In The American Thinker Ed Lasky published an article today about Jews and the Democratic Party. He begins:
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”.
He then shows how in both grassroots and in elected Democratic politicians there is a pervasive anti-Israel, anti-Jewish mood.
The internet, because of its low costs, has allowed the power of small donations, multiplied by hundreds of thousands of donors, to rise within the Democratic Party. Moreover, and more importantly, such extreme partisans can be relied-upon to be the unpaid foot soldiers involved in the crucial get-out-the-vote efforts that are often the deciding factors in campaigns. Perhaps it is not surprising that Democratic leaders and presidential aspirants Nancy Pelosi, Harry Reid, Mark Warner, John Kerry have all tried to curry favor with the netizens, a group that seem to be increasingly corrupted by anti-Semitism.
There are those who rejoice at the turn in the Democratic Party. The Washington Report on Middle Eastern Affairs is easily the most anti-Israel publication in America. Based in Washington, D.C., its pages are filled with screeds against Israel and it lobbies for the end of US support for Israel. Anti-Semitism has also appeared in the pages of the magazine. In the current issue, the magazine has published its annual “Hall of Fame” that honors Congressmen it considers to be anti-Israel. At the top of the list among Senators, is Senator Robert Byrd (Democrat), aformer Ku Klux Klan Kleagle, Democratic baron, and the holder of one of the most anti-Israel records in Congress. In terms of the House, 29 members hold this dubious distinction – all of them Democrats (including Abercrombie, Conyers, David Obey, Jesse Jackson Jr., McDermott).
He provides quotes from Democratic congressman and other Democratic leaders like Jimmy Carter, that are clearly anti-semitic.
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.
This is an important article for everyone to read, but especially if you are Jewish and a Democrat.