For the last two decades, American Jews have shirked common sense and logic in the interest of an ideology that deserted them long ago. American Jewish leftism cannot be overlooked or excused. And in a world teetering on the brink of disaster, blind loyalty to a false cause can no longer be afforded.
Jews have a long history of liberalism in America, dating from a day when conservatives were “country-club Republicans” and Franklin Delano Roosevelt was deified. Those days are long past. Elderly Jews should realize that FDR is dead and that his party no longer stands for tolerance.
It was Rep. Jim Moran, a Democrat from Virginia, who claimed that a Jewish cabal stood behind the Iraq war. It was former Rep. Cynthia McKinney, a Democrat from Georgia, who took money from anti-American and anti-Israeli terrorist supporters during her candidacy for Congress. It was Vermont’s Howard Dean, a Democrat, who labeled Hamas members “soldiers.” It was Sen. Robert Byrd, a Democrat from West Virginia, who was once Grand Kleagle in the Ku Klux Klan. It was Sen. Ernest Hollings, a Democrat from South Carolina, who blamed the Iraq war on pro-Israeli interests. Beyond all the rhetoric about Jewish relatives, the Democratic Party stands for a thinly veiled hostility toward Judaism and Jews.
Jewish resistance to the Republican Party also has roots in an inordinate fear of American Christianity. Many American Jews fear motivation more than action. Though it was Jerry Falwell who powerfully defended America’s pro-Israel policy the night of Sept. 11 on national television, American Jews largely fear the idea that, according to some Christians, Jews will go to hell for their rejection of Jesus. So they fight American Christianity tooth and nail. They champion the idea of complete separation between Judeo-Christian ethics and American politics. They join the American Civil Liberties Union and the Americans United for the Separation of Church and State. Down deep, American Jews fear another Holocaust — and they’ve been told that all Holocausts come from the right.
While I agree that many of the reasons that cause American Jews to overwhelmingly support the Democrats are outdated, I disagree that, outside of some crackpots, the party as a whole is anti-Semitic. It is true, however, that Zionism has few friends more steadfast than evangelical Christians and that there is a large faction within the Democratic base that is anti-religion.
American Jews–and all Americans, really–should periodically re-examine their party allegiances to make sure they are based on the current reality. But neither party is, in the main, extremist in its views on race or religion. The nature of our system is to force the parties to the center. Both parties are pretty close to that center. The differences are important but they aren’t chasmic.