Thursday, September 29th | 4 Tishri 5783

November 7, 2018 1:28 pm

US Jewish Political Groups, Both Democratic and Republican, Cheer Midterm Elections Results

avatar by Barney Breen-Portnoy

The US Capitol Building in Washington, DC, is seen at sunrise, Nov. 6, 2018. Photo: Reuters / Jim Bourg.

Two American Jewish political groups on opposing sides of the spectrum have both spun the results of Tuesday’s midterm elections — in which the Democrats won control of the House of Representatives for the first time in eight years and the Republicans maintained the Senate majority they have held since 2014 — in a favorable light.

The vote, according to Jewish Democratic Council of America (JDCA) Executive Director Halie Soifer, was “a clear referendum on President Trump, and a rejection of his hateful policies and rhetoric.”

“Jewish voters overwhelmingly and decisively rejected Republicans because they have enabled an agenda that is a betrayal of Jewish and American values,” she added.

JDCA Chairman Ron Klein said, “After the horrific attack in Pittsburgh, the Jewish vote — which has historically been in support of Democrats — was only solidified. Jews turned out in record numbers, and voted in record numbers for Dems.”

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Republican Jewish Coalition (RJC) Executive Director Matt Brooks asserted, “The wave of Republican victories in the 2018 midterms demonstrates the strong approval of the American people for the Republican policies that have substantially improved our economy, our national security, and our standing abroad.”

“Historically, the party holding the White House loses seats in Congress during the midterm election,” he continued. “This year Republicans did well in a tough environment and increased their share in the Senate. And while we lost seats in the House, it should be noted that Democrats gained far fewer seats in the House this year compared to Republicans in recent history.”

RJC Chairman Norm Coleman stated, “President Trump and the Republican-led Congress accomplished so much in the last two years, including: recognizing Jerusalem as the capital of Israel and moving the US embassy there, taking us out of the Iran deal and reimposing strong sanctions, cutting back regulations and growing jobs in this country.”

“Now it is time for Republicans and Democrats to come together to continue to move our country forward and pursue thoughtful legislation to grow our economy, reform health care, secure our borders, and strengthen the US-Israel alliance,” Coleman went on to say.

Brooks charged that a number of progressive Democrats who won House seats in safe “blue” districts held views on Israel that “are distinctly at odds with the historic pro-Israel position of the Democratic Party and are far out of the mainstream of American Jewish opinion.”

“The Jewish community will pay close attention to what the Democratic Party does about people like Rashida Tlaib, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Ilhan Omar, and Antonio Delgado and their views,” he declared. “Will they be the face of the Democratic Party and the party’s new leaders in Congress?”

Meanwhile, the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) — which seeks to preserve across-the-aisle support for the Jewish state — issued a statement, saying, “AIPAC applauds the election yesterday of a solidly pro-Israel Congress. At a time of intense partisan polarization, candidates from both parties overwhelmingly expressed their support for Israel’s security and her efforts to reach peace with all of her neighbors.”

“The 116th Congress will include many new members, as the American people elected over 90 new members of the House and Senate,” the AIPAC statement continued. “Virtually all of the victors in this year’s election have issued position papers and statements reflecting their strong commitment to strengthening the US-Israel relationship. Support for the US-Israel relationship on Capitol Hill is strong, and we are committed to continuing to work on a bipartisan basis with the 116th Congress to further galvanize support for the alliance.”

“We congratulate and welcome all who won election. We look forward to working with them to deepen the bonds between the United States and Israel,’ AIPAC concluded.

Jeremy Ben-Ami — president of the liberal “pro-Israel, pro-peace” lobby group J Street — stated, “Voters across the country, including the vast majority of American Jews, just took a major first step toward rolling back President Trump’s agenda. The American people said ‘no’ to hatred, bigotry and a war of choice in the Middle East. They elected a Congress that can act as a check on this dangerous president.”

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