Recently, there was a sharp contrast between how Democrats acted toward Jews and Israel vs. how Republicans acted toward Jews and Israel. John Kerry used Israel and apartheid in the same sentence. As an ex-South African, I found this especially offensive.
Sen. Eric Cantor (a proud Jewish Republican), Ted Cruz, David Vitter, and many other Republicans — both Jewish and gentile — called on Kerry to apologize or resign. On the Democratic side, there were the lone voices of Barbara Boxer and Nita Lowey, who are both Jewish.
Perhaps you have voted for Democrats because your parents and grandparents did. They voted for Democrats probably because their parents in Eastern Europe and Russia were members of the huge Jewish labor unions that wanted Jews to be officially recognized as a minority with equal rights; remember, Jews in Russia and Eastern Europe weren’t given that privilege. This labor/socialist inclination carried over into Israel in 1948 and, I admit, it served it well.
However, over the last 40 years, things have changed dramatically. Israel has transformed itself into one of the most successful capitalist nations on the planet, bringing products and solutions to help billions of people around the world while allowing its economy to thrive. In the United States, the Civil Rights Act (which passed, I point out, with 81percent of the Republican vote and only 65 percent of the Democratic vote) enforced true equal rights. Over the years, the marginal improvement that labor rights can achieve has largely disappeared for both countries and for the Jews living in both countries. Today’s biggest political threats to Jews and to Israel clearly come from those on the far left of the political spectrum. Go to the National Democratic Convention of 2012 to try to reinstate the recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital and you might get booed.
The circumstances that your great-grandparents lived in are entirely different than those that we find ourselves in today. Republican politicians are begging for your vote. If you at all identify yourself as Jewish and have any connection to the State of Israel, it’s time that you reassess your political allegiance.
Paul K. Lieberman