and talks surrounding the issue of a Palestinian State, the American president is involved in these negotiations and arguably has a large amount of influence on Israel policies, given the close relationship between the two governments.

Defense Budget & the Economy. The US gives Israel millions of dollars in aid each year, much of which is at the discretion of the US president.  Whether or not Israel could maintain the status quo without this money is widely debated but the question really is– do we want to find out?

This is just a sampling of the issues that will likely be influenced by the next US president, and they all have a direct effect on our lives here in Israel.  For that reason, iVoteIsrael urges those of us who are concerned about Israel’s safety and security to vote in the upcoming US elections for the candidate that YOU think would make the best choices regarding Israel.  If you’re worried about whether or not your absentee vote will actually be counted, read this.  If you’re worried about the IRS, click here.

Even better, if you’re ready to register for your absentee ballot in 2 minutes or less, free of charge, go to iVoteIsrael and do it now!

Photo credit: Israel Defense Forces / Foter / CC BY-NC

Not sure if you’re going to vote in the US elections via absentee ballot? Check this out first.

The US elections are rapidly approaching, as are the state deadlines for registration- yet, some of you still are not sure if you want to vote.

  • Concerned that they don’t even count absentee ballots? They do. We promise.
  • Not sure if you have a right to vote in a country that you no longer live in? You do. Here’s why.
  • Think it’s impossible for one vote to make a difference in terms of election results? Here’s some recent elections with a teeny, tiny margin of error– proof that every vote counts.
  • Okay, okay- you’re convinced.  But you don’t have time for lots of paperwork!  Neither do we.  Here’s how you can vote in 2 minutes or less.
  • Have questions about voter eligibility or the registration process? See our FAQs or email [email protected] directly.
  • Need some entertainment and a little more encouragement?

Interesting analysis on the US elections from various sources

Seems like the momentum is really picking up with respect to the US presidential elections.  As an American living in Israel, it’s your job to keep up!  We’ve made it a bit easier and compiled a few interesting articles for you:

iVoteIsrael does not endorse a specific candidate or political party, but as election season gets into gear one thing is clear:  there is a lot at stake.  If you’re concerned about Israel’s safety and security, Register To Vote in the US elections.  The US elections and our safety and security in Israel are interrelated.

On the Road with Ari Fleischer & Matt Brooks

As some of you may know (and if you don’t, take a look at our Facebook photo album!), iVoteIsrael hosted former White House Press Secretary of the Bush Administration, Ari Fleischer, and Matt Brooks, Executive Director of the Republican Jewish Coalition.  Ari and Matt came as Republicans who support Romney, but iVoteIsrael remains a non-partisan organization who simply provided a platform for them to speak.  We will provide a similar platform for a Democrat in the coming weeks.

Ari and Matt traveled to the US to urge American citizens in Israel to vote and made the case that not only are absentee ballots counted, but that the approximately 163,000 eligible voters living in Israel could significantly influence the outcome of the US presidential elections– especially given the fact that polls are showing that Obama and Romney are neck and neck.  Fleischer said this as a ‘survivor’ of the Florida recount in 2000, in which the election was in the hands of just over 500 voters.

As iVoteIsrael employees, we got to spend quite a bit of time with Ari and Matt last week and in addition to scheduled events, got to hear quite a few interesting tidbits.

First of all, at the Psagot Winery, we found out that Matt Brooks is a wine connesuir.  He taught our very own Voting Wizard/Expert/Campaign Coordinator, Shira Woolf,  how to swirl her wine before drinking it.

Not only that, but Matt treated us to goodbye drinks and chose a delicious Israeli wine called ‘The Cave’- which this lucky blogger got to finish up on Shabbat.

Ari told us that he grew up a liberal democrat.  What changed him?  Jimmy Carter.   He told us that his mom often voted for democratic candidates and that when Ari worked with former President Bush, the president would always ask, regarding Ari’s mother, “Do I have her yet?”   The answer remains a mystery!


Matt Brooks in a black hat with Agudah’s Rav Shmuely Machlis…. perhaps his next career move will necessitate the title, “Rav Matt?”

When asked about a rewarding moment in his career, Ari told us about a woman who lost her husband in the 9/11 attacks.  She told Ari that when he was on TV during the time following the attacks, he made her feel calm.

Curious about Ari and Matt’s visit? Check out some of the posts by the bloggers who attended our press conference (below).  Also, check out @ivoteisrael on Twitter for quotes from the events.