Is Trump a better choice for Jewish voters than Biden?

Is Trump a better choice for Jewish voters than Biden?
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The Democratic Party is no longer a home for those concerned about anti-Semitism, Israel and many other issues important to America’s Jews — yet, most Jewish voters continue to pull the Democratic lever in elections. In the latest example, one of the party’s most prominent figures, Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-CortezAlexandria Ocasio-CortezHillicon Valley: Threatening emails raise election concerns | Quibi folds after raising nearly B | Trump signs law making it a crime to hack voting systems Ocasio-Cortez draws hundreds of thousands of viewers on Twitch livestream OVERNIGHT ENERGY: Democrats push expansion of offshore wind, block offshore drilling with ocean energy bill | Poll: Two-thirds of voters support Biden climate plan | Biden plan lags Green New Deal in fighting emissions from homes MORE (D-N.Y.), refused to meet with the New York Board of Rabbis and the Jewish Community Relations Council.

Perhaps most disturbing to many Jews are the anti-Semitic rhetoric and policies openly embraced by many in the party, and the failure of Democratic leaders to condemn both.

It is time for Jews to wake up to the new politics in this country. Many might surely wonder if — to paraphrase Joe Biden — "you ain’t Jewish” if you vote for the former vice president and his running mate, Sen. Kamala HarrisKamala HarrisObama to campaign for Biden in Florida Biden appears on Brené Brown's podcast to discuss 'empathy, unity and courage' The Hill's Campaign Report: Obama to hit the campaign trail l Biden's eye-popping cash advantage l New battleground polls favor Biden MORE (D-Calif.), because of the policies they and their party now represent.


For decades, support for Israel was strong across both political parties, and so Jews could vote their social conscience and support a Democratic Party that stood strongly with Israel and against anti-Semitism. Given that 6 million Jews were murdered in the Holocaust, Jews have felt enormous empathy against discrimination, as well as deep support for Israel as a Jewish state; they felt at home in the Democratic Party of past decades. But the differences that have emerged between the country’s two political parties now require Jewish voters to react to the new realities and switch their support to Donald TrumpDonald John TrumpJudge rules to not release Russia probe documents over Trump tweets Trump and advisers considering firing FBI director after election: WaPo Obama to campaign for Biden in Florida MORE.

President Lyndon Johnson not only supported the Voting Rights Act and Medicare but also weapons for Israel — and backed Israel when it counted. That was the heyday of American Jewish voters feeling comfortable voting Democratic, even after President Nixon removed the arms embargo on Israel completely during the Yom Kippur War. President Carter’s approach at first worried many American Jews but the result of peace deals in the Mideast again cemented Democratic support. President Clinton came to understand that an evenhanded approach in the Mideast would not work because the Palestinian Authority was never really coming to the negotiating table; it was aligned with too many forces who wanted the destruction of Israel.

But things turned with President Obama, who implied in a speech to the American-Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) that he supported moving the embassy to Jerusalem but then quickly retracted it. Under his leadership, the Democratic Party turned from being a supporter of Israel into a supporter of Iran, as he threw more than $1 billion at the single greatest threat to Israel’s existence. And, in the closing days of his presidency, he refused to veto an anti-Israel resolution in the United Nations; even Senate Minority Leader Chuck SchumerChuck SchumerTrump casts doubt on hopes for quick stimulus deal after aides expressed optimism Schumer says he had 'serious talk' with Feinstein, declines to comment on Judiciary role Democrats seem unlikely to move against Feinstein MORE (D-N.Y.) called that move “frustrating, disappointing and confounding.” Thus, for the first time in a long time, Israel was no longer a bipartisan issue.

It was soon after the end of the Obama presidency that a long-hidden photo of Obama smiling with Louis Farrakhan, an open anti-Semite, surfaced.

As a president, Joe BidenJoe BidenTrump and advisers considering firing FBI director after election: WaPo Obama to campaign for Biden in Florida Supreme Court reinstates ban on curbside voting in Alabama MORE would return the country to those Obama-era policies.


When Trump came into the White House, Democrats often called him “Hitler” and “anti-Semitic.” It was a frequently repeated false trope, even as the Democratic Party drifted further and further from bipartisan support against anti-Semitism and for Israel. Studies purported that Trump was responsible for a rise in hate crimes — never mind that, for the previous eight years, attacks on Jews were among the top three hate crimes in America (although you rarely, if ever, heard about it).

As Democrats move to embrace more power for “intersectional” groups that leave out Jews, the power of the party’s anti-Semitic wing has grown in strength. Even after Rep. Ilhan OmarIlhan OmarHillicon Valley: Threatening emails raise election concerns | Quibi folds after raising nearly B | Trump signs law making it a crime to hack voting systems Ocasio-Cortez draws hundreds of thousands of viewers on Twitch livestream Veterans launch pro-law enforcement super PAC with battlegrounds ad buys MORE (D-Minn.) made comments widely considered anti-Semitic and implying that American Jews had allegiance to a foreign power, the majority of House Democrats opposed condemning her remarks and watered down a resolution that would have repudiated anti-Semitism in favor of a general denunciation of all hate speech. Rep. Eliot EngelEliot Lance EngelIs Trump a better choice for Jewish voters than Biden? Overnight Defense: Trump says he's leaving Walter Reed, 'feeling really good' after COVID-19 treatment | White House coronavirus outbreak grows | Dems expand probe into Pompeo speeches House Democrats push forward on probe of Pompeo's political speeches MORE (D-N.Y.), who strongly condemned Omar’s remarks, was primaried and defeated by the left.

Far from being an anti-Semite, Trump welcomed Judaism into his family with the marriage of his daughter. He combatted hate crimes against Jews by signing an executive order giving Jews greater legal protections against persecution. He has strongly opposed the boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) movement against Israel favored by three of the four House Democrats known as “the squad.” 

When it comes to foreign policy, Trump fostered a great relationship with Israel’s prime minister and people, moved the American embassy to Jerusalem against the advice of the entire foreign policy establishment which had given only lip service to the idea, and brokered agreements with other Mideast nations to recognize Israel. During the Republican convention, Secretary of State Mike PompeoMichael (Mike) Richard PompeoTrump and advisers considering firing FBI director after election: WaPo Brazil's OECD candidacy is best chance for reform Watch live: Pompeo news conference MORE was visiting Israel, signaling the strength of the relationship; at the Democratic convention, it was crickets when it came to Israel, for fear of angering the left that openly takes the Palestinian side of the Arab-Israeli conflict.

Most importantly, Trump reversed the pro-Iran appeasement policies that strengthened the hand of Israel’s — and the world’s — biggest threat to peace. He eliminated ISIS and Iran’s chief terrorist leader as part of a policy of favoring our allies and opposing the enemies of stability in the region. Biden would reverse the policy of isolating Iran that has realigned the Mideast and, instead, would again bow to the mullahs who chant “Death to America!” while turning his back on the real supporter of democracy and of our country.

It’s no longer the old Democratic Party that supported Israel but a new party that has turned its back on both American Jews and Israel in significant ways. From empowering Iran to empowering Rep. Omar on the House Foreign Affairs Committee, the difference has never been clearer. Jewish voters should recognize that new reality in this election.

Andrew Stein is the former Democratic president of the New York City Council and founder and chairman of “Democrats for Trump.” He is the brother of The Hill’s chairman.