For many American Jews, the 2020 presidential election marks the end of two pillars of their political identity. The first is the idea of a Jewish community. There is no; There are several, and they grow more and more in conflict with one another.
The second is the death of the two-state solution and with it the dream that one can combine one’s Zionism with one’s liberalism.
First things first: Jews remain largely very liberal. J Street, a nonprofit advocacy group that describes itself as “pro-Israeli, pro-peaceful,” commissioned Jewish voters to conduct an exit poll and found that Joe Biden preferred 77 to 21 percent over Donald Trump. Aside from Florida and the weird urban convention district, Jewish voices are rarely of much importance. Jews make up about 2 percent of the US population – not much more than Muslims. You vote like most college and university-educated city dwellers do: Democratic. In addition, only 5 percent of Jews chose “Israel” as the first or second most important topic – and as Jews they do not agree on this topic either.
However, given the role money plays in our politics, voices are not the real story. Jewish campaign money carries far more weight. While conservatives never tire of blaming liberal financier and philanthropist George Soros for the evils of the world, right-wing Sheldon Adelson lives up to virtually every anti-Semitic stereotype ever invented. This self-proclaimed “richest Jew in the world” is a gambling tycoon with a Trump-like record for business gimmicks. He devotes hundreds of millions of dollars to buying up politicians and the press, and demands that both stick to his Likud party line.
No wonder Republican politicians travel to Las Vegas to kiss Adelson’s ring. According to preliminary data from the Federal Election Commission, compiled by OpenSecrets, he and his Israeli-American wife, Miriam Adelson, raised over $ 183 million in the 2020 cycle. No other contributor comes close – and that includes the $ 100 million Michael Bloomberg donated to Biden’s failed campaigns in Florida, Ohio, and Texas. Furthermore, the character is only part of Sheldon Adelson’s political giving. These contributions should be seen in part as a thank you and in part as an investment in the policies that enabled the U.S. embassy to move to Jerusalem, recognition of Israeli sovereignty over the Golan Heights, and outrageous encouragement of Israel’s massive settlement expansion in the occupied West Bank under Trump and cut US aid to the Palestinians. (Trump also tossed Miriam Adelson a presidential medal of freedom.)
These policies undoubtedly appeal to many of the increasingly conservative 10 percent of American Jews who identify as Orthodox, but the real political gain lies with evangelical Christians. Trump said the quiet part again out loud, complaining at a rally in August, “You know, this is amazing – evangelicals are more excited about it [moving the US Embassy to Jerusalem] as a Jewish people. “This is in line with Trump and his party of accepting anti-Semitism as an electoral and government tactic. And Republican Jewish groups seem totally cool with it. Rabbi Eric Yoffie, a past president of the Union for Reform Judaism, wrote,” After the infamous Comment from President Trump, addressing the far-right and anti-Semitic Proud Boys militia, even the Republican side of Der Gang, offered mild reprimands. “But the Republican Jewish Coalition, the rabbi emphasized,“ had only words of praise for Trump . ”
In 2016, Norm Coleman, now the RJC’s national chairman, wrote in a comment for Minnesota Stern grandstand“I’m not going to vote for Donald Trump … for who he is. A fanatic. A misogynist. A fraud. A bully.” Coleman added, “Any man who refuses to renounce the affection of KKK and David Duke should not be trusted to lead America. Je. “Today, however, it is okay for Trump to hug the Proud Boys, a group that the Anti-Defamation League describes as” violent, nationalist, Islamophobic, transphobic and misogynistic. “One of the group’s leaders, Kyle Chapman, recently said, “We are going to face the Zionist criminals who want to destroy our civilization,” and announced his desire to change the group’s name to Proud Goys. Then there is the Trump advert that is creating ancient anti-Semitic tropes. How could interpret the figure of the Jewish Bernie Sanders dangling from a Biden doll, or the warm welcome the GOP gave to Georgia’s anti-Semitic QAnon conspirator and soon-to-be representative Marjorie Taylor Greene, who tweeted about the upcoming runoff elections in that state : “Our Senate seats are not for sale by Soros, Bloomberg, Hollywood and Stacey Abrams.”
Another group that seems to agree with the compromise between anti-Semitism and Israelism is sadly Israeli Jews, among whom Trump’s 70-13 percent poll matches his support of evangelicals. It is safe to predict that Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and the Republicans will resort to demagoguery every time the Biden government does not abandon the Likud Party’s racist and reactionary priorities. Apart from the theaters, the right-wing Israelis have nothing to fear. The only weapon in the US arsenal that could potentially convince Israel to reconsider its democratic death march towards permanent apartheid would be to condition US aid on a 180 degree reversal of its current political path. But Biden immediately rejects this idea.
In addition, much of the Arab world is focused on the threat from Iran and is now ready to maintain peace with Israel. This has left little leverage for the Palestinians to achieve independent political rights, whether through statehood or some other institutional arrangement. After longtime Palestinian peace negotiator Saeb Erekat passed away recently, his family received condolences from former diplomats and Jewish peace groups. You might as well have mourned the prospect of peace yourself.