Jewish Democrats Face Irrelevance

T. Belman. I totally agree. Israel can do without liberal Jews who support J-Street or progressive causes, especially when they include support of the Palestinian cause or Islam. One thing is certain. Liberal Jews will never give up their progressive policies in exchange for recognition at the Kotel. Their brand of Judaism is dying out and will be a memory only in two generations.

This week, Jewish Democrats hurdled toward irrelevance as a force in American politics, and they don’t even know it yet.

A few days ago, Israel found it could no longer sustain its longstanding pretense of esteem for American streams of Judaism. (The flashpoint was worship at Israel’s revered Kotel, or Western Wall.) In response, liberal segments of American Jewry have begun actualizing threats to withhold financial and political support for Israel unless it extends them veto power over its democratically determined religious policies.

Many observers expect one side to blink, but neither will, because American Jews crave something Israel can never provide: equality for heterodox Judaism.

To Israel’s influential Orthodox, American Jews themselves have unquestioned, fully equal status (if you’re mother’s Jewish, you’re Jewish). Their streams, though, have so many theological and practical deviations (and so few Israeli adherents) that Orthodox Jews consider them pesky, even irrelevant. But no matter how many times the nuance “you’re Jewish but your movement is not” is explained, many American Jews take offense and see no reason to support a Jewish state they believe rejects them.

A loss of Diaspora funds for Israeli hospitals and schools would be regrettable, but the Start-Up Nation can pay for the health and schooling of its needy. The blackmail that Israel cannot exist without American Jewish political support, though, is risible. Think about it: American Jews are overwhelmingly Democrats, and both Congress and the White House are run by staunchly pro-Israel Republicans. Why, exactly, does Israel need the political support of liberal American Jews right now?

Jewish Democrats abandon Israel at their own peril, because if they do they will be no more relevant as a force in Democratic politics than red-headed Democrats or Democrats born in October. Though their party has been hurling leftward, including regarding Israel, Jewish Democrats have been a moderating force. Without them, Obama’s Iran deal would have been even more disastrous to the Jewish state. Similarly, Jewish party members helped the Democratic Party’s 2016 platform committee defeat (albeit in a close vote) a plank that condemned the Israeli “occupation” of the West Bank.

But if Jewish Democrats become indifferent or hostile to Israel’s needs, what else will distinguish them? Their credibility on matters of prejudice has been shaken by their hyperbole that President Trump “fosters” anti-Semitism. Their opposition to school choice means they have sided with Democratic teachers’ union bigwigs over parents trying to affordably raise their children with Jewish values.

To matter in Democratic politics, American Jews would need a distinct ideological framework regarding issues like the environment, poverty, immigration, and health care. And they do have one – but it’s the same as the party as a whole.

Unless American Jews capitulate in the current conflict with Israel and reaffirm their commitment to protecting its interests, the Democrat Party will have few remaining barriers in its leftward rush on Middle Eastern issues. Young Democrats in particular have begun to cement Palestinian rights within their “social justice” platforms, and stalwart pro-Israel voices in the party like Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer increasingly have to share the stage with more hostile figures like Cornel West, Keith Ellison, and Linda Sarsour.

Most American Jews who love Israel more than they love “social justice” will probably eventually become Republicans. But if most liberal Jews break their relationship with the Jewish state over Orthodox religious hegemony, in practice the Democratic Party’s total abandonment of Israel will soon follow.

And for some liberal American Jews, that won’t be a tragedy. While Bibi Netanyahu has been prime minister, they have watched with increasing sadness and alienation as Israel has moved away from its purported commitment to a two-state solution. Blessedly, they understand the obscenity of abandoning Israel over a matter of the nation’s physical survival. But they’ve now found a seemingly nobler excuse to do so: exaggerate their offense that the Kotel they rarely pray at does not look like the synagogues at home they rarely pray at.

Israel would certainly suffer without the support of both American political parties. American foreign policy that swings between pro- and anti-Israel sentiment depending on who is in power could be dizzying and unpredictable.

But most American Jewish Democrats were on their way out anyway. Israel was never going to recognize their streams, and their resentment of Netanyahu’s peace policies won’t stop festering. What they may be overlooking, though, is that without devotion to the state of Israel, a Jewish Democrat is, well, just a Democrat.

David Benkof is a columnist for the Daily Caller. Follow him on Twitter (@DavidBenkof) and Muckrack.com/DavidBenkof, or E-mail him at DavidBenkof@gmail.com.

 

July 6, 2017 | 10 Comments » | 387 views

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10 Comments / 10 Comments

  1. As I have written in my books, the Moslems have a plan for Holocaust II for Jews and their Christian spouses in the West. They will even kill Democrats, so the Democrats are very relevant. Pity they don’t listen to the truth and the warnings.

  2. typo: should be “hurtled” not hurdled toward irrelevance. Hurdle has an irrelevant meaning involving placing or jumping over high obstacles.

    Also, Netanyahu is a centrist. They just don’t know that because they probably can’t name any other Israeli politicians except Herzog who just failed even to win re-election and just lost his seat.

    In fact, Netanyahu just announced that the existing egalitarian prayer area would be expanded. What tgey didn’t get was political power by way of an interdenominational committee to oversee the Kotel.

    “The issue isn’t the issue, power is the issue.” Saul Alinsky.

    And they are indiferent to prayer on Mount

  3. The sad thing with Jewish liberals today, is they are not the liberals of the 1950’s. The post WW2 Jews were still pledged to Israel UNTIL NOW.

    Today’s Liberal is a costume worn by fake Jews. They are worse then ‘lukewarm’. They actually follow Dathan. He was then AND NOW THE REAL STORY BEHIND THE DEMOCRATIC PARTY. All who follow THEM are doomed with them. It pays to be loyal to Our Book.

  4. @ Sebastien Zorn:
    It is my understanding that the IL Gvts, starting with BG himself, use an English loophole to assign the religious affairs to the ultra=orthodox party. Nothing to do with democracy.

  5. @ watsa46:
    “The words democracy, socialism, freedom, patriotic, realistic, justice have each of them several different meanings which cannot be reconciled with one another. In the case of a word like democracy, not only is there no agreed definition, but the attempt to make one is resisted from all sides. It is almost universally felt that when we call a country democratic we are praising it: consequently the defenders of every kind of regime claim that it is a democracy, and fear that they might have to stop using that word if it were tied down to any one meaning. Words of this kind are often used in a consciously dishonest way. That is, the person who uses them has his own private definition, but allows his hearer to think he means something quite different. Statements like Marshal Petain was a true patriot, The Soviet press is the freest in the world, The Catholic Church is opposed to persecution, are almost always made with intent to deceive. Other words used in variable meanings, in most cases more or less dishonestly, are: class, totalitarian, science, progressive, reactionary, bourgeois, equality.”

    -from “Politics and the English Language” by George Orwell. 1946.

    http://www.orwell.ru/library/essays/politics/english/e_polit/

  6. @ watsa46:
    “The words democracy, socialism, freedom, patriotic, realistic, justice have each of them several different meanings which cannot be reconciled with one another. In the case of a word like democracy, not only is there no agreed definition, but the attempt to make one is resisted from all sides. It is almost universally felt that when we call a country democratic we are praising it: consequently the defenders of every kind of regime claim that it is a democracy, and fear that they might have to stop using that word if it were tied down to any one meaning. Words of this kind are often used in a consciously dishonest way. That is, the person who uses them has his own private definition, but allows his hearer to think he means something quite different. Statements like Marshal Petain was a true patriot, The Soviet press is the freest in the world, The Catholic Church is opposed to persecution, are almost always made with intent to deceive. Other words used in variable meanings, in most cases more or less dishonestly, are: class, totalitarian, science, progressive, reactionary, bourgeois, equality.”

    -from “Politics and the English Language” by George Orwell. 1946.

    http://www.orwell.ru/library/essays/politics/english/e_polit/

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