How Democrats Destroyed the Pro-Israel Consensus
Twenty-seven Jewish “social justice organizations” recently wrote a widely-publicized open letter calling upon “political candidates to put an end to the racism, antisemitism and xenophobia” which “has emerged in this year’s campaign.”
Naturally, all Jews — and decent people anywhere — agree that racism of any form is unacceptable, and none of us approve of what these organizations describe as “hurtful characterizations of entire ethnic groups as criminals.”
All Americans can agree that “the Jewish community knows all too well what can happen when particular religious or ethnic groups become the focus of invective. We have witnessed the dangerous acts that can follow verbal expressions of hate.”
As such, it was disappointing that a radical, extremist organization such as The New Israel Fund, which openly supports a boycott of Israel, was among the organizations that signed this letter.
It is quite clear that today’s Democratic Party is not the Democratic Party of old.
Israel must always be a bipartisan issue, and sadly we’ve recently seen the historic bond between Israel and the Democratic Party erode and weaken. Shamefully, elements of the Democratic Party are anti-Israel and doing all they can to destroy the pro-Israel consensus, as they stand shoulder to shoulder with those who boycott Israel.
Further, why did this letter not urge all candidates to stand with Israelis across the political spectrum who say no to dividing Jerusalem and no to a nuclear Iran?
Naturally, all of us stand with the letter-writers in condemning antisemitism. Therefore, why did this letter not urge all candidates to “shun advisers and close family friends” (i.e. Max Blumenthal) who compare the Israel Defense Forces to Nazi Germany, refer to Israel as an “apartheid state” and harm the Jewish state.
As Alan Dershowitz — a Clinton supporter — notes, “Max Blumenthal is well outside the acceptable range of rhetoric about Israel. His constant comparisons between Nazi Germany and the Jewish state establish him as an extremist bigot whose greatest appeal is to anti-Semites and others who apply a double standard to the Jewish state. Any political candidate who would associate himself or herself with such views would be unacceptable to Americans… I hope that the Clintons ask Sid to expressly disassociate himself from his son’s views – and if he refuses to, that they no longer work with him on any matters.”
The reality is that this letter was about what Jeff Jacoby, the op-ed editor of the Boston Globe, wrote: “Liberalism has superseded Judaism as the religion of most American Jews.” Norman Podhoretz wrote in Why Are Jews Liberals? that “where the Torah of contemporary liberalism conflicts with the Torah of Judaism, it is the Torah of liberalism that prevails and the Torah of Judaism that must give way.”
While Jonathan Greenblatt, the chief executive of the Anti-Defamation League, claims this letter is not “a liberal or conservative issue,” he neglects to mention his recent embrace of J Street or the fact that he is a former senior adviser to the most anti-Israel President in modern history, Barack Obama. That says it all.
Yes, we must all condemn antisemitism — and we must also remember as, Jacoby has written, “This liberalism isn’t rational. It isn’t sensible. It certainly isn’t good for the Jews.”
Hank Sheinkopf, CEO of Sheinkopf Communications is a leading political strategist who has worked on campaigns in four continents. His clients have included former President Bill Clinton.
Ronn Torossian is a New York-based Public Relations executive and author of best-selling PR book “For Immediate Release.” He is currently a member of the Republican Jewish Coalition Vice Chairman’s Council, although he writes this in a personal capacity.