Both Republican and Democratic candidates have been courting Jewish voters ahead of Tuesday’s New York primary vote, looking for an edge in competitive districts with large Jewish populations.
Orthodox Jews, who make up a significant portion of New York’s Jewish population, have become an important bloc in the New York primary for both parties.
Ted Cruz and John Kasich recently visited matzah bakeries in Brooklyn, while Donald Trump met with a group of reporters representing Orthodox news outlets.
Some candidates have even launched Yiddish-language ad campaigns micro-targeting New York’s Hasidic population.
While Orthodox Jews tend to lean more Republican than Democrat by a margin of 55% to 31%, some Hasidic sects, including the staunchly anti-Zionist Satmar, have lent their support in the past to Democratic candidates.
Yiddish flyers distributed by a pro-Sanders group and bearing the official logo of the Sanders campaign, have targeted this niche audience by emphasizing the Vermont Senator’s disapproval of Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu.
Some of the flyers even employ the Hebrew curse “may the name of the wicked rot” in regards to Israel’s Prime Minister.
“Some self-interested haredi figures have attacked the Democratic candidate for president, Bernie Sanders, calling on [the Jewish public] not to vote for him. The real reason [for their opposition] is because Sanders refuses to bow down to radical right-wing Zionists, and because he does not agree with the radical policies of Netanyahu, may the name of the wicked rot”.
By comparison, a Yiddish advertisement run by the Cruz campaign touted the Texas Senator’s conservative bona fides and religious faith.
“Presidential candidate Ted Cruz is the first and only since President Reagan who believes that God is the one who decides who will be elected president of the US, which is why he is confident that he will be elected.”