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Friday, September 22, 2006

The Democratic Party and Jews

At The American Thinker, Ed Lasky argues that it's high time for American Jews to re-think their association with the Democratic party. This is the best-researched article I have seen on this subject in a long time....
The Democratic Party has been a congenial political home for many American Jews since the era of FDR. The party welcomed them into its ranks (along with many blacks and urban dwellers) and its programs comported well with many values Jews cherish. The Party was also seen as one that had offered help to the doomed Jews of Europe, opposed prejudice, and supported the fledgling state of Israel from enemies that boasted of its plans to destroy the state.

Conversely, the Republican Party was perceived to be a WASP enclave, isolationist in its outlook, and weak on support for Israel (though George C. Marshall under the Truman Administration advocated abandoning Israel to the tender mercies of its Arab neighbors).

However, these views are now anachronistic and need to be revisited.

Developments in the Democratic Party bode ill for the Jewish people and for the state of Israel – home of up to 40% of the world’s remaining Jewish population. The rank and file of the Party has become increasingly anti-Semitic and support for Israel has noticeably fallen. Democratic Congressmen have reflected this trend in very visible ways: their votes and actions in Congress reveal that support for Israel has eroded in alarming ways. Furthermore, more than a few Democratic Congressman have openly made statements that are either clearly anti-Semitic or can be fairly construed to be at least, “anti-Semitic in effect, if not intent”.

These disconcerting trends can be observed by a bottom-up approach: looking at the grassroots base of the Democratic Party, how these views are expressed in Congress, and how the Democratic leadership has responded to these developments. Since the House of Representatives appears to be headed toward a Democratic majority and certain key Chairmanships will fall into the hands of Democrats with anti-Israel histories, these trends will have very serious implications for Jews and for the state of Israel.


The loyalty American Jews have shown to the Democratic Party is increasingly not appreciated or reciprocated. As the Jewish population faces demographic decline, the Democratic Party is increasingly beholden to groups for which Israel is of no importance whatsoever (unions, for example). Several groups that form the core of the Democratic Party have anti-Semitism rates that are higher than the American population as a whole. As the party skews to the left, it has increasingly adopted the anti-Israel philosophy and attitudes that animate so many on the left.

Conversely, the Republican Party has never been more welcoming to Jews nor as supportive of Israel. The party has welcomed an increasing number of Jews to its ranks, and its candidates garner an increasing number of votes from Jewish voters. While Democrats demagogue the rise of evangelicals in America (and in the Republican Party) and demonize them as a threat to the Jews, such mythmaking does not reflect the fact that evangelicals cherish the Jewish people, for reasons having absolutely nothing to do with end-of-days scenarios. Indeed, Jews have assumed leadership posts in the Republican Party. While Democratic National Committee head Howard Dean joyously dances with a keffiyah draped over his shoulders, Republican National Chairman Ken Mehlman waxes nostalgically and publicly about his Bar Mitzvah.

Jews have faced many challenges throughout their history. Iran is one of the most dangerous enemies Israel has ever had: an oil-rich nation with an active nuclear program that has made clear its intention to wipe Israel off the map. A Democratic Party that is increasingly dominated by anti-Israel members, as shown by surveys and Congressional votes, will not be a dependable ally. The fact that more than a few have also expressed , or enabled others to publicly express, anti-Semitism should distress all Americans. However, those contemplating these prospects should do more. Much more.

In an era when over half the world’s Jews face the prospect of annihilation, it is time to reconsider old habits and political alignments. The ability of Jews to survive over the ages has depended on the ability to recognize that situations change and people have to adapt. At times, such changes have compelled Jews to move on to “greener pastures” – to more welcoming and supportive places. This is now such a time- a time for the Jews to wander to the other side of the aisle.
Read the whole thing.


At 1:36 AM, Blogger The Town Crier said...

what thorough research?
the idiot has no proof to back up silly claims.
It was the house democrats who came out in full force on house floor this past summer when Israel was under attack from two fronts while the idiot GOP was spending their time legilslating how to zap mexicans.

At 5:01 AM, Blogger bookworm58 said...

Town Crier is pathetic. He asks "what thorougn research?" and calls the writer of the aricle an "idiot." I've just read the article. Example after example is cited of Democratic anipathy to Israel. Town Crier doesn't address any of this, just calls names. Anyone familiar with his own blog knows that this is Town Crier's M.O. He's a slavish lapdog for Democrats -- the kind of party automoton who keeps posting how terrible and stupid and duplicitous Bush is and how thoroughly wonderful the Democrats are. Finally, Town Crier offers up the pathetic claim that "House Democrats" came out in full force" during the Lebanon War. Congressional resolutions are passed all the time and are essentially meaningless gestures designed to keep constiyuents or lobbying groups happy. What counts is presidential policy, congressional votes on actual legislation, and grassroots opinion on the part of party loyalists -- and on all of those counts the Democrats clearly present a real and growing problem for Israel. Town Crier can call names all he wants, but it won't change a damn thing.


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