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October 30, 2019 4:14 pm

Prominent US Reform Rabbi Warns of Growing Anti-Israel Sentiments in Democratic Party

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Senator Kamala Harris, Senator Bernie Sanders, former Vice President Joe Biden, Senator Elizabeth Warren and South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg wait onstage before the fourth Democratic US 2020 presidential election debate at Otterbein University in Westerville, Ohio, Oct. 15, 2019. Photo: Reuters / Aaron Josefcz / File.

A prominent US Reform rabbi warned on Wednesday of growing anti-Israel sentiments in the Democratic Party.

The senior rabbi at the Stephen Wise Free Synagogue in Manhattan, Ammiel Hirsch, spoke out following statements made by a number of Democratic presidential candidates at the annual J Street conference earlier this week about conditioning US aid to Israel.

“Overwhelmingly, most American Jews — including most liberal Jews – passionately support a strong US-Israel relationship,” Rabbi Hirsch stated. “They believe that foreign aid promotes the interests of both countries and oppose any cut in, or redirection of, those funds. American support helps Israel stand against an array of anti-democratic, anti-liberal forces that seek its destruction.”

“The crisis of antisemitism within the UK Labour party began with intense anti-Israel animosity at the party’s margins,” he went on to say. “That anti-Zionism increasingly devolved into the downright antisemitism of the Labour Party itself, severely damaging its standing and reputation and stripping it of Anglo-Jewish support. I fear that a similar process is beginning here in the United States.”

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“The Democratic Party is increasingly tolerant of voices that are opposed to Israel’s existence,” Rabbi Hirsch noted. “To allow this process to go unchecked will cause irreparable harm to the bilateral US-Israel relationship and to the Democratic Party, itself.”

“Reducing American support for Israel will not bring peace any closer. To the contrary, it will distance it even further,” he concluded.

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