THINGS are getting ugly among the Jews of Cuyahoga County, with family splits and dinner invitations declined. “I have never seen the divisions this acute,” said James Ratner, an executive of the Forest City real estate group.
The pressure of a very tight presidential race whose outcome Ohio could well decide has been compounded by the Senate candidacy of a conservative Jewish Republican, Josh Mandel, who has divided loyalties among the 80,000 Jews of Greater Cleveland.
An advertisement in the Cleveland Jewish News this week, paid for by a group called Jews for Israel 2012, asked this question: “Are you willing to bet the life of the Jewish people on this president?” It questioned Barack Obama’s willingness to defend an Israel “threatened by nuclear annihilation.”
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