How Do Jews Vote?

Political candidates who lean left in the United States can count on around 75% of the Jewish vote. But does the Left really have Jews' best interests at heart? And do Jews on the Left have Jews' best interest at heart? Or have they lost interest in being Jewish, except when it suits their need to feel special, to set themselves apart from the majority?

That's an important question to ask in preparation for MJAC's upcoming program: The Jewish Right-Left Divide, Can We Bridge the Gap? featuring Jonathan Neumann.

On the Jewish Left, we have groups like J-Street.

PLO leader Mahmoud Abbas met with J-Street leader Jeremy Ben-Ami and a J-Street delegation today at Abbas' presidential palace in Ramallah.

Abbas refuses to meet with the Israeli president or with US peace negotiators or even with Democratic members of the US Congress. But he is eager to meet with those American Jews who he knows are solidly on his side in every single issue that real Zionists cannot possibly ever accept, like Jerusalem and "return." Abbas treated Ben-Ami like a head of state.

There are also non-Jewish groups like the Democratic Socialists of America.

America’s largest socialist organization overwhelmingly voted to support the anti-Israel Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement at its biannual convention in Chicago on Saturday.

The Democratic Socialists of America (DSA) conveniently held its convention on the Jewish Sabbath, when no observant Jews would be able to appear or protest.

BDS aims at crippling Israel’s economy as political protest against the “oppressive” state. It has been very successful in destroying employment opportunities for thousands of Palestinians who worked for Israeli companies that BDS targeted.

After the vote, which passed by 90 percent, was met with wild applause, the crowd of DSA attendees began to chant a popular genocidal slogan of the pro-Palestinian movement, “From the river to the sea, Palestine will be free.”

Yes, the vote was held on Shabbat, but the group's Jewish members probably don't observe Shabbat, and they probably don't have enough observant Jewish members to matter.

Meanwhile, according to Caroline Glick:

Nearly half of the Jewish Democratic incumbents (7 of 18) have received contributions from J Street, the anti-Israel Jewish political group founded with help from George Soros. Throughout Obama’s years in office, J Street served as the administration’s Jewish fig leaf.

J Street was a central actor in the campaign to block a Senate veto of the Iran deal. It has placed the blame for the failure of the Israel-Palestinian peace process squarely on Israel’s shoulders, and campus chapters of J Street have reportedly aided anti-Israel activists in attempts to support the antisemitic “boycott, divestment and sanctions” (BDS) campaign against Israel. The organization is considered so hostile to Israel that Israel’s ambassador to the U.S., Ron Dermer, refuses to meet with its representatives.

and reviewing the local Lena Epstein incident, Glick reminds us:

According to Epstein’s supporters, her campaign has been subjected to stiff opposition by Jewish liberals from inside and outside her district. For instance, in June, the Franklin Hills Country Club, with a heavily Jewish membership, cancelled a fundraiser for Epstein. The cancellation was reportedly caused by a Facebook posting by Michael Simon, the son of one of the club’s former presidents.

In his post, Simon compared Trump’s immigration policies to Nazi policies. He called Epstein “a neo fascist” and said the values of the Jewish candidate, whose family members have been members of the club for four generations, are “incongruous with the moral center of the Jewish community.”

This is quite a gap. Can it be bridged? Join MJAC for the dialogue on Sunday, November 18 at Adat Shalom.