Anti-Semitism: Why and What to Do as American Jews

ANTISEMITISM - image with words associated with the topic RACISM, word, image, illustrationOne leading topic dealt with in American Jewish organizations is anti-Semitism in the United States. Oy vey, we expect anti-Semitism in Europe, but here? Is it because cable news makes every incident into a headline story?
Or is part of the problem that the mainstream media, which almost all fair and independent observers agree is overwhelmingly liberal, distorts itself like a pretzel to connect every act of anti-Semitism to President Donald Trump? An example of exploiting non-critical thinking: following the October 2018 Pittsburgh Tree of Life Synagogue shooting, the liberal mainstream media and Democratic Party made it appear that the tragic shooting was somehow President Donald Trump’s fault.
In his “JLife” viewpoint article “Anti-Semitism: Why and What to Do as American Jews,” (December issue) Rabbi Elie Spitz referred to the Pittsburgh synagogue shooting several times, but never once pointed out that the shooter did it because he hated President Trump. And why did the shooter hate President Trump? Because the President is an ardent supporter of Jews and Israel.
In the days following the shooting, James S. Robbins wrote in USA Today “Synagogue Shooter Hated Donald Trump and Shows What Real Hatred, Anti-Semitism Looks Like”–
Linking Trump to anti-Semitism is factually incorrect and morally wrong. You never heard it before he ran for office. He has a history of giving generously to Jewish charities, including the Anti-Defamation League, and he received the Jewish National Fund’s “Tree of Life” award.
This is a president whose high-profile daughter Ivanka is an observant modern Orthodox Jew and whose Jewish son-in-law, Jared Kushner, is a trusted White House envoy and personal adviser. President Trump also has longstanding ties to Israel’s conservative Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, and, unlike three of his Oval Office predecessors, made good on a pledge to move the U.S. Embassy in Israel to Jerusalem.
As a reminder, Ivanka converted to Judaism, which speaks volumes about her Jewish faith. Regarding the U.S. embassy, the three immediate past presidents – Bill Clinton, George W. Bush and Barack Obama – had unfettered opportunities to move the embassy, as repeatedly promised during their campaigns, but they never had the courage shown by President Donald Trump to follow through.
If the Jewish American community truly wants to combat growing anti-Semitism in the United States, we must have an honest discussion and admit that overwhelming blind loyalty to the Democratic Party is part of the problem. In an analysis of the Jewish vote by the Mellman Group on behalf of the Democratic Council of America –

Jewish voters overwhelmingly chose Democratic candidates in the 2018 midterm elections. Among Jewish voters, 82 percent of the two-party U.S. House vote went to Democrats and 18 percent went to Republicans.
With the most pro-Israel/pro-Jewish president to ever occupy the White House, it is perplexing that a majority of Jews remain with the anti-Israel/anti-Jewish Democratic Party. Many Christian Republicans, staunch defenders of American Jews and the State of Israel, can’t understand why the American Jewish community supports a political party that promotes anti-Semitic candidates and positions.
In late October, former Boston Red Sox pitcher Curt Schilling was on CNN’s “The Lead” program with Jake Tapper. This is what Schilling said to Tapper, who is Jewish –

“I would like to ask you something as a person who is practicing the Jewish faith and has since you were young. I don’t understand – and this is, maybe this is the amateur, non-politician in me – I don’t understand how people of Jewish faith can back the Democratic Party, which over the last 50 years has been so clearly anti-Israel, so clearly anti-Jewish Israel. I don’t know what else would need to be done, said or happen for people to understand that they don’t – the Democratic Party is aligned for Israel only because we have agreements in place to make them have to be.”
Tapper responded that he was speaking for himself and opined that the reason could be that Jews support social welfare programs.
As a former Democrat, now an active Republican, I am frequently asked that question, too.
Although not very religious, I am very proud of my Jewish heritage. Growing up in Jewish neighborhoods in Queens, my immediate and extended family were all Jewish as were all my friends and we all kept kosher homes. I belonged to B’nai Brith, only dated Jewish boys and married a Jewish man under the chuppah. Everyone attended temple on the High Holy Days and registered as Democrats because back then the Democratic Party fought against anti-Semitism and supported Israel.
That was then. Just look at some of today’s voices of the Democratic Party:

  • Congresswoman Ilhan Omar wrote in a 2012 tweet that “Israel has hypnotized the world, may Allah awaken the people and help them see the evil doings in Israel.”
  • Bernie Sanders makes anti-Israel, anti-Jewish comments standard in most of his speeches. As Daniel Greenfield wrote in “Bernie Sanders is Not a Jew”
    The very thing that makes Bernie Sanders seem suspect to Jews makes him more appealing to anti-Semitic hate groups.

    • Congresswoman Rashida Tlaib wants to cut aid to the Jewish State because supporting Israel “doesn’t fit the values of our country.”
    • Keith Ellison, acolyte of anti-Semitic Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan, was a top Democratic Party official. The former congressman was elected Minnesota’s attorney general.
    • Women’s March co-founders Tamika Mallory and Linda Sarsour are supporters of Farrakhan’s Nation of Islam anti-Jewish rants. Many Women’s March participants want the two to step down due to their immense anti-Semitism.
    • Al Sharpton; there isn’t enough paper in the magazine to list all of his anti-Semitic comments.
    • Former Congressman “Beto” O’Rourke ran against Sen. Ted Cruz in Texas in one of the most closely-watched midterm election senate races. O’Rourke was one of only eight House members in 2014 who voted against funding for replenishing Israel’s Iron Dome rockets when Hamas rockets were raining down on border towns. O’Rourke also joined other Democrats in walking out of Israel Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s March 2015 speech to a joint session of Congress denouncing the Obama administration Deal.
    • Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez ramblings are often so incoherent that it’s difficult to know if she’s anti-Semitic or simply ignorant.
      Jews who worry about growing anti-Semitism in the United States should consider their political party affiliation. In “Republicans are Now the Pro-Israel Party, as Democrats Distance Themselves from the Jewish State,” Democrats Andrew Stein (former New York City Council president) and Douglas Schoen (former pollster to President Bill Clinton) closed their article with –
      There are 5.3 million Jews in America. While it would be ignorant to characterize every last one of them as pro-Israel, there is still truth to the idea that many of them are. In a short time, growing numbers of them will take their votes and donations to the Republican Party if Democrats leave them in the shadows.
      Anti-Semitism in America is on the rise because as a society we have forsaken the morals and values that our forefathers sacrificed in giving us the Constitution and Bill of Rights – both founded on Judeo-Christian beliefs. The American Jewish community must question whether its overwhelming support for the Democratic Party and the party’s many anti-Semitic politicians indirectly fuels the fires of anti-Semitism.
      While we have this discussion, let me add that one of the best places to meet other Jews outside of traditional venues (synagogues and community centers) is at Republican organizations where Jews are truly welcomed.

      Robin Itzler is a writer and speaker with a background in communications.


  1. Excellent article! Enjoyed reading it

  2. Robin Westerkamp

    In this article, Robin Itzler makes some very excellent and poignant comments about what is currently going on in this political climate in regard to Antisemitism within the Democratic party. It is alarming to me as a Christian, who stands with the Jewish people and Israel, to hear the things being spouted off these days from far too many Democratic politicians, and the hatred that is apparent against Jews and Israel. Their remarks are frightening, and VERY worrisome. In the past I understood that the Jewish community usually voted for Democrats, but I too wonder how going forward, Jewish people can continue to vote for politicians from this party? There is never a perfect candidate for office, but as Robin Itzler has written, President Trump is more pro-Israel and pro-Jewish than any other President we have had in the past. I would implore my Jewish friends to consider this very honestly and carefully, and this article makes a strong case for that. I pray every day for Israel and the Jewish people.

  3. Nancy Eisenhart

    If only the Jewish community would open their minds to the truth as summarized by Ms Itzler

  4. Fantastic article Robin. Thank you for so clearly spelling out the issue, as well as the options that Jewish people who care about Israel have, when they go to the ballot box.

  5. Excellent article. As a Christian I am very baffled by my liberal Jewish friends. They say they are democrats because of the social issues. Well, let us look at their social issues. They promote Planned Parent Hood – an organization founded for the purpose of eliminating black pregnancies and because their founder was aligned with the KKK they were also interested in jewish pregnancies too I suspect! They were not trying to help women. No they grew a corporation to make money under the shadow of being a non-profit! Let’s look at the welfare programs. Shouldn’t it be a helping hand up instead of down? The democrats have made the poor in our country even poorer and now with several generations on welfare dependent on it and expecting it as their right! It broke the black family unit that at one time was strong. And oh, yes, medical care. Let’s all be on the same health plan so we are all miserably equal. In other words, they are the purveyors of slavery, keeping the citizenry ignorant, and everyone relying on the government for everything. It is true, the democrats God is government. Republicans God is the Lord Almighty. Time for my Jewish friends to please wake up!

  6. What a great exposition of what’s REALLY happening in our Jewish community. Sounds like they just want to be followers of the loudest proclamations rather than thinking through what they’re supporting. Use the brain God gave you and think about what you really are supporting with your votes. We need more thinkers at the polls than blind followers not just because “we’ve always done it this way”

    Thank you Robin for the real “heads up” about what is really happening in our society with the “blind followers” who prefer to not bother to think for themselves, but follow the loud-mouthed leaders of antisemitism, just because “we’ve always been democrats” with no thought of what the democrats are really pursuing.

  7. As usual, Robin Itzler writes a hugely informative and mindful story here. She points out the hypocrisy of the left, and in this case, of Jewish people who support Democrats. I have never understood myself how friends I have of that faith who are Democrats reconcile the two.
    Thank-you Robin, for another great article!

  8. Barbara DeKovner-Mayer

    Robin Itzler’s article is Right On!!! As a writer who contributed to Israel Today, I agree that the Democratic Party is not a good choice forAmerica’s Jewry. Anti-Semitism has been nurtured by the very people that are being targeted and discriminated against. Today’s American Jews are turning the other cheek. Appeasement will yield an empty harvest.
    Robin points out that the new crop of Congress has in its ranks anti-Semites. How did this happen? She suggests that the jDemocratic Party is no longer welcoming to Jews yet the Jews have not yet embraced the Republican party who has done far more for Jews and Israel. We need more articles like Robins. Thank you for making her
    views known.

  9. Great analysis, Robin! I have often asked my Jewish friends why a majority of Jew always seem to support the Democrat Party? I have followed up with what has the Democrat Party done for Jews here in America and in Israel? I have even made the same analogy to Blacks supporting the Democrat Party. The most common answer I get is that “Jews identify with persecution and being victims of discrimination,” which does not make sense to me because Hitler and Democrats historically have been the ones who, in fact, persecuted and discriminated against Jews and Blacks. It has always been Americans and their “values” have fought and died (WWI, WWII, Revolutionary and Civil Wars, Civil Rights Legislation, etc.) for Freedom of all people. Yet today the Democrats continue to re-write history, ignore their Party history and accuse Conservatives of racism and discrimination. When, in fact, Democrats keep hate, discrimination and victimization alive that define their own Party continuing to mislead (lie) minorities for their twisted political power gains.

  10. Bravo Robin for stating the truths that are there for all to see if they open their eyes! Too bad so many won’t and blindly stay with the old paradigm and longer relevant program that the Democrats present to them! Yes, there is another way to be and a welcoming party where freedom speech and freedom of religion are cherished values, come join the Republican Jewish Coalition or the Jewish Republican Alliance and the Republican Party! Stop supporting the hypocrites in the Left and stand up against hatred of Israel and Jews!

  11. Thanks, Robin, for speaking out the truth about the Dems . As a Christian I can truly say “Ditto” to the facts you brought out in your splendid essay!

  12. The position taken by the rabbinical leaders of the Reform and Conservative movements in which they urged President Trump to put pressure on Prime Minister Netanyahu to NOT annex any land in Judea and Samaria (a k a- the West Bank) “because the vast majority of American Jews are against it” does not speak for all of us.
    In fact, the very liberal lean of these leaders who seem to wholeheartedly support the Democratic Party and its stances do NOT speak for all of us. I think they are way out of line expressing those beliefs in anything other than their own personal opinions.

    Israel is an independent nation. It can and should do what is in it’s own best interests. In my humble opinion, the nation of Israel is indefensible if it gives up any west bank land for “the 2 state solution”. Since the PLO/Hamas have no real interest in a compromise, they only want complete destruction of Israel and all the Jews gone, there is no possibility of a reasonable compromise. Therefore, Israel should annex the territory and retain control, using the Jordan River as its eastern boundary. Either the Arabs that remain become peaceful citizens or they relocate to Arab countries where they would be a better cultural mesh.

    The Democratic Party is 2 state only,(the internationalist stance) while the Republicans have said either way leading to a peaceful solution works for them.

    It is about time for American Jews to understand reality: the Democratic Party of the 1940-1960s is gone forever. FDR, Truman, and JFK/LBJ are gone. The “new” Democrats are comprised of a few groups: 1. the anti-semitic wing, 2. the wishy washy Jewish Congress & Senate persons who will not condemn group 1, and 3. the gray typical do gooders whose priority is tax and spend into oblivion, open borders with no enforcement, and promoters of “sanctuary cities& states” to make America less European and more comprised of third world people. The USA as wealthy as it is, cannot take in unlimited numbers of refugees and pay for their living, their healthcare, their schooling, etc. It is a mistake by the majority of American Jews to go along/get along with the Democrats who do not value religion or the principles on which the USA founding fathers set up our marvelous constitution/bill of rights and government. We are not opposed to LEGAL immigration. We are opposed to ILLEGAL/unlimited immigration. I am a former Democratic voter, but the party has moved way too far left for me, and now I am an independent voter. Wake up American Jews! Things have changed dramatically.

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