The Author

A majority of American Jews still profess a strong preference for the Democratic Party. The election of unabashed Jew-haters didn’t move the needle.

For any student of history, and especially for Jews who have even a cursory understanding of our people’s journey over the past 1,000 years, it should be self-evident that the protection and well-being of Israel is of paramount importance for all Jews, regardless of our country of residence or our political affiliations or the degree to which we practice our faith. To minimize or to ignore Israel’s crucial role in ensuring our culture’s survival is to engage in a potentially suicidal combination of wilful denial and child-like wishful thinking.

We live in a world that is openly hostile towards Jews and that has been our reality almost without interruption throughout our history. The bottom line is that Israel must thrive and it must be awe-inspiringly strong and self-sufficient if it is to continue being our bulwark and refuge in the face of the violence and hateful rhetoric directed at Jews every single day.

That means every Jew must understand they have skin in this game. We can’t just pay lip-service to Israel’s centrality in our lives; we must actively do whatever we can to defend and advocate for Israel whenever and wherever the opportunity and need arises.

For American Jews, that means a mega-dose of introspection because their continued support of a Democratic Party that is openly hostile towards Jews is simply inexplicable. I have written repeatedly about this subject but to no avail.

Despite my pleas and despite the best efforts of many Jewish and non-Jewish commentators and community leaders, a majority of American Jews still profess a strong preference for the Democratic Party. The election of unabashed Jew-haters such as Ilhan Omar and Rashida Tlaib didn’t move the needle.

The party’s refusal to call out those congresswomen for their inexcusable anti-Semitism and Israel-hatred mattered not a whit to the Democrats’ Jewish supporters. The party’s unwillingness to support President Trump’s numerous actions that have benefitted Israel means nothing to these Jewish voters. Not even the Democrats strong advocacy for Barak Obama’s Iran deal which posed an existential threat to Israel managed to force these Jews to do some navel-gazing.

And now we have the spectacle of Senator Diane Feinstein, a Democratic party luminary having a congenial dinner with Iran’s foreign minister last month.

Forget the fact that a senator who does not represent the administration has no business involving herself in foreign affairs (it is, after all, the exclusive purview of the president to determine who and how to communicate with officials of other countries).

Forget as well that Iran is responsible for the deaths of hundreds of Americans in the Middle East, and is the major state sponsor of terrorism, meaning no member of the American government should be conferring legitimacy on their country through formal or informal discussions.

What Diane Feinstein and other American Jews need to understand is that Iran has stated on numerous occasions that it aims to destroy Israel and Iran is engaged in a nuclear program whose sole purpose is to give Iran the tools necessary to achieve their genocidal intentions. Why on earth would any Jew, let alone a sitting U.S. senator, sit down with a representative of this regime? How far removed from your Jewish identity do you have to be to break bread with someone who wants to eradicate your people from this planet?

And how in G-d’s name do Jewish voters explain their continued support for a party that engages in naïve dialogue with an entity that actively and substantively acts against American, and not just Jewish, interests?

The fact that it is Jews who will be the principle victims of Iranian subterfuge and villainy is not nearly as important to Democrats as working to undermine anything Donald Trump favors.

I’m at a loss. If everything that the Democratic party has done for the past 10 years to undermine Israel’s interests hasn’t lifted the veil from Jewish voters’ eyes, then I just don’t know what it will take to make these Jews realize that they are an enormous, disproportionate part of the problem, not the solution, when it comes to the question of Israel and the future safety and security of the Jewish people.

Article by Henry Roth

Henry Roth was born in Haifa and immigrated to Canada in the early 1950s. The son of Romanian Holocaust survivors, he has been married to Brenda for 43 years, is the father of two sons, Marc and David, the happy grandfather of Nicolas and a proud and loud Zionist.