Saturday, August 11, 2018

On the need for American Jewish parity between Democrats and Republicans

Michael Lumish

{Also published at Jews Down Under, the Elder of Ziyon and The Jewish Press.}

One of the vital questions facing US diaspora Jewry is how to respond to the rise of American-Left antisemitic anti-Zionism.

The prominent faces of that movement include anyone who looks toward Louis Farrakhan as a positive figure in American cultural and political life. These include low hanging fruit like Linda Sarsour, Tamika Mallory, and potential California State Assemblyperson, Maria Estrada... not to mention Keith Ellison, Barbara Lee, and Maxine Waters.

Given how much the Jewish community worked for the Civil Rights Movement throughout the 1950s and 1960s -- up to and including sacrificing some of their children -- it is a terrible shame that so many of our political enemies come from the very communities that we embraced and sought to empower throughout the twentieth-century

Nonetheless, according to 2018 Pew polling, a mere 27 percent of Democrats sympathize with Israel while 79 percent of Republicans favor the Jewish minority in the Middle East over their Arab aggressors.

This is Alan Dershowitz's worst nightmare.

The guy devoted his life to supporting civil liberties, Israel, and the Democratic Party -- not necessarily in that order -- but now he's fast becoming a relic in the minds of very many Democrats, particularly among the younger snowflakey regressive set who very much dislike his ongoing support for his own people.

American Jews, and our friends, mainly respond in two ways to the rising disdain towards us within the Democratic Party. The prominent inclination is to work within. My response was to bow out. From Jimmy Carter to the first term of Barack Obama, I was a devoted man of the Left and a Democrat. But when I saw, ten years ago, now, that the Democratic Party was making a home of itself for antisemitic anti-Zionism I began to speak up. And, not surprisingly, when I spoke up I was also slapped down.

I have lost real-life friends over the fact that I refuse to stand with a political party or a political movement that supports the racist effort to boycott, divest from, and sanction (BDS) the lone, sole Jewish State.

Fred Maroun, who I have discussed before in these pages, is an interesting guy and a good friend to Israel. Like many critics of Arab political tendencies, he is of Lebanese Christian descent. Fred disagrees with me entirely. He argues, not unreasonably, that left-leaning American Jews who care about Israel need to stay and fight within the Democratic Party.

Dershowitz always argued that we should maintain a bi-partisan consensus in support of Israel and who among us would disagree with that? Of course, we want the support of all of our neighbors and friends throughout the country. But the polling data clearly shows, and from a million bits of anecdotal information, we can see that the Democratic Party is abandoning our fellow Jews in the Middle East.

27 percent are in sympathy with them.

27 percent.

That is a very difficult number for me to swallow.

I find it unreasonable and counterproductive for Jewish Americans to support the Democratic Party in figures above the 70th percentile while the Democratic Party supports Jewish well-being in numbers below the 30th percentile. Thus my argument is that we should not allow ourselves to be taken for granted and should make a get-away. Through supporting the cause of Palestinian-Arab nationalism they are throwing the Jewish people to the wolves, so who needs them?

If we can get Jewish participation in the Democratic Party down to something close to parity with the Republican Party than they can no longer take us for granted.

In the meantime, I salute our friends -- Jewish and otherwise -- who are working within the Democratic Party to push against the rising antisemitic anti-Zionist tide flowing over them. I am not opposed to pro-Jewish Jews working for our interests among Democrats.

I simply do not want us taken for granted by people who obviously do not care about what happens to our brothers and sisters in Israel.


  1. Taken for granted implies that American Jews don't themselves hold any strong notions or have any well anchored beliefs of their own in lieu of willingly becoming tokens. Are you sure? Most left wing Jews I know have very strongly held beliefs and they can point to their own facts or fact-like things to bolster them. As-a-Jew-ism is a very passionate thing except at the far far fringes like JWP.

    1. Trudy, I think that you are right.

      I operate under the assumption that the Jewish Left is still generally pro-Israel and, thus, pro-Jewish. I may very well be wrong. They may not feel themselves taken for granted in the least. They may be in general agreement with the Democratic Party tendency to blame never-ending Arab hostility toward the Jews on the Jews.

      I still feel badly for Dershowitz, tho.

      Can you imagine?

      I feel badly for him?


  2. Good idea, but why stop with a Jewish party. The Muslims think that they are ignored, so they should have their own party. Same with Jehovah's Witnesses (who, by the way, were the only people actually prosecuted by the Nazis for their religion, Jews being persecuted because of the Nazis bizarre racial views), and then of course the Catholics need their party and...Oh hell, lets just start religious wars.

    1. Rather than make dumb comments about Jehovah's Witnesses that are more designed for a gathering at J Street, why not explain why Jews, who actually care about Israel, should remain in the party of Ellison and Sarsour, Sanders and Ocasio-Cortez, among others? Why pretend that 73% means nothing? Perhaps you'll just have to wait until they turn on you?

      How often do you defend Israel when your progressive cohorts discuss the dastardly Israeli regime, or do you remain silent or virtue signal?

      You're still in the mindset of those Jews who helped create the civil rights movement, but like so many good things the abusers took it and use it for cover. For a bunch of woke people, there is still slumber.

    2. Get woke!

      And over the past 15 to 20 years, hatred of Israel and support for its enemies, including Iran, Hamas and Hezbollah, has moved from the margins of the Left to become its signature foreign policy. What was once the cause célèbre of the Left’s radical fringes has now become the default position of politicians and activists associated with the Left throughout the Western world.

      Take for example Sen. Cory Booker’s recent participation at the annual Netroots Nation conference, which took place last weekend in New Orleans. The conference, first convened during Barack Obama’s presidency, bills itself as “a political convention for American progressive political activists.” It has become a key tool for fundraising and political organizing for Democratic politicians. Would-be presidential candidates cannot afford to miss it.

      Given its “progressive” pedigree, the only foreign policy position the participating groups advocated on behalf of was abandoning US support for Israel and replacing that support with support for the Palestinians. To this end, the US Campaign for Palestinian Rights, (USCPR) was a major participant in the conference.

      Please say more about the Jehovah's Witnesses.

    3. I somehow missed the entire part in Mike's piece about the forming of a "Jewish Party."
      I still can't find it. Perhaps Joseph can enlighten us. Joseph, will this Jewish Party have sharia law just like Israel does? hmm?

      27% Percent of Democrats support Israel. 73% are bizarre creatures who haven't got a clue.

    4. Joseph, I am sorry, but your comment has no relation to what I wrote.

      My thesis is grounded in the fact of American Jewish loyalty to the Democratic Party.

      We are more loyal to the Democrats than any other group outside of Black Americans.

      Yet Democrats support us in percentages below the 30th, while we support them in percentages above the 70th.

      All I am suggesting is the need for greater parity among American Jews between the parties.

    5. But that idea only depends upon whether or not you think that Israel, as the nation-state of the Jewish people, is vital.

      I do think so.

  3. Keith Ellison, an anti-Israel Muslim, became Deputy Chair of the Democratic National Committee by a UNANIMOUS VOICE VOTE of DNC members, according to Wikipedia.

    “In January, Pew reported that liberal Democrats side with the Palestinians over Israel by a margin of nearly two to one. Conservative Republicans support Israel over the Palestinians by a margin of more than 16 to 1.”

    SOURCE: Heeding Dem Warnings by Caroline B. Glick, 2018 May 25

    “…leading members of the Democratic Party like Keith Ellison and luminaries like Linda Sarsour openly espouse anti-Jewish sentiments and propagate anti-Semitic conspiracy theories, Democrats ignore, whitewash, deny and minimize the significance of the swelling chorus of anti-Semitism within their ranks.”

    SOURCE: The peril of Politicized Anti-Semitism by Caroline B. Glick 2018 June 22

    “Rising stars in the Democratic Party, including Rep. Ellison and Women’s March leaders Tamika Mallory and Linda Sarsour along with the Congressional Black Caucus embrace Louis Farrakhan, and defend his notorious, virulent hatred of Jews.
    They demonize Israel and its Jewish supporters.”

    SOURCE: The peril of Politicized Anti-Semitism by Caroline B. Glick 2018 June 22

    NEW: Time Magazine vs Truth:

  4. What Do Democrats Want?
    by Laura Hollis, 2017 March 2

    “But when Trump recognized deceased Navy Seal William "Ryan" Owens, who lost his life fighting for his country, the audience gave his widow, Carryn Owens, a two-minute standing ovation. That is, all except for some of the Democrats, who refused to stand or applaud. These included disgraced former DNC chair Debbie Wasserman-Schultz, and incoming deputy chair Keith Ellison.”


    QUESTION: Why does the Democratic Party love immigrants?


    The reason why the USA’s Democratic Party favors immigrants, even illegal immigrants, is because they believe that immigrants will vote for the Democratic Party.

    If the leaders of the Democratic Party believed that immigrants would vote for the Republican Party, then they would do everything possible to prevent immigrants from entering the USA, even legal immigrants.

    If the Democrats are not removed from power, then the people who participate on this blog may live to see the day when making factually-correct criticisms of Islam result in big fines or lengthy imprisonment or both.

    The more I learn about the Democrats, the more I realize that the Democrats are: wicked, ignorant, intolerant, corrupt, dishonest, honor-less, irrational tyrants who want to reshape the USA into the image of the USSR of the 1970s, with Jews thrown in jail because they studied Hebrew or because they recited Jewish prayers or because they attempted to move to Israel.

    If the Democrats gain enough power,
    then the only people in America who
    will be permitted to freely practice
    their religion will be Muslims.

    How the Anti-Defamation League (ADL)
    became a branch of the American Democratic Party:

  5. With a two-party system, you're going to find your party is at best a 70% match. For that other 30% some people but not many walk off the rez for a fringe party but that's vanity and politically it's the same and quitting. So you have to decide what that dividing line is...70%, 65%, 85%?, 50% and so forth and then you have to decide if you can live with it. If you can you stay if you can't then the decision's been made. Same with the never-Trumps. They decided that whatever that line was for them in the GOP they couldn't stay. Where do they go? That's their problem not mine or yours. American Jews of the left have made the decision that Jew hate might be on the other side of their line but it's a line they can live with. Maybe to them it's only 5% of the party or 10% or whatever. But it's a slice they're willing to tolerate. To me it doesn't make sense because it's so specific. It's not a vague concept it's a 'we fucking hate you and want you dead' but them, I guess that's not germane. If antisemitism doesn't phase them that's fine. That's on them. Later on a few of them may reach their limit and leave their rez. Who knows? But what we do know is that it will only be a tiny fraction and it will only be under the most extreme circumstances. It's akin to Catholics leaving the Church over the sex scandals. Precious few and very late.

  6. It's the large donors who need to make a stand. The pressure needs to come down hard on them. The Democrats can probably win without the Jewish vote. After all, Republicans seem to win every now and then without 70% of the Jewish vote.
    At this point in time the Democrats really don't give a sh__ about Jewish issues. Their current trajectory will take them down Corbyn lane. BTW, for anyone still not "woke" Corbyn is British Jewry's worst nightmare.
    The writing is on the wall. Antisemitism will get worse before it gets better. Maybe a lot worse.
    Anyway, I feel sorry for anyone who takes the current trajectory of the Democratic Party as an indication of liberal democracy on the upswing. A rude awakening is headed their way. Or maybe their into coercion and show trials. Herds do run off cliffs.

    1. It's of a set. The traditional sources of funding that fuels the DNC coffers have become irrelevant. Unions, blue collar, public sector, cops, firefighters, on and on and.. Funding comes through very opaque sources now - Soros, Tom Steyer, Hollywood, environmentalists, foreign governments, Arab theocracies and tyrannies and so on. They don't have to worry about the 'blue collar vote' or the 'union vote' or the 'health care' vote.

      They don't have to worry about the Jewish vote because the DNC isn't eager or desperate to collect Jewish money. They'll take it but it's not a crucial thing. Not when Hollywood, China and Saudi Arabia are pouring in money. For that matter the DNC isn't interested in black issues or women's issues either. They're interested in illegal aliens, hobbling the US economy, gun control, and, censorship and media suppression. If they can't win with that, then you can count on 2019 ushering in a thousand Mueller investigations at every level of government.

  7. Here's my two cents. The rise of antisemitism on the left is scary, and horrible and terrible. But the left has something or has done something that the right IMHO is unable to fight, and that is the "fear factor". people are scared of being called racist, and sticking up for Zionism in a room full of people who view it as racism gives Jew haters a bigger platform to spew hate every time they do it. So even the way the chart reads may not be as accurate as how people feel. I could only hope. And the reason I have (a little) hope is because even though some extremists (Ocasio-Cortez for example) have won some, I think, maybe, there are a larger group of normals there than we give credit for. They are just afraid. Why they stay is something I think needs further looking at.
    As someone who is forced to go to city mandated training on "acceptance and tolerance" I can tell you the push against Jews is there, as is the push of what anything our parents would have considered mainstream or normal. And if you do push back, you run the real risk in many city or state jobs of losing promotions, or even keeping your job. Giving the left more power to promote hate dressed up as tolerance.

    Look at this as an example:

    Where is the support if I'm a Zionist and a Jew? I've been to places that look to Farrakhan and Sarsour as role models. So Arabs throwing gays off the roof is ok and their views and hate are normalized, while being pro Israel makes you a racist. Hard to fight that from within.

  8. Ben Shapiro wrote this back in April of this year. "Why Israel?"