Orange County, NY - To Protest “Zionist Interests”, Many Kiryas Joel Residents Voted Obama

Published on: November 11th, 2012 at 12:54 PM
By: VIN News Staff

AP 2010 File Photo: Voters mingle at a polling station in Kiryas Joel, N.Y.Orange County, NY - For many Orthodox Jewish voters who cast their ballot for him, Mitt Romney’s support for Israel was considered a plus, particularly in contrast to President Obama’s tepid support of America’s only Democratic ally in the Middle East.

But in Kiryas Joel, a village founded by staunch, anti-Zionist leader Rabbi Joel Teitelbaum, residents say they were told to vote for Obama. “We were unofficially told to vote for Obama because Romney is pro-Israel,” one villager told the New York Post (

Shimon Rolnitzky, a Satmar Chassid said, “Some people voted for Obama to make a statement that they disagree with what they believe are unfair attacks against the president by Zionist interests.”

As previously reported on VIN News, Satmar Jews were instructed by the Grand Rebbe Rabbi Aron Teitelbaum at last year’s annual Satmar dinner to show support for Obama. “We enjoy freedom of speech and freedom of religion,” The Grand Rebbe said. “But recently self-appointed Jewish leaders have gotten up and insulted the President in the worst way. Their words have been broadcast on the radio and television and all the media. Why should Jews come out in public with these sort of statements? It is provoking the nations to hate us and it brings danger upon Jews not only here but all over the globe. We mustn’t forget that this is exile. Who knows what the effects of this irresponsible behavior could be?”

Thus far, the unofficial tally in Kiryas Joel shows Romney earned 1,904 votes of the 5,286 votes counted, while Obama won 1,442, a significant increase for Obama compared with 2008, which saw McCain take home around 90 percent of the village’s vote.

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