Heritage Florida Jewish News - Central Florida's Independent Jewish Voice

By Jim Shipley
Shipley speaks 

What's a Jew to do?


March 29, 2019

Since the first large wave of Jews arrived in the U.S., we have fought for human rights. It is in our own self-interest to do so. We believe in taking care of our fellow man, in equal rights, equal opportunity, etc. You know, the stuff that allowed us when we came to America to take advantage of the system. And, based on our heritage and our history, we have endeavored to pass it on to succeeding generations.

This has resulted in Jews having the reputation of being “Liberals”; “Left Wing”, etc. All this because we tend to take up the cause of the underdog—again, because we were—and in many cases, still are.

For generations, Jews were comfortable in the Democratic Party. Sure—some Jews as a part of their assimilation became Republicans. They felt the philosophy of small government with a light hand was the way this new nation to which they now belonged should be governed. Many Jews who all but worshiped Roosevelt turned to Eisenhower to guide us in the 1950s.

Things change. A terrible Democratic leadership and a foolish Republican Party that allowed 17candidates to run for president which allowed a Trump to happen. In the confusion that followed an old Will Rogers quote rang true:  “I don’t belong to any organized political party—I’m a Democrat.”

So today, we have a group of Democratic congressmen and congresswomen who are really different. I don’t know what he would make of this present gaggle of freshmen and their odd ideas. Let’s take a district in the Bronx. Joe Crowley had been the congressman from that district as long as anyone could remember.

So long that he didn’t even bother to campaign during the Primary. Result? Only 12 percent of the electorate turned out to vote in the Primary and today we have “AOC.”  She knows so much about the job that she didn’t bother to open a District Office in the Bronx. She said she thought the people would rather have her in Washington fighting for basic rights rather than wasting time on the problems of the folks who elected her. 

Then of course we have Ilhan Omar. She is an African from Somalia. She was raised in a middle class neighborhood of Minneapolis. She has decided to make the centerpiece of her role in the Congress constant attacks on Israel. She has never been there, has no historical knowledge of the country—but considers herself an expert on the Jews and their relationship with their Native Land.

Does she know that even this correspondent has DNA that reaches back to that land?  Does she know the story of the First and Second Commonwealths and the birth of the Third?


Her anti-Israel platform barely masks a strong anti-Semitic bias that leaks into her rhetoric and tweets on an almost daily basis. She has dredged up the oldest and silliest tropes about Israel and then condemns Jews who support their native land.

The Jews. The easy target AND do not believe for a moment that Omar is alone in her rhetoric and her approach. She said it’s “All About The Benjamins”?  Believe me, if you could follow the money (which you can’t) you’d see substantial “Benjamins” in her bank account from folks who are well grounded in the International conspiracy to delegitimize the Jewish State.

And how easily she slides into the age-old game of anti-Semitism. Old Tropes or new angles on anti-Semitism. She serves on the Foreign Relations Committee. Thank God they in truth have little to do with Foreign Policy.

After her first swipes, the Democrats had an opportunity to pass a strong condemnation of anti-Semitism in all its forms. They didn’t. Instead there was a wishy-washy condemnation of all prejudicial speech; missing the target by a mile.

On the other hand, as Tevye would say... there are the Republicans. But, where are the Republicans? What we face daily is an increase in the number of White Nationalists, no desire by the head of the Party to disown them. Hate crimes are at the highest level in years, but the head of the Party has no desire to discuss it...

On the left there is Omar and AOC. On the right?  Why are the good guys so silent?  What is a Jew to do?


Reader Comments(1)

pauljeser writes:

The answer: decide which is more important. And, when you look at it that way the answer is simple. White Supremacy is bad, but not nearly as bad as being pro-Iran deal, being pro-JStreet, failing to pass a strong Anti-Semitism bill in Congress, refusing to condemn Anti-Semitic, Anti-Israel members of Congress, etc. I used to be a Democrat (until Rev. Wright's Obama), but warts and all (and there are plenty of them), what President Trump has done far outweighs anything the Dems have done..


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