Saturday, August 25, 2018

The Democratic Party versus the Jewish People

Michael Lumish

-- Correction: this piece originally referred to Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez as a Californian when she is, in fact, a New Yorker. --

{Also published at the Elder of Ziyon and Jews Down Under.}

aKu - Turning Away
I understand that most American Jews do not want to hear this message, but there is no getting away from certain obvious political truths.

The progressive-left and the Democratic Party believe that the Jewish people of the Middle East, in the form of Israel, are not humane to the Palestinian-Arabs. What this means is that if the Democratic Party gains power in the forthcoming US midterm elections they will turn against Israel in a harsh manner, because they are already in the process of doing so. We can see this very clearly from the upcoming candidates that the Democrats are fielding.

In a recent piece for The Begin-Sadat Center for Strategic Studies, PhD student at the School of Political Science, Government and International Affairs at Tel Aviv University, Doron Feldman, tells us:
Israeli decision-makers must recognize what is happening in American society and politics and prepare strategically for the worst possible outcome. If the Democrats manage to overtake the Republican majority in Congress as a result of the midterm elections, Washington could significantly reduce its military and diplomatic involvement in the Middle East, perhaps even to the point that it ceases to function as a superpower in the region and in the world – a situation that would benefit Russia and China. In the longer term, Israel’s decision-makers must consider and prepare for the possibility that the midterms are a harbinger of the presidential election of 2020.
Although I agree with the overall assessment, I do not agree that a US cut in military assistance to Israel is necessarily bad for Israel or for the Jewish people. US Diplomatic involvement must be emphasized, but Israel has the capacity to take care of its own military needs. In fact, it would presumably improve Israel's economy to transfer all Israeli weapons manufacturing from the United States to Israel, itself. The three billion per year that the United States spends on domestic weapons ear-marked for Israel is a tiny proportion of Israel's overall economy. It does not even equal what PepsiCo just spent in its purchase of SodaStream.

Of more significance, however, is Feldman's focus on what he calls the "leftist-socialist-progressive wing" of the Democratic Party. These are the people who, when they do not directly support antisemitic anti-Zionism, generally think that Arab violence against the Jewish minority in the Middle East is, at least, understandable. That is, they tend to view the tiny national homeland of the Jewish people as a European transplant onto "indigenous" Arab land while entirely forgetting that Arabs are from the Arabian peninsula and the Jewish people -- who are tiny by number in comparison -- hail from Judea, which is also known as Israel.

The Democratic Party, sadly, supports antisemitic anti-Zionism to the extent that it considers Israel a "colonial-settler" imposition onto a native people. Their problem is less anti-Jewish ill-will -- from what I can tell, at least -- than it is historical ignorance of thirteen centuries of Arab and Muslim imperial stomping on Jewish, Christian, and Zoroastrian faces.

But even in the unlikely event that the Democrats turn a cold shoulder to their anti-Zionists, it is increasingly evident that the Party is no friend to the Jewish people.

Feldman writes:
Several individuals from the leftist-socialist-progressive wing of the Democratic Party are considering running for the presidency in 2020. They include Bernie Sanders, who won 43.1% of the vote in the 2016 Democratic primary, and Elizabeth Warren, who dubiously claims to be of Native American descent. Both these candidates have expressed anti-Israel positions. If they are elected, they can be expected to follow through on those positions, not only in terms of US policy but also at the UN.
On a less lofty level, we see Democratic Party friends of the racist Louis Farrakhan coming to prominence within the party. These include, but are not limited to, and in no particular order, Linda Sarsour, Tamika Mallory, Minnesota Rep. Keith Ellison, and NY Democratic hopeful Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, who, according to Ha'aretz:
In the midst of her primary campaign, Ocasio-Cortez spoke out strongly against the Israeli army’s actions on the Gaza border on May 14, tweeting, “This is a massacre. I hope my peers have the moral courage to call it such. No state or entity is absolved of mass shootings of protesters. There is no justification. Palestinian people deserve basic human dignity, as anyone else. Democrats can’t be silent about this anymore.” 
The obvious political trend on the American-Left and the Democratic Party vis-à-vis the conflict is increasingly friendly toward the hostile Muslim majority in opposition to the well-being of the Jewish minority in the Middle East. As Feldman points out, even if the moderate Hillary / Biden wing of the Party comes to prominence, the emerging hard-left is forcing them into a crusty, pro-Oslo, intransigent stance on Israel along the line of Obama's Middle East policies.

Progressive-left Democrats think of Israel as a racist, colonialist, settler-state and have little sympathy for it if they even believe it should exist at all. The moderate Democrats merely believe that the Jewish people must be leashed. The "moderates" believe that it is the Jewish presence in Judea and Samaria, our indigenous homeland -- what they insist upon calling "West Bank" and, thereby, erasing Jewish heritage -- that is the fundamental problem.

What we need to do is stand up for ourselves and insist upon the fact of Jewish indigeneity to the Land of Israel.

At the end of the day, it is our first and final home and if the Jewish people will not stand up for ourselves, nobody else will.


  1. You’re correct of course, (nicely written by the way). The question of who will stand up for us remains in question. Since RW Orthodox Jewery has not come to grips with Israel as a Jewish State, the people who should be standing up for Israel on the right are largely silent. As an example 90% of the post HS kids who I spoke to (I did an informal survey of 15 kids I knew who spent the post HS year studying in lsrae) knew nothing of Israeli politics or what was even going on at the Gaza border! This is important IMHO because mostly it is the youth of the left who is being heard and is active (think Ocasio-Cortez, and Julia Salazar). If the right has no significant youth to stand up to counter the message, we are losing the battle, especially in pure numbers.
    I understand why RWOJ is hesitant to get involved. From a religious standpoint, things are still murky for them. While praying for Jerusalem 3x per day is great lip service, the fact is that no one I know of will get involved on a political level, unless it has to do with Jewish law (kosher, marriage and converts).
    I wish I knew a way to counter the apathy. The silence may literally be killing us.

  2. Michael, my brother from another mother... this article has been running through my own head for years. Spot on analysis. I wish it were wrong, but the days of Cranston and Moynihan are long gone.

  3. But is it really a diaspora Jewish issue? Or it is a left wing American issue? I'm not convinced that in a generation there will even BE any left wing Jews. They will have assimilated completely into the left wing sauce. They will intermarry, change their names, end all shul membership. Anti Israeli sentiment if not outright antisemitism runs at something like 70-80% among the so called Reform and 50% among the 'Conservative' sphere. But importantly, membership in both are in free fall. People still more or less 'join' but it's different kind of Judaism. Reform abandoned Hebrew and Jewish studies and lifecycle events. Conservative is close behind. School membership is less than a third of what it was 15 years ago. Let me repeat that. Hebrew and religious school membership has dropped 2/3rds since 2003. In its place, synagogues have become unapologetic Democratic and further left outposts of those political agendas. Up to the point where one could seriously challenge their non profit tax exempt status. There is no longer any entry point to Judaism for these people. Their children will not call themselves Jews. They will never set foot in shul after age 13. This is actually happening. This is reality.

    So the only spur of diaspora Jews that will remain in the US in a generation are the Orthodox. That's it. Always the smallest of the 3 streams but the only one that is self sufficient. But it's important to note that Orthodox, MO, Chabad etc don't see themselves as political bodies, they don't act as such. They are generally Zionist but it's not the foundation of their core beliefs. I particularly worry about Chabad because their focus has been on bringing Jews back to Judaism. The problem is that soon enough, there won't be any non Orthodox Jews. The focus of Chabad will have to change.

    In any case, I don't see this long term as a Jewish issue in the US. There will almost no as-a-Jews soon. That term will have no more weight than 'as-a-Hungarian' (for 5th generation Americans!).

    PS: one of the favorite classes of property that Muslim organizations in the US buy to convert into Mosques is abandoned or disused Synagogues. Most of improvements are already installed. Soon they won't even have to switch membership populations. Just tell the former "Jews' to keep showing up to pray to Allah.

    1. " I'm not convinced that in a generation there will even BE any left wing Jews."
      Many say there aren't any now, but they keep popping up.

      Doesn't the low attendance at synagogues simply mirror dropping attendance of church services? I think that is an American cultural issue, i.e., the result of the culture wars. Maybe you agree. Which takes us to old school's comment below.
      Anyway, I for one, am wary of predicting things too far into the future. Variables we cannot even imagine exist right now may, and the probability is great they will, come into play.

    2. The difference is that the US is fundamentally a Christian culture. If regionally (and it's only regionally) church membership drops, there's still a million different different outlets for people to express their Christian culture. Jews don't have that. W/o the Shul there's no Jews.

  4. " and California State Assembly hopeful, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez"

    Stop the presses! Ocasio-Cortez is running for congress from New York.

    1. Then there's the "Jewish" anti-Zionist "Immigrant" endorsed by Ocasio-Cortez that was also a Pro-Life Evangelical born in Miami.

      Somehow this does not inspire confidence. As Tom Perez has said: "The future of the Democratic Party."

      Trump may be the one that brings the reckoning of where we are going as a nation state. Maybe if Democrats regain the House, and further expose their extremism, as they will. TDS and all that it means. And the growing censorship of speech before the election, which will continue after, to instill ideology. It leads to a totalitarian state. Having these two women as decision makers is scary, but perhaps necessary.

  5. Think the Democratic Party v. America is more to be concerned about at present, especially as the anti-Israel (and anti-deplorable) faction within appears on the ascendancy.

  6. LFD,
    You make many great points. But, too many of those "too educated" people are in fact historically ignorant in the sense Mike points out. And an incredibly large number of those who follow certainly are.
    And, I don't think I see a contradiction between that and the other points you are making.

  7. 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

  8. Mark Steyn said:

    “It is embarrassing that this nut
    [Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan]
    is a power broker in the Democrat Party,
    and the media won’t cover it.”

    SOURCE: Why don't the media care
    about Democrats' ties to Farrakhan?
    by Fox News, 2018 March 8,

    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.”


    1. I just wish these people would return the remains of liberalism to its loved ones. That would at least be decent.

  9. She’d be a shoo-in in CA. Wonder what would happen to a delegate from congress or the senate if they ceseeded, lol.

    1. California's secession began years ago.

    2. That was a California joke.
      Anyone want to hear a New Jersey joke?


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

  11. Rabbi Steven Pruzansky’s recent
    article about the Democratic Party:

  12. basically, the American left is melding into the European left: sees America as a force for evil, and thus any of its allies (like Israel) or its unique characteristics (like capitalism, **Judeo**-Christian heritage, how good America is to Jews relative to others, and having more Jews than Muslims). Obama validated that worldview and made it morally acceptable in public. If only the guy who just died, John McCain, had won 2008.

    1. McCain voted with the conservatives when it didn't matter either way and he voted against the conservatives when it did. I'm not sure a McCain presidency would be any different than Obama. He'd paint it as a victory for conservatism but he'd be firmly in the left's embrace. One need only watch the embarrassing spectacle of the left now showering praise on him when 10 years ago they screamed he was a war criminal. All he had to do was spend the last two years of his life fighting against the current Republican president and the left made him one of their own.

  13. The midterm elections may or may not pivotal. It's unclear whether anyone wants to govern or just win. In either case if the Dems do win then there will be something like pogroms here. They will be genteel and legal and come with judicial decisions and media excuses but they will be pogroms all the same. And Jews in the Democratic party need to study up on what happened to Nazi collaborators.