Recently, Trump tweeted conservative activist Elizabeth Pipko’s quote, “Jewish people are leaving the Democratic Party. We saw a lot of anti-Israel policies start under the Obama Administration, and it got worsts & worse. There is anti-Semitism in the Democratic Party. They don’t care about Israel or the Jewish people.”
Misinformation From Jexodus
This is part of the new astroturf group Jexodus. Conservatives love these fake groups. Last year there was WalkAway, which was supposedly a movement of liberals who were “walking away” from the Democratic Party. Of course, there was no such movement. In fact, Russian bots were using #WalkAway to discourage liberal voting ahead of the 2018 general election.
We are seeing the same thing with Jexodus. It’s actually funny how obvious this is. Although the group says that Elizabeth Pipko is its national spokesperson, there is nothing on their website to indicates that Jexodus is anything but her. I searched Archive.org. The first appearance of Jexodus.com was on 6 March 2019. (The domain name was created last November.) And the first appearance of the website already had “MEET ELIZABETH” in its menubar.
What’s more, check out the announcement:
So Pipko has been a Republican for at least three years. How does she have any connection to an exodus (Or jexodus because this time it’s Jews!) of Jews from the Democratic Party?
Conservatives don’t even try anymore. The domain was registered last November. And it was only for a year. So the whole thing was only ever meant for one news cycle. Sadly, it’s received enormous coverage even if it has been mostly skeptical, it pushes the idea that hordes of Jewish Americans only care about Israel.
Other than rabid support for Israel because it has a proto-fascist government, what does the Republican Party provide for Jewish Americans? As with all but the super rich: not much.
Libertarians Don’t Deliver
I had a similar experience when, long ago, I was a libertarian.
My main issue was drugs. I was concerned then (as now) that people were thrown in cages because of their use of vegetable products. So it isn’t surprising that my first real break with libertarianism was over this issue.
You see, most libertarians are just neo-confederates. They hate the Civil Rights Act. They claim to be for “states’ rights” because of their love of local control. But in fact, they just believe in them so that they can set up white supremacy at the state level.
Note that the Libertarian Party started in the wake of the civil rights movement. This isn’t a coincidence, although I’m not saying that its founders were neo-confederates.
But even among less racist libertarians, it was all about taxes. And while they accepted that drugs should be legal (or at least decriminalized), it wasn’t an issue they cared about all that much.
More important, over time I saw that libertarians weren’t doing much to stop the Drug War. But the Democrats were. They might not have any overarching ideology about drugs, but they saw a problem and they worked to fix it.
In other words, ideology is meaningless if it isn’t making the world better. And libertarians have a vile ideology that really doesn’t care about the interests of the poor and weak.
Similarly, conservatives don’t care about Jews even as they are hysterical about Israel.
Liberal Jewish Americans
Just like with any group in America, Jewish liberals vote for Democrats and Jewish conservatives vote for Republicans. It’s just that the vast majority of American Jews are liberal.
Paul Waldman wrote an excellent response to this, No, President Trump, America’s Jews Will Not Be Joining You in the GOP. Waldman is apparently Jewish and he talks about his mother telling him about the “liberal legacy of Judaism.” So it makes sense that the vast majority of American Jews would vote for the Democratic Party.
Of course, the right thinks that Jews should vote Republican. Ben Shapiro famously thinks the Jews who vote for Democrats are Jews in Name Only. But ultimately, this is just equating support for Jews with support for Israel. And I think that most evangelicals who support Israel do so in an explicitly anti-Jewish way. (They want Jews in control of Jerusalem to bring on the end times when all Jews will convert or be killed.)
As Paul Waldman’s mother shows us, the unique history of the Jews makes them “sympathize with the oppressed and the excluded.” And it is in this way that the Republicans are clueless about their appeal to American Jews. The Republican Party is in no way the party of the oppressed and excluded. Quite the opposite.
Zionism as Protection of the Weak
Zionism is part of this broader project of protecting the oppressed. And I continue to tentatively support Zionism even as I have stopped supporting Israel. If ever there was a country that should fight for the oppressed and not be an oppressor, it is Israel. But that is obviously not what has happened. (It may be that Zionism will always turn out this way, but I’m willing to give it another try; this time not on contested land.)
As long as American Jews care about justice for all people, they will support the left. Even those who continue to support Israel (and that’s most) can see that it is the Democratic Party that is pushing forward on issues of inclusion and justice — and on the long-term safety of Israel. The Republican Party has become proudly white nationalistic. No amount of pandering to Israel will change that.