Readers Write: Some Jews doubt place in Dem Party

The Island Now

I begin with full disclosure – born and raised a moderate Democrat by two Holocaust survivors; raised in the South Bronx during a horrible period of deterioration, eventually migrating to Rego Park; married and resided in Forest Hills – and currently living in Great Neck and Manhattan.

Spent my pre-wealth management career in government, working successively for the FBI, Congressman Tom Manton, Queens Borough President Claire Shulman, Mayor Ed Koch, U.S. Sen. Al D’Amato and finally Gov. George Pataki. I migrated to the Republican Party about 18 years ago now rendering my political say in the city I have loved worthless. I have seen it all and it pains me. Apart and aside from the poor administration, budgeting, waste, homelessness (including violently mentally ill), rebounding crime, infrastructure deterioration – all these things of general concern – there is a particular Jewish impact which cannot be ignored.

Jews for whom their identity and Israel’s security are paramount in their lives – and I don’t mean those who have merged their own views of social justice into the former as one and the same – are beginning to doubt their security and their place in the Democratic Party. And it’s not just about the elected officials attaining office possessing antipathy towards Israel and Jews; it’s also ill alignments such as with the Democratic Socialists of America. This ill phenomenon has been building for quite some time, led by America’s university system, which turns out leaders diverse in every way save intellectual diversity. Increasingly, these leaders emerge in the Democratic Party almost monolithically.

I make it clear that hard-right radicals represent a physical danger – as we witnessed in Pittsburgh and Poway – and considerable expense is required to harden targets. These extremists must be pursued and incarcerated for threats made. That said, let’s get our proportions straight: These hard rightists are regarded by the general public and our government as losers. They have no influence either in the welcome which Jews in America have had or on America’s relationship with Israel. On the other hand, DSA socialists and anti-Israel Democrats, often interchangeable or cross-endorsed, are increasingly elected to office and, of course, predominate in academia and media circles. This is a grievous threat to American Jewry and our long-term relationship with America’s greatest ally – Israel.

In recent months, we’ve been made aware of DSA boycott questionnaires directed specifically against Israel and seeking boycott commitments from candidates. Understand that to Jews who are bound by Israel as our ancestral home, who readily cherish Israel as a critical element in the survival of our faith and in view of the singular focus of these leftists and “DSAers,” these people are unequivocally, gross anti-Semites.

As with any group, there is always a small proportion who act against the majority’s interest. In this respect, we Jews are no different. But we are also not stupid. When the DSAers, Ocasio-Cortez, Menchaca, Tlaib, Omar and the like break bread with the misnamed Jewish Voices for Peace, Rabbis for Peace, the Neturei Karta and other anti-Jewish, born-Jewish individuals, they reveal themselves.

It occurs to some of us that because of Jews’ and Israelis’ incredible share of historic accomplishments – in this instance not referring to Nobel prizes but simply to medicine, technology and science generally – if these boycotters would simply be sincere in their boycott efforts, that is, if their anti-Semitic rhetoric were to be matched by their boycott commitment, they would wither and disappear.

Relief from these Israel-obsessed haters will not cease in this fashion. We have reached a rubicon in our city, state and nation. These people must be confronted politically. There is no hiding.

The gerrymandering of political districts was designed to increase minority representation, not to harm the interests of others. “Tikkun olam,” or “saving the world,” an exaggerated quotation from the daily Jewish prayer book most employed by more liberal Jews and others, should be reciprocal in nature. We Jews, especially in America, have always been there for others. It is not acceptable for us to shy away when individuals who represent us work against Jewish interests. This is precisely what is happening. Two of America’s most prominent Jewish communities, Scarsdale and Riverdale, will now be represented by a BDS-dabbler and DSA-endorsee, Congressman-elect Jamaal Bowman. This reverse-disenfranchisement is transpiring with increasing frequency with each succeeding election.

I pen these comments today as a call to arms for New York and American Jewry, but the DSA and the hard leftists among the Democrats have been grievously harmful to the management of America’s big cities, the increase in social pathologies and through intersectionality, they have the Jews and Israel in their crosshairs.

What begins with the Jews never ends with the Jews.


Jeffrey S. Wiesenfeld

Great Neck

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