Monday, July 8, 2019

Michael Lumish

Will American Jews continue to support the Democratic Party in the same numbers from previous elections?


  1. I sure hope not but fear they will given past experiences. Past antisemitism in that big tent has seldom deterred them.

    Good to see you posting Mike.

    1. Hi Doodad!

      It's been a tough year and I'm just going to take things as they come.

      Laurie and I are good... as are the stinky pooches.

      I have to say, this political moment is so bizarre that it just boggles my mind.

      It's like we are staring into some weird looking-glass version of 1968.

      Americans are fighting in the streets in 2019.

      The United States, both Left and Right, has done more to fight racism than any other country in the world over the last fifty years.

      Thank you for keeping the home fires burning!

    2. Mike, glad to hear ya'll are good. And glad to have you back posting. I love this place so it's been a pleasure posting and chewing the fat with our few but great commenters.

    3. I wonder what happened to Trudy. She gave the place some flare!

    4. I have neglected this place for far too long.

    5. We have missed you old friend. We're just glad yer back. There are few people more passionate about Israel and the Jewish people.

  2. Jonathan S. Tobin said:

    “Like most of the rest of the Democrats,
    [Pete] Buttigieg [mayor of South Bend]
    seems to see Israel’s legitimacy
    as linked to the creation of
    a Palestinian state alongside it.”

    “At its core, the Democrats’ conception
    of the U.S.-Israel relationship is that
    of a great power and a client state
    that must do as it’s told.”

    SOURCE: Trump discarded the
    carrot-and-stick approach to Israel

    by Jonathan S. Tobin, 2019 June 20

  3. Jonathan S. Tobin [editor in chief of JNS] said:

    “She [Ilhan Omar] has made a name for herself, not by talking about the concerns of Minnesotans, but by the outrageous manner in which she has trafficked in anti-Semitic tropes as she pursues her advocacy against Israel.

    Along with Tlaib, she is one of the only two open supporters of the anti-Semitic BDS movement that promotes boycotts against the State of Israel.

    She has claimed that Jews are buying the support of Congress for Israel and questioned the loyalty of her congressional colleagues who are pro-Israel.

    Despite this, the Democrats elevated [Ilhan] Omar to a seat on the House Foreign Relations Committee and refused to name her in a resolution denouncing anti-Semitism.”

    Is it Ilhan Omar’s Democratic Party now?
    Jonathan S. Tobin, 2019 May 22


    Jonathan S. Tobin [editor in chief of JNS] said:

    “If even a popular, pro-Israel Jewish Democrat like Adler was afraid to stand up to Ilhan Omar in his own city, then it’s not clear under what circumstance any member of that party would think they could afford to do so.

    That means that the battle to quarantine an anti-Semite like Omar to the margins of American politics has been lost.

    Not only are she and Tlaib among the young rock stars of their party, they have far greater influence than anyone would have thought only a few months ago.”

    Is it Ilhan Omar’s Democratic Party now?
    Jonathan S. Tobin, 2019 May 22


    PS: If you are truly pro-Israel,
    then you should visit every day.

  4. “Ocasio-Cortez’s primary victory was a big deal because it had enormous symbolic value in that her upset of Rep. Joe Crowley not only knocked off a senior member of the Democratic leadership, but also a stalwart of the pro-Israel community. ‘

    Replacing him with someone who is not sure what she thinks about Israel’s right to exist wasn’t as much an accident as a sign of the changing political culture of the Democrats.”

    SOURCE: Can pro-Israel Democrats
    Turn Back the Intersectional Tide?

    by Jonathan S. Tobin, 2018 October 16


    Shmuley Boteach said:

    “Even the American Jewish community is feeling more and more isolated as anti-Semites now openly walk the halls of Congress and parties that have previously been stalwart foes of anti-Semitism, like the Democrats, cannot muster the moral courage to condemn Jew-hatred specifically and unequivocally.”

    SOURCE: Trump’s Love Affair
    with Israel and the Jewish People

    by Shmuley Boteach, 2019 April 8


    Sarah Stern (founder and president
    of Endowment for Middle East Truth) said:

    “It is profoundly troubling that there is a recent trend within much of the Democratic Party to tolerate and sweep under the rug voices of extreme anti-Semitism and hatred, and by their sheer presence in highly visible social events bestowing upon them an aura of respectability.”

    She continued:

    “How would these same people react if David Duke were to be photographed seated in the same row as President Donald Trump?

    Louis Farrakhan is the apotheosis of pure, unabashed anti-Semitism. His speeches use combinations of classical anti-Semitic canards, and bold-faced lies and deceptions.”

    SOURCE: Criticism over Farrakhan
    Singing the Praises of Aretha Franklin

    by Jackson Richman, 2018 September 4


    “The article also failed to address national polling along partisan lines that has shown a sharp contrast between the overwhelming pro-Israel sentiments of Republicans and the decidedly mixed views of Democrats about the Jewish state, which show that the GOP has been the party where “blanket support” is the norm for the last 30 years, rather than the other way around.”

    SOURCE: Can pro-Israel Democrats
    Turn Back the Intersectional Tide?

    by Jonathan S. Tobin, 2018 October 16

  5. Yes, for all intents and purposes. But for how long will depend on several factors. For now only the religious are threatened, and they tend to vote Republican anyway. But if antisemitism, which is mostly manifest on the Left at this time, progresses as usual, i.e., first the ones who dress religiously, then the ones who look more Jewish, then the ones who act too Jewish, etc., I think secular hipsters will not like having their Jewishness brought up in a derogatory way at social functions, classroom, or work, or getting their asses kicked in the street for that matter. At that time we might start to see some en masse defections. For right now we are stuck with the Soviet tale of how only "fascism" can lead to bad things.
    There are probably those who are beginning to see, but are afraid of the consequences of coming out and saying anything against the orthodoxy.

    MIke, what do you think?

    1. Heya man, I almost feel like I owe you an apology.

      You have been a good friend and I appreciate it very much.

      <"I think secular hipsters will not like having their Jewishness brought up in a derogatory way at social functions, classroom, or work, or getting their asses kicked in the street for that matter.">

      None of us know how things are going to go, but the progressive-left trend is decisively against the pro-Israel community.

      Although I did not vote for Trump, nor did I advocate for him, it amazes me the seething hatred for the guy among American Jews.

    2. I thought of contacting you many times but didn't want to intrude, figuring that you were maybe burnt out and needed a good break and that you were O.K.

      The Left and their MSN are mainstreaming political violence.

      I too am amazed at the unrelenting vitriol for Trump. When I broach the subject of this hysteria the reaction is incredible. This tells me that something very, very wrong is happening, and that that something was here before Trump arrived on the scene. But, you know, you cannot tell people that.
      Whether you like him or not, he is not Hitler. He's not even close, and the determined will to lie about this man and the satisfaction it seems to bring to those doing it is just an absolutely jaw dropping anthropological phenomenon.
      And really, they will say literally anything, (this is never good for the Jews). It reminds me of those days on Sproul watching cashmere sweater clad pan handlers.

      As far as the seething hatred coming from once liberal American Jews, if you visit UKMediaWatch the current article concerns a pro-Corbyn letter in the Guardian whose signatories include antisemites. At the bottom of Adam Levick's article is a link to "a scathing editorial by the Jewish Chronicle."

      Here is what one of the commenters, long of my acquaintance, peter the hungarian, had to say about the Jewish Chronicle editorial:
      "What is really scary that the article in the Jewish Chronicle condemning the Guardian’s open antisemitism is just an excuse for a longish and completely irrelevant Trump bashing."

      What the editorial misses in trying to set up an analogy, pretending that British labour antisemitism is the flip side of some American "far right" racist plot against African hyphen Americans (black people) led by Trump and Fox News which constitute the "far right", is that the same phenomenon on the British Left has been incubating and is bubbling up on the American Left. No need to talk about black people, because it essentially has nothing to do with them, Trump, or Fox News. People, Jews, in such utter denial about what is really going on.

    3. Jeff, when I think about that hysteria (an irrational one IMO,) all I can think of is lemmings; a concept once decried by those of us who considered ourselves know, smart reasonable decent guys.

    4. <"I too am amazed at the unrelenting vitriol for Trump. When I broach the subject of this hysteria the reaction is incredible. This tells me that something very, very wrong is happening and that that something was here before Trump arrived on the scene.">

      What always strikes me is the hypocrisy.

      From before the election, they were going after Trump as a racist and a sexist.

      Yet Bill Clinton -- who I voted for twice -- committed what would today be considered rape in the White House.

      Barack Obama believed that he had every right to tell Jewish people where we could live within our own historical homeland. "Totat settlement freeze" in Judea, my ass.

      Yet that was not considered racist.

      I am not a Trump supporter in the sense that I never advocated for the guy, nor did I vote for him. But the never-ending hatred toward this president creates sympathy in my heart. This is particularly true since it began before he even took office, which makes me very suspicious of his interlocutors.

    5. I have a feeling that this began as early as the 1992 election.
      I remember Bill Clinton being called "Slick Willie," apparently as a result of his actions while governor. I did not want to believe the Paula Jones and Juanita Broaddrick stories, but it's sickening to think that they actually happened.

      It became worse after the 2000 election. Bush was demonized as illegitimate and the vitriol never let up. Maybe I understood the hatred for Obama because I saw the hatred for Bush.

      Of course, it's worse because we know the kind of person Trump is. It is sad that I can't say that Trump has done some good things because someone will then say that I support Trump. I don't and will not support him, because all those actions are neutralized by his character. I have no sympathy for him. However, I also am disgusted by the attacks from his opponents, which come across as unhinged.

      Unfortunately, we may be stuck with this, whether Trump is elected or defeated. It's simply gotten worse in 2008, and we may have to wait until 2024 to get past this.

  6. Dennis Prager said:

    “The biggest increase in anti-Semitism in
    the last 10 or so years has come from the Left.

    Just ask young Jews who wear yarmulkes or are
    vocally pro-Israel on most American college campuses.”

    SOURCE: I’m Jewish and I think the
    biggest increase in anti-Semitism is from the Left

    by Dennis Prager, 2018/10/30


    James Kirchick (a Brookings Institution fellow) said:

    “For a growing number of Progressives,
    anti-Semitism has become an ideological
    , as central to their political
    identity as the Universal Basic Income,
    Green New Deal, a 70-percent marginal
    tax rate, and free higher education.

    These progressives, of course, cannot
    openly say this. Anti-Semitism is bad.
    Some of their best friends are Jews.
    The Holocaust happened.

    So they need to redefine anti-Semitism out of existence…”

    How Dare Chelsea Clinton Defend the Jews?
    by James Kirchick, 2019 March 19


    Mr. Jonathan S. Tobin
    [Editor in Chief of JNS] said:

    “In the progressive [Leftist] milieu, the Jewish state is viewed as racist by definition, and the belief in Intersectional Theory, which falsely claims the Palestinian war on Israel’s existence to be morally equivalent to the struggle for civil rights in the United States, is widespread.”

    It’s more than just a parade for Israel
    by Jonathan S. Tobin, 2019 June 3

  7. from Mosaic Magazine:

    “If the occupation [of the West Bank] ended
    tomorrow, Israel would still have a nationalist
    and religious identity at odds with the Left’s
    broadly post-nationalist and post-religious vision.”

    The American Left’s Abandonment of
    Both Israel and the Jews
    2019 March 12


    Eric Rozenman said:

    “The Bolsheviks and their heirs [the Far Left]
    despised small European nationalities, as well
    as religion. So Jews as a people are a double target.

    SOURCE: Fair Criticism of Israel?
    What About the Palestinians?
    by Eric Rozenman


    Mr. Charlie Kirk (a Conservative activist) said:

    “They [the political Leftists] hate the idea
    that certain countries can be better than others,
    and Israel is one of the greatest success stories
    in history of the world.

    The [political] Left does not want
    those success stories to exist.”

    SOURCE: Conservative activist Charlie Kirk
    speaks of ‘eye-opening’ stint in Israel:
    by Josh Hasten, 2019 March 20


    Zach Goldberg said:

    “As Jews have become [symbols] of whiteness
    in the Liberal political imagination — to the point
    that Israel is considered a white state, despite
    having a slight nonwhite majority — they have
    come to be associated with an oppressor class.”

    SOURCE: White Liberals Are Turning
    against the Jews and Israel
    , 2019 June 11

    1. I heard Charlie Kirk on the car radio one evening sitting in for whoever. He really, really likes Israel ! He was speaking about it the whole time I was listening, which turned out to be quite a while.

  8. Unfortunately, it appears as if they will. I am rereading Norman Podhoretz's book Why Are Jews Liberals? It is interesting to go through the election-by-election commentary through 2008. (I first voted in 1976.) And at the end, Podhoretz seems to say that American Jews observe a Judaism that highlights liberal western values (read leftist today) rather than traditional Judaism. Sadly, I have to agree with him.

    It may be slightly changing (31% of Jews, myself among them, voted for Romney in 2012), but it may not change for a lot of Jews, who still fear the political Right more than the antisemites that are becoming more bold on the Left. (Did you hear the joke, l'havdil [to separate holy from profane] based on Psalm 137, "If I vote for the Republican party, may my right hand wither"?)

    I think this particular period is not a good gauge of evaluating this. The 2016 election was truly a choice between two evils, and voters did not vote FOR someone as much as voting AGAINST someone. (In other words, "I voted for Trump [or Hillary] because I could not allow Hillary [or Trump] to destroy this country.") Even if Trump did some great things (such as moving the U.S. Embassy to Jerusalem or improving the economy), the baggage he carries will not allow people (and Jews especially) to give him the credit he deserves. And even if an extreme leftist (e.g., Sanders, Warren, Harris) were nominated, Jews would still probably vote for them, even if the policies were not in the interest of the country (or their own, for that matter).

    Right now, I'm in a "plague on both your houses" mood. I cannot support Trump because of the baggage and I may not be able to support the Democratic nominee because I don't trust them. (I hate to use "the lesser of two evils," but Biden may be the only major Democrat that I may have to consider. There are a number of moderates, such as Hickenlooper and Delaney, but they may not make it to the primaries.) So I may have to protest-vote in 2020 as I did in 2016, and I am already asking, "Is it 2024 yet?" I think we will all have to get this poison out of our system in order to properly evaluate whether Jews will be open to being more bipartisan...

  9. "Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) told anti-Israel activists on Monday that she would end Israel’s “occupation.”

    Elect the Dems and put that pesky Israel back in the doghouse while freeing those bunny like Palestinians.

  10. Doodad, I get what you're saying, but I can also feel ambivalent about electing someone like Trump.

    If I have to elect "one or the other," I reserve the right to have that happen without my "signature." I do not believe that ALL the Dems feel as Sen. Warren does, although I am wary of most of them. I would not want to protest-vote if I did not feel as strongly as I do. I believe that my vote speaks for itself; it is NOT a vote for someone I do not vote for, as many would represent a protest vote. If there were an option for "None of the above," I would vote for that. Since there is not (or more accurately, one or the other of the major parties will win whether or not I vote for them), I will choose the option that I can say was the right one for me. Since Trump would not be able to run again in 2024, and hopefully the leftist candidates will be discredited in this election, we will have a better choice in 2024.

    1. I hear you too sheldan and can respect a rational approach. I hope you are right about all the Democrats not feeling the same way as Warren but the question is whether all the Dems who have a chance of becoming the candidate do and I believe all of that cohort are tainted with the virus;if not in regard to Israel per se, then with regard to Bibi and the evil right wing enough to do harm to Israel eg Biden was complicit in the abstained US UN vote....a horrendous betrayal of Israel.

    2. On the other hand, some thought George W. Bush was going to continue his father's anti-Israel policy. I am not sure whether Biden was complicit in UN Resolution 2334; I think that was purely Obama's work. If Trump does establish facts on the ground that will not be reversed, I don't think Biden will do too much damage.

  11. Too many American Jews believe the Palestinian narrative more than the story of their own people. So strange not to see that Palestinian oppression is caused by the Palestinians themselves.

    More Jews will likely depart the Democrats, however, even if they would never admit it in public, for obvious reasons. There are so many good reasons to walk away.

    If Democrats get too far off, perhaps the election will resemble 1972 more than 1968. Then again, it will be like nothing else because it is so artificial.