Jewish Americans and the Democratic Party: Time to Go?

Welcome to JEXODUS.

On Saturday, Roger L. Simon lamented at PJ Media that anti-Semitism is once again becoming respectable – or at least acceptable – across the Western world, and that this time around the Jew-haters are predominantly Muslims and leftists. Among the more prominent new standard bearers of this old hatred, noted Simon, are our two recently elected Muslim congresswomen, who, he quite reasonably surmised, “were likely inculcated at an early age, as were too many Muslim children, with the belief that Jews only (pace Darwin) were the descendants of pigs and apes and should be wiped from the Earth.” Simon argued that in the face of the Democratic Party establishment’s shameful readiness to excuse – or at least relativize – these women’s Jew-hatred, as demonstrated by its feeble response last week to Rep. Ilhan Omar’s fondness for vile anti-Semitic tropes, it’s about time for American Jews, the overwhelming majority of whom have long been loyal Democrats, to pack their bags and check out. 

Alas, I’m afraid it’ll take more than a little Der Stürmer-type rhetoric by Muslim Democrats to budge True Believers whose weekly religious devotions consist not of attending shul but of soaking in the Sunday New York Times, that secular Torah. No devout adherent of the Gospel according to Sulzberger would jump ship, after all, as long as all-knowing guru Paul “I won the Nobel Prize” Krugman can write, as he did last Thursday, that “only one brand of antisemitism scares me — and it’s not on the left.” I wonder what Natan Sharansky has to say about that.

On Friday, for her part, Krugman’s fellow Times oracle Michelle Goldberg offered this bit of Solomonic wisdom: “I assume Omar has been reckless rather than malicious.” And what, pray tell, is that assumption based on? Definitely not a familiarity with the Koran. Goldberg went on: “As one of the first two Muslim women in Congress — and the first to wear a hijab — Omar has been subject to a terrifying campaign of racist vilification.” How remarkable that, almost eighteen years after 9/11, you can still get away with deep-sixing Islamic ideology – and the symbolic significance of the hijab – by pretending that Islam is a race. Goldberg concluded: “Omar needs to do better, but right now there’s still only one political party in America that is a safe place for hate.” Of course, Goldberg meant the GOP, because in today’s Democratic lexicon, hate no longer means hate – it means a refusal to honor the current victim-group hierarchy, which places Muslims at the very top and, ignoring not only the Holocaust but the whole history of Jewish suffering, places Jews at or near the bottom, if not eliminating them from the picture entirely.

Then there was Washington Post columnist Paul Waldman, who last Tuesday described himself “as someone who was raised in an intensely Zionist family with a long history of devotion and sacrifice for Israel” and who promised “to try to bring some clarity to this issue.” As far as he was concerned, the real problem underlying Omar’s rhetorical habits wasn’t that the Democrats are now tolerating anti-Semitism; it was that “over the last three decades, support for Israel has become increasingly associated with conservative evangelicals and the Republican Party.” Meaning what? Waldman’s point, bizarre though it may seem, was apparently that this very association poisons beyond redemption the idea of eagerly supporting Israel. In other words, a liberal Jew simply can’t be expected to cheer on the Jewish state if his enthusiasm puts him in the unsavory company of “people such as Mike Huckabee and Sarah Palin.” As for Omar’s manifest anti-Semitism, Waldman flat-out denied its existence, calling Nancy Pelosi “shameful” for her brief, tepid effort to rein Omar in. Waldman made clear that for him, a Beltway insider, this controversy isn’t about fourteen centuries of toxic Koran-based Jew-hatred that’s been passed down through the generations and has now taken root in the halls of Congress; it’s about, he explained, the influence in D.C. of the pro-Israel lobby in the form of the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC), with its unpalatable ties to the GOP and Likud.

What to make of people like Krugman, Goldberg, and Waldman? Are they really so ignorant of Islam? How can they so blithely deny, or shrug off, anti-Semitism – and tolerance thereof – at the highest levels of their own party? Doesn’t it concern them that while Jews are decreasing as a proportion of the US population, the number of Muslims is on the rise? Doesn’t it concern them that the addition of two young Muslim women to a body with a total of 435 members can have such a huge impact? Don’t they wonder what it’ll be like when there’s a substantial Muslim caucus in the House? Can they possibly be unaware that the Islamization of Western Europe has made everyday life nothing less than perilous for Jews – forcing many of them, for safety’s sake, to put away their yarmulkes and stars of David, obliging Jewish children to endure daily SS-style schoolroom batterings by Muslim classmates, and leading more and more Jewish families, for the sake of their posterity, to emigrate to the US or Israel or Australia? 

Since Donald Trump’s election, we’ve seen the beginning of a shake-up in at least a couple of longtime Democratic Party constituencies. Candace Owens heads up “Blexit,” a movement by black Americans who, having recognized the damage done to them by the Great Society and its aftermath, are leaving the Democratic plantation. Then there’s Brandon Straka, a gay guy and former hard-core lefty and Trump-hater who, after the 2016 election, realized he’d been served a bill of goods by the mainstream media and Democratic Party and is now, with his WalkAway campaign, helping other disillusioned former progressives – including many gays who now grasp the existential danger that Islam represents to them – to shake off identity politics, victimhood rhetoric, speech suppression, and incipient socialism. Given the apparent success of these initiatives, it occurred to me, after reading Roger Simon’s piece, that a similar group targeted especially at Jews might not be a bad idea. I even came up with the perfect name for it: Exodus.   

But hallelujah! A quick Google search revealed that somebody else is already on the job. In an article posted on Friday at Arutz Sheva, David Rosenberg reported on one Elizabeth Pipko, “a 23-year-old Jewish figure skater-turned-model” who, in an effort to aid a “mass Jewish exodus from the Democratic party,” has started what she calls the ‘’JEXODUS” movement. Disillusioned by former President Obama’s anti-Israel policies and Iran deal, by widespread Democratic support for the BDS movement, and, now, by the party’s acceptance of anti-Semitism on the part of its own House members, Pipko came to the realization that “right now as a Jewish person, you cannot support the Democratic party and support the Jewish people at the same time.” The first JEXODUS rallies are scheduled for April in New York and Florida. Needless to say, this may be very interesting to watch. Mazel tov!

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