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Tom Malinowski’s support for Israel is ‘unbreakable’
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Opinion

Tom Malinowski’s support for Israel is ‘unbreakable’

Rabbis and citizens endorse the Democratic candidate for Dist. 7

U.S. Assistant Secretary of State for Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor Tom Malinowski delivers remarks about the release of the 2015 Human Rights Report at the State Department Harry S Truman building April 13, 2016 in Washington, DC. Getty Images
U.S. Assistant Secretary of State for Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor Tom Malinowski delivers remarks about the release of the 2015 Human Rights Report at the State Department Harry S Truman building April 13, 2016 in Washington, DC. Getty Images

We are Jewish Americans who are worried about our country, and we support Tom Malinowski for Congress in New Jersey’s 7th Congressional District.

Tom Malinowski knows the Jewish community. He understands who we are and what our values are. He knows what frightens us and what is important to us. 

Malinowski has battled anti-Semitism and other ideologies of hate at home and abroad. He understands the plague of anti-Semitism better than anyone running for Congress. And his approach to Israel is not only a question of policy; it is deeply personal and straightforward. Malinowski’s position is that America has an unbreakable commitment to Israel, rooted in a values-based alliance between these two great democracies. And America’s commitment to Israel must remain as fixed and as permanent as the sky.

There are, of course, many other factors that contribute to our support for Malinowski: We are disturbed by our government’s hostile attitude toward minorities and its demonization of immigrants. We are fearful of its America First ideology, which embraces our enemies around the world and alienates our allies. We view with distress America’s growing economic inequality, which is worse now than it has been in 100 years.

We know that when the United States forgets the middle class, ignores fiscal discipline, turns its back on refugees, favors the extremely wealthy over the neediest Americans, and fawns over dictators and autocrats, we are all in trouble. Americans understand that, and Jewish Americans, who arrived here as a vulnerable minority forced to battle hatred and discrimination, understand it as well. 

In this deeply partisan era, Tom Malinowski offers the centrism that America and New Jersey require. 

He supports a reasonable minimum wage and sensible gun control. He is committed to restoring state and local tax exemptions for New Jersey homeowners, and will fight for funding to finish the Gateway Tunnel. He will help the Dreamers and backs a common-sense approach to immigration and refugee resettlement. He is a fierce defender of law enforcement, and he will work to protect the Robert Mueller investigation, the Justice Department, and the FBI. 

We are also impressed by his record on foreign policy, including matters of special interest to the Jewish community.

Malinowski worked for the National Security Council, as the Washington director of Human Rights Watch, and as the assistant secretary of state for Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor.

When he was 6, he and his mother fled communist Poland for a better life in America. He grew up on stories of his grandmother risking her life to hide Jewish friends and neighbors during the Holocaust and his grandfather working as a lawyer to defend Jewish clients at a time of rising anti-Semitism.

Drawing on this personal history, throughout his career Malinowski has understood instinctively why America must stand up to anti-Semitism and to religious hatred in all forms. In the State Department, his responsibilities included overseeing America’s international efforts to combat anti-Semitism. 

Drawing on that same history, he has also understood why Israel must exist and thrive, and why the United States must maintain its ironclad commitment to Israel’s security and survival as a Jewish and democratic state. 

While as signatories of this statement we have a variety of views on Israel, we join in applauding Malinowski’s positions on matters of importance to us all: We approve of his backing for moving the U.S. embassy to Jerusalem.  We agree with his view that Israel has repeatedly been unfairly singled out by the United Nations (UN) for condemnation. We appreciate his statement that America’s abstention on the UN resolution condemning Israel in December of 2016 was a mistake. We concur with his position that the Jewish state must, of course, adhere to the highest human rights standards, and that Israel continues to work with the United States and others to do just that; at the same time, the overwhelming focus of the international community must be on human rights violations in other Middle Eastern countries.

Most important, we strongly agree with Malinowski that support for Israel is and must remain a consensus issue in American politics, with backing from Democrats and Republicans alike. He has steadfastly refused to make Israel a narrow, partisan, political issue. We applaud his willingness to stand with those who love and support Israel and to oppose those who do not, whatever their party or affiliation.

Many Americans are angry right now, filled with concern about the future of their country. They are concerned about keeping access to good health care and about women losing the right to choose. They are concerned about the absence of checks and balances in our federal government. They are concerned about the growth of a narrow and ugly parochialism in America.  And they are concerned about a foreign policy that too often means betraying bedrock alliances and cozying up to our enemies.

They are concerned as well with the incivility, the untruths, the guilt-by-association, the bluster, and the petulance that recently have come to characterize our politics and election campaigns. 

As Jewish Americans, we see these concerns as very real and dangerous for America. And we believe that to deal with them, we need a representative in Congress who will work to repair the social fabric, recreate a sense of American community, and mobilize the essential idealism and optimism of the American people.

In our view, Tom Malinowski is that person. He has responded to the vicious and distorted attacks against him with the civility and honesty that we expect from all of our leaders. He has conducted a campaign of dignity and respect that serves as an example of what we want our politics to be. In the process, he has demonstrated that he has the brains, the energy, and the grit to reach deep into our country’s pain and to grapple for the solutions we require. 

We urge our fellow citizens to support him.

Rabbi Daniel Cohen
Rabbi Renee Edelman
Rabbi Arnold S. Gluck
Rabbi William Horn
Rabbi Charles A. Kroloff
Rabbi Eric Yoffie
Liz Cohen
Jennifer Gilman
Sarah Gluck
Jordana Horn Gordon
Nan Honig
Marcy Lazar
Lisa Mandelblatt
Robin Osman
Janice Siegel
Linda Weissbrod
Peter Weissbrod

Endorsements are by those signing as individuals. In no way do they reflect any institution or organization with which they are affiliated, nor do they reflect the views of NJJN.

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