Israeli publication Ha’aretz reports that many Jewish Republicans have been generously donating to Republican presidential candidate Rep. Michele Bachmann in an erroneous belief that the candidate heralds from the Jewish faith. The Tea Party champion’s surname has confused many Jews due to being “Jewish-sounding”. A cursory interest search turned up that the origin of the name Bachmann is German, but that Ashkenazic Jews have their own variant spelled Bachman.
Bachmann is not Jewish, but a devout Evangelical Christian. The candidate may boast other credentials, however, to endear herself to Jewish Republicans: She’s a passionate supporter of the state of Israel and worked on an Israeli Kibbutz in the ’70s, telling the pro-Israel American Israeli Public Affairs Committee, “I really learned a lot in Israel.” And added, “I am a Christian, but I consider my heritage Jewish, because it is the foundation, the roots of my faith as a Christian.”
And Bachmann has been courting Jewish voters. This week she met with Jewish religious leaders in Manhattan. Like many Republicans, Bachmann is hoping to capitalize on President Obama’s alleged “Israel problem” (as the rival Mitt Romney campaign put it) and the belief (as yet unproven) that the president’s perceived problem has many Jews abandoning him and thus available for Republican candidates. Traditionally, Jews are among the most solidly pro-Democratic voting bloc and President Obama won 78% of the American Jewish vote in 2008.
One slight, which definitely proves she’s not nor ever have been Jewish, is when Bachmann accused the president of chutzpah but mispronounced the Yiddish word, which has long been a common American experience. Video on left.