Sen. Kamala Harris is now the Democratic nominee for vice president, which effectively means that, given Joe Biden’s declining mental health, she needs to be evaluated as a presidential candidate.
One of the most important characteristics for anyone, especially a political leader, is integrity. We need to know if our leaders are committed to their values (even if we disagree with them) or if they will do and say anything to get and retain power. Ms. Harris has repeatedly been attacked by her opponents for doing the latter: first, she ran for office on a “tough-on-crime” platform and then tried to curry favor with criminals by proudly saying she used to smoke pot while listening to Tupac and Snoop Dogg while in college (the irony being that she graduated college before either rap artist released an album).
She claimed to be tough on crime, but embraced “sanctuary” cities and states and has ignored immigration laws when it serves her in trying to be popular. She said she supports women, and that she believes the accusations of women against Joe Biden, but now proudly stands next to him.
She has flip-flopped on issues repeatedly, but now that she is the Democratic nominee, we only need to ask her about one issue to force her to take a stand: Ms. Harris, where do you stand on supporting Israel? Do you support or condemn the BDS (boycott, divest, sanction) movement, which wants Israel destroyed, and which is a stated part of the underlying platform of Black Lives Matter (BLM)? Do you still stand by your previous statements that Israel should be supported in all ways by the United States without conditions?
Ms. Harris has attended AIPAC, and forcefully spoke about supporting Israel. “I believe that when any organization delegitimizes Israel, we must stand up and speak out for Israel to be treated equally,” she explained during her AIPAC speech. “That is why the first resolution I co-sponsored as United States senator was to combat anti-Israel bias at the United Nations and reaffirm that the United States seeks a just secure and sustainable two-state solution.”
Do you still stand by those words and choose to stand up for Israel as the nominee for vice president?
Although she has said she would like to reinstate President Obama’s Iran deal (an opinion rejected by anyone with knowledge of Israel’s survival), she has repeatedly tried to woo donors by claiming support for Israel, saying that she will fight anti-Semitism. From the same AIPAC speech, “ No one should have to be afraid to put a menorah in their front window or on their front lawn.”
Ms. Harris, given that the leaders of BLM, such as Melina Abdullah, claim the anti-Semite Louis Farrakhan as their spiritual leader, are you willing to stand by your support of Israel, or are you now supporting the hateful anti-Semitism of BLM?
It’s a tough choice for a political candidate, Ms. Harris. If you stand by the statements you have made your entire career, you will alienate the supporters of BLM and BDS, including your friends, Reps. Rashida Tlaib and Ilhan Omar.
On the other hand, if you now side with the destruction of Israel, you are showing yourself to be a woman with no ethics who will attempt anything to get a vote.
In the Bible, God repeatedly asks leaders the question, “Ayecha,” which means “Where are you? Where do you stand?”
You can’t have it both ways, Ms. Harris. Do you stand with BDS and BLM, which want Israel destroyed and consciously choose to riot in Jewish neighborhoods, or do you stand with Israel having its own sovereignty, making its own decisions, and enjoying U.S. support?
Were you pandering for votes before? Will you capitulate and pander to the BLM bullies now? You can only choose one, as they are incompatible with each other.
It’s a simple question, a choice of one or the other, that will quickly show your character, your integrity, and whether you are really ready to be a leader.
And the answer is.?
Rabbi Michael Barclay is the Spiritual Leader of Temple Ner Simcha in Westlake Village, CA. (www.NerSimcha.org) and the author of “Sacred Relationships: Biblical Wisdom for Deepening Our Lives Together.” He can be reached directly at [email protected], and followed on Facebook at facebook.com/Rabbi.Michael.Barclay