I will vote for Barack Obama because I believe he will bring to the presidency intelligence, respect, and the values of “my America” that have been absent from America’s government and policy for the last eight years. I believe in voting for what’s best for America, not just what’s best for Israel – because, as Thomas Friedman has noted, a strong, respected America will ultimately be good for Israel.

A gun-slinging narrow-minded administration alienates the rest of the world, is bad for America, and therefore is bad for Israel. The current administration (and I have little doubt that John McCain will advocate a continuation of most of President Bush’s attitudes and policies) has deceived Americans into thinking it is helping Israel. On the contrary, it has amplified world anti-Semitism, with peace for Israel nowhere in sight.

What has Bush, in eight years, actually done for Israel?

Here are some things that may well occur in a McCain presidency:

1. We are one seat from a conservative Supreme Court (McCain told ABC that if he could, he would remove all five moderates and liberals). Another such appointment would probably result in removal of abortion choice and institute prayers in schools – i.e., Christianize schools, which would be very bad for Jews.

2. Narrowing or suppression of our civil liberties.

3. Promotion of the old Cold War environment (see recent developments with Russia) because of deficit in diplomacy. For example, Bush refused to talk to Iran for seven years. Only this year, after Obama’s open positions, did he begin a dialogue with Iran.

4. A very disturbing aspect of McCain is his impulsive poor judgment, which can be seen in his choice of Sarah Palin for running mate. She has already asked God what to say at the convention. I think she believes that she, like Bush, has a direct line to God. (The “bridge to nowhere” was, according to her, God’s will – I guess even God can have a change of mind.)

5. McCain has been operated on twice for melanoma. Do you believe that Palin, who would be a heartbeat away from the presidency, is prepared to lead our nation?

God help us!