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July 26, 2016 6:59 am

Some Jewish Voters Have a Mixed Reaction to Tim Kaine

avatar by Abraham H. Miller / JNS.org

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VP candidate Tim Kaine. Photo: Wikipedia.

VP candidate Tim Kaine. Photo: Wikipedia.

JNS.org – The Jewish community’s polarization in reaction to the selection of Sen. Tim Kaine (Va.) as Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton’s running mate illustrates the political chasm that divides American Jewry.

Predictably, the J Street lobby, which had shilled for President Barack Obama’s deceptive Iran deal, sprang into support mode. Still touting its role in bringing the deal to a successful conclusion, J Street has been undeterred by recent revelations of Iran’s hunt in Germany for materials to build an aggressive nuclear weapons program or by its testing of intercontinental ballistic missiles that threaten not just Tel Aviv, but the very heartland of America. Kaine himself was not only an enthusiastic supporter of the Iran deal. He was also a whip for its successful passage.

J Street embraces Kaine for his work in helping bring it to fruition. But J Street and Kaine don’t only share a common bond through the Iran deal. J Street is also beholden to the Obama administration for bringing the organization to the White House conference table on Jewish issues. Obama used J Street to replace AIPAC, the truly pro-Israel lobby.

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J Street’s endorsement of Kaine coincided with that of the leftist Forward newspaper that, like J Street, seldom can find an Israeli policy that should not be harshly criticized or a Palestinian act of terrorism that should not be sympathetically rationalized.

In contrast, the Republican Jewish Coalition criticized Kaine for both his role in the Iran agreement and for being one of a handful of senators who boycotted Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu’s address to Congress on the Iran deal’s existential threat to Israel.

Whether any of this will influence the Jewish community’s traditional support of the Democratic ticket is a big question. After all, Hillary Clinton’s embrace of Suha Arafat (Yasser’s wife) — following Arafat’s speech accusing Israel of poisoning the West Bank’s water supply and land — had almost no impact on Clinton’s Jewish support in her race for a US Senate seat from New York.

The photo of the embrace was a significant victory for the Palestinian propaganda machine and gave credibility to Mrs. Arafat’s false and reprehensible allegations. Some nine hours elapsed before the Clinton spin machine repudiated the allegations. She let an entire news cycle pass with the embrace and affirmation of Mrs. Arafat’s libelous speech being the story.

Hillary Clinton had it both ways. In the Arab media, she was pictured embracing the despicable Mrs. Arafat, while revisiting the gesture after the damage was done. Something for everyone, and Clinton partisans in the Jewish community were given a convenient fig leaf to hide their shame and rationalize their support for Mrs. Clinton’s run for the Senate seat.

Bernie Sanders’s progressive anti-Israel policies caused him to lose big in the Jewish community, which correctly viewed him as a Jew in name only whose sojourn in Israel was spent on an Israeli kibbutz that venerated Stalin. The Orthodox-Jewish community came out in big numbers to demolish Sanders.

But inferring that Jewish support for Clinton in the primary will translate into Jewish support for her in November is a leap of faith. Clinton is no longer running against the “un-Jew,” as Sanders was derisively called. She is running against Donald Trump, whose party put the strongest pro-Israel plank into its platform in the history of any party.

For Jews concerned about the survival of their Israeli brethren, the Iran deal, which unravels daily, will have a negative impact on their support for Hillary Clinton. Her choice of Tim Kaine will not help. Kaine’s role in the passage of the Iran nuclear agreement is already becoming an issue.

Whether this will overcome the strong predisposition of the Jewish community to vote for the Democratic ticket, no matter who is on it, remains to be seen. Nonetheless, the choice of Tim Kaine gives ammunition to those who stand firmly on the non-traditional side of the political divide in the Jewish community.

Abraham H. Miller is an emeritus professor of political science, University of Cincinnati, and a distinguished fellow with the Haym Salomon Center (@salomoncenter).

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  • Yale

    Curiously missing from this item is any mention of Huma Abidin, Hillary’s Muslim Brotherhood-connected aide. Republicans might want to give her a lot more play during the campaign.

  • Peter

    Standing on the sidelines, seems to me that J Street and others of that caliber believe in the old saying, be a Jew at home and a non-Jew outside. i.e. not to flaunter being Jewish and hate that they were born Jewish. They want to be “accepted” and will do everything, even if it means destroying the lives of other Jews, as long as they are ‘accepted’.

  • Hillary is fighting hard to stop the BDS movement.

    Hillary said that the thing she would do on day one as President would
    be to invite Netanyahu to the White House. This was when the Republicans had invited Netanyahu to address the congress.

    Hillary as Secretary of State tried impose stiffer sanctions on Iran
    than Obama’s.

    Hillary defended Israel’s defensive wars in Gaza.

    Hillary’s biggest supporter is Haim Saban whose only concern is what
    is good for Israel.

  • Franklin Delano Paskutnik

    It’s not only Tim Kaine’s pro-Iran Deal stance that infuriates many pro-Israel Americans (both Jewish and non-Jewish) but also the revelation that he was educated at a Jesuit school and worked as a Catholic missionary.It goes without saying that the Jesuits are one of the most sinister sub-sects of Roman Catholicism and one wonders exactly how they poisoned the young Tim’s mind – no wonder he supported the rotten Iran nuclear deal! And no surprise that he was so quickly endorsed by the anti-Israel J Street! The millions of non-Catholic and secular voters must be thinking very hard now before casting a vote for the Democrats.

  • stevenl

    Mixed feelings suggests blissful ignorance.

  • Larry

    What does it matter. If Kaine was an anti-semite trying to destroy Israel Jews would still vote for him so long as he was a democrat.

    • Markus Elkana Brajtman

      Larry.
      What you wrote, is what I have been saying for years.
      The ignorance of the American Jews, who traditionally vote for the Democ Rats, shows the ignorance of these Jews.
      Time for them to wake up.
      AS it is, if Hitler was standing as Dem, they would vote for him because he is Democ Rat.

      I have in the past, before Obummer was voted in, to vote against him as he is dangerous and a liar.
      I referred to his comment to AIPAC that Jerusalem must never be divided. Then, the next day, he said “that is not what I meant”
      There was the signal for the American Jews to vote against him, but they say. “we are Democrats”

  • enufizenuf

    If Clinton and Kaine are elected there will be very little chance that the Iranians won’t launch a successful nuclear strike on major American cities.
    Trump may actually go after their nuclear facilities proactively and he has already stated that he would harden the US electrical grid to withstand the likely EMP attacks from Iran. The cities they’re most interested in taking out are NYC, D.C., Houston and Los Angeles and at the same time they’re likely to strike Tel Aviv, too. It’s actually come down to survival – vote Trump, and the end of North America – vote Clinton.

  • Most of the left wing Jews in America will sell their mother and father for a position in the democratic machine like WaSSerman Schultz they have no connection to Judaism the assimilated Jews are not interested in the antiSemitic display in the DMC ,Sanders is a self-hating Jew and his old bolshevik ideology is wat the young uninformed Jew and others think that living on freebies is al that life is all about.

  • Reform School

    No more circumcision for J Street. Too much BRAIN Damage!

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