My sister lives in Chicago. She has been a lifelong Democrat, like my mother before her. I was the first in our Jewish family to become a “black sheep” conservative, although some of my other siblings have joined me on the dark side of the blue fence. In 2008, you couldn’t find a bigger cheerleader for Barack Obama than my sister. The man walked on water. He fed 5,000 with a few loaves and fishes. Jews don’t think much of Jesus Christ, but Barack Obama was about as close as you would get.
If you asked her now, you’d hear a different story. At some point during Obama’s time in office, she soured on him. She’s not the only one (from April 2015, Washington Post).
Liberalism has kept American Jews overwhelmingly tied to the Democratic Party. But past history is a guide until it isn’t anymore. Pew tells us:
Obama’s proposed deal with Iran, in light of Israeli concerns about it, could significantly weaken long-standing Jewish American allegiances to the Democratic Party. Gallup recently reported approval of Obama among Jews declining from 64 percent in 2013 to 54 percent in 2015, and went on to note that highly religious Jews in the Gallup sample were least positive about the president.
With a Democratic Party increasingly leaning toward the Palestinian cause, Hillary Clinton is no longer the true-blue friend of Israel that Jews have expected from their liberal friends. And that’s what I want to address directly with my fellow Jews.
I don’t care if you’re a lapsed Jew, if you haven’t seen Hebrew since your Bar Mitzvah, or if you never even got Bar Mitzvahed. I don’t care if you have a “CoExist” bumper sticker on your Nissan Leaf, right next to the Greenpeace sticker. I don’t care if you are an anti-missionary, full-on Orthodox Jew who sees followers of Jesus like me as the enemy (I’m not your enemy). I need you to read this and pay attention.
Hillary Clinton is not your friend. I think you sense this. Her support of Obama’s Iran deal, which puts Israel’s existence in more danger than it’s ever faced, places her squarely in the “unacceptable” column for many of you. It’s always been okay, even chic, for liberal American Jews to lob stones at Israel, because (I used to think this way) “I support Israel as a nation, but not its government.” The Holy Land, Eretz Yisroel, that’s a God thing, a heritage thing. But their government is fair game.
But now the line has been crossed. In supporting what every politician in Israel opposes–the Iran deal–Obama and the Democrats have stepped over the line from chic to dangerous. And Hillary is painted by the same brush. She listens and agrees with such anti-Zionists as self-hating Jew Max Blumenthal, whose boorish father Sidney is a senior Clinton adviser.
Blumenthal was clearly a man whose advice Hillary trusted and she was willing to pay him $10,000 a month for his services. However the information coming to light paints a troubled picture.
What they show is a slew of anti-Israel writings and opinions, many of which originated from articles written by Blumenthal’s own son, Max Blumenthal.
Max is a writer and self-declared “anti-Zionist,” known for his active support of the BDS movement and his calls for the dismantling of the State of Israel. He trolls pro-Israel writers, as I can personally attest. Max’s widely panned 2013 book Goliath, Life and Loathing in Greater Israel is full of anti-Israel rants, omissions and outright lies. In it, he repeatedly compares the Jewish state to Nazi Germany, and advocates that the majority of Jews currently living in Israel must be removed from the land to make way for a Palestinian state. Mimicking the Islamic State’s acronym ISIL, Max created the hashtag #JSIL – Jewish State in the Levant. To Max, the democratic State of Israel and Islamic State are morally equivalent entities.
The fact that Clinton has drunk (as her released emails show) from such a poisoned well is dangerous enough (there’s actually more and I’ll get to that). But Clinton agreed with Blumenthal.
Max also writes, “Most of all, they yearn to live in a land like Israel that privileges its ethnic majority above all others to the point that it systematically humiliates and dispossesses the swarthy racial outclass.” He adds, “The endgame of the far-right is to make Europe less tolerant and more Israeli.”
What was Hillary’s response to this racist, anti-Israel tirade? She writes back to Blumenthal, “A very smart piece – as usual.”
Before her speech to AIPAC in March of 2010, Blumenthal sent Hillary a column written by Uri Avnery claiming Israel was pursuing goals contrary to the United States’ interests while “starting a rebellion” against the US.
Hillary’s response to Blumenthal was, “I have to speak to AIPAC tomorrow.
How – and should I – use this?” Blumenthal responds that with regard to the Israeli-Palestinian peace process, Hillary should, “Hold Bibi’s [Netanyahu’s] feet to the fire.”
I could go on. There’s plenty there. Hillary will be no friend of Israel. She will continue Obama’s despicable policy of interfering with Israeli elections, in effect attempting regime change in our staunchest ally in the Middle East.
As a Jew, you don’t want Hillary Clinton in the White House. That is, unless you enjoy seeing what’s happening in Europe with Jews fleeing open hostility and persecution. You might think that could never happen here, but you’re wrong. There’s plenty of Jew hatred to go around, and those people don’t discriminate between Jews with “CoExist” bumper stickers and Jews who have beards, black coats and yarmelkes.
“Nu?” you say. “So I’ll vote for Bernie, he’s a Jew.” Sure. But Bernie’s a lost cause. He will not win the Democratic nomination short of Hillary’s indictment (and it’s not even clear he’d win in that event). The fix has always been in, with super delegates all pledged to Hillary. And now, with nearly half the delegates to win the nomination already in her pocket, with only 31 percent of primary delegates awarded, it’s nearly a certainty Hillary will win and Sanders will lose.
A vote for Sanders is a useless gesture if you care about keeping Hillary from the White House.
But there’s another race that’s equally perilous for Jews. I think you know what I’m talking about: Donald Trump very well may win the GOP nomination. But he’s not a certainty by any means. Trump says he opposes Obama’s Iran deal, but only because he said Obama did an incompetent job negotiating it. He doesn’t necessarily oppose Iran on principled grounds. It’s just another deal to “make America great again” to Trump.
Trump was endorsed (he finally repudiated it) by David Duke, and here’s the connection with Hillary and Blumenthal I alluded to earlier. Blumenthal wrote a book in 2013 that was so anti-Israel, so full of blood libels and outright lies, that even serious critics of Israel couldn’t stomach it.
His opinions are seen as radical leftist claptrap even by Left-leaning detractors of the Jewish state. The Nation columnist Eric Alterman – himself a critic of Israel’s presence in the West bank – described how the book “could have been published by the Hamas Book-of-the-Month Club.” J. J. Goldberg of The Forward described Goliath as an “unpleasant book.” By contrast, David Duke, the racist former Klu Klux Klan leader, praised Blumenthal’s book.
Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump are not just fellow travelers in New York (the Clintons attended Trump’s wedding and he considers them good friends), but they both share a dangerous affinity in attracting anti-Semites to their orbit.
Donald Trump claimed to be pro-Israel because he served as grand marshal for the Israel parade in New York in 2004. He talks a good game, and has expressed his support of Israel. But it’s not all wine and roses with Trump, who finds himself on both sides of nearly every issue.
On December 3, Trump told members of the Republican Jewish Coalition that he suspects many members won’t back him because he is rich and doesn’t want their contributions.
Trump may have thought he was making a joke, but the Israeli media saw his comments as reinforcing anti-Semitic stereotyping of Jews as rich people who “control the world” and can “buy” elections with their money.
And then Trump said during the Charleston, S.C. GOP debate, “Let me be sort of a neutral guy,” in respect to the Israel/Palestinian conflict. You can’t be pro-Israel and neutral at the same time. Especially when you say things like the U.S. military under Trump would take out the families of ISIS terrorists. What kind of megalomaniacal despot would Trump become? The Times of Israel and other Jewish media have raised these questions.
On the other hand, Ted Cruz stands with Israel, in praise or in persecution, or when he’s booed by Christians and leaves the stage at a Middle East Christian conference.
“Christians have no greater ally than Israel,” he said, at which point members of the crowd began to yell “stop it” and booed him.
“Those who hate Israel hate America,” he continued, as the boos and calls for him to leave the stage got louder. “Those who hate Jews hate Christians. If those in this room will not recognize that, then my heart weeps. If you hate the Jewish people you are not reflecting the teachings of Christ. And the very same people who persecute and murder Christians right now, who crucify Christians, who behead children, are the very same people who target Jews for their faith, for the same reason.”
The cries of “stop it, stop it, enough,” and booing continued. “Out, out, leave the stage!” At this point IDC’s president, Toufic Baaklini, came out to the stage to ask for the crowd to listen to Cruz, but Cruz had already had enough.
“If you will not stand with Israel and the Jews,” he said. “Then I will not stand with you. Good night, and God bless.” And with that, he walked off the stage.
That’s a far cry from “I’m a neutral guy.” You might not agree with Cruz’s stance on social issues like gay marriage, or his support of conservative causes and economic plans. But at this point, Ted Cruz, along with Marco Rubio, is likely the only person capable of stopping Donald Trump from securing the GOP nomination.
And if Trump gets the nomination, Hillary Clinton wins the White House. And even if by some miracle or sorcery Trump beats Hillary, it’s really no better for Jews. I say this as a conservative Republican Jew who follows Yeshua (Christ) but remains very much in touch with my Jewish spiritual and historical heritage. I say it mostly as a Jew who worries about the rise of worldwide anti-Semitism that hasn’t been seen since the 1930’s.
What can Jews do? If you live in Florida, and you’re a Republican, for one thing, don’t vote for Trump. If Cruz and Rubio form a unity ticket, which may be the only useful way to stop Trump, then vote for Cruz. If Rubio stays independent, and can win Florida, vote for Rubio. Wait right up to the time you walk into the poll because things change daily. Stay informed.
If you’re not a Republican, and you’re in Florida, you could vote for Bernie Sanders, but that’s a waste of time, and it’s too late to change your voter registration. But you can tell others. Call your friends and relatives in New York or other states (it seems like every Jew has a New York relative, at least I do, and that’s not a stereotype, it’s a fact).
Let’s use that Jewish chutzpah to make a statement that matters. If you’re a liberal, read Salon’s piece that begins “If you are a Jew, you should be very afraid of Donald Trump.” Show it to your liberal friends. Remind them of how anti-Israel Hillary is.
This election is more important than previous ones regarding Israel, because this may be the one election we have before Iran gets the atomic bomb. If you truly care about Israel and the fate of Jews worldwide, you must make a statement. You must oppose Hillary and Trump. You must support Ted Cruz, friend of Israel.