Way back in March of 2019, I proposed the idea that, similar to the BLAXIT movement, American Jews needed to remove themselves from the Democratic Party, which no longer exemplifies Jewish values, no longer supports Israel, and is controlled by leftist extremists who are anti-Semitic. Although slower than hoped for, it looks like this might finally be happening.
A recent poll after the midterms demonstrates this optimistic change. Thirty-three percent of Jews voted Republican in the primaries, up from 30% in 2020 and 24% in 2016. This new voting bloc proves two things: Jews are starting to wake up to political realities and letting go of their indoctrinated belief that Democrats are the “Jewish party”; and the rise has nothing to do with and is not tied to Donald Trump and his pro-Israel positions.
Sam Markstein of the Republican Jewish Coalition phrased it well: “Republican candidates are offering concrete solutions to the issues that matter to Jewish voters.” American Jews have typically voted for candidates who seem to support freedom, individual responsibility, kindness, compassion, and are pro-Israel. While the Democratic Party abandoned those values long ago, leaving the party has been a difficult proposition for many Jews.
We are all byproducts of our upbringing, and many Jewish adults today were raised by parents or grandparents who attributed (falsely) the end of the Holocaust and the formation of the State of Israel to the Democratic regimes of Franklin Roosevelt and Harry Truman. Additionally, as so many Jews “converted” from their faith to a “religion” of secular leftist politics over the last few decades, it seemed that it would be nearly impossible to get Jews away from the Democratic stranglehold.
But this is clearly changing.
Jews are starting to recognize that there is a real problem with Nancy Pelosi appearing on the cover of Rolling Stone next to vocal anti-Semites like Ilhan Omar and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez. They are starting to wake up to the realities of a Democratic Party that voted in unison against anti-BDS legislation. The data demonstrates that American Jews are beginning to recognize that voting for the party of Rashid Tlaib, who calls for the destruction of Israel, is a vote for their own self-destruction.
While classic “Jewish” organizations like the ADL have lost their identity and become leftist mouthpieces, there are now other organizations that are striving to awaken Jewish voters.
The Republican Jewish Coalition, founded in 1985, has finally become an influencer in achieving the goal of educating American Jews about the political landscape in an honest way. The Jewish Republican Alliance (founded by two of my congregants, Bruce Karasik and Mitch Silberman) has quickly risen to national influence as a source and home for politically conservative Jews. Even though President Trump tweeted about the Jexodus organization, it never took off for a number of reasons. But JEXIT was started in the last few years and has already risen to a position of influence and strength in the national dialogue.
And we must always be grateful to the meaningful work of Morton Klein, Liz Berney, and the Zionist Organization of America, which has been fighting for the political awakening of American Jews since 1897. For over 100 years they have been carrying the torch to enlighten American Jews politically.
The data of the last eight years, including and especially in these last elections, demonstrates that many American Jews are starting to wake up. Given this most recent increase in Jews voting for Republicans in elections in which Trump was not on the ballot, it is clear that this not because of the former president, but because this minority group is finally beginning to recognize that any Jew voting for the Democratic Party as it currently exists is like a chicken voting for Colonel Sanders.
So I have a message for all of my non-Jewish politically conservative friends: Don’t give up on your Jewish brothers and sisters. With a nearly 4000-year-old history as a people, we may move slowly, but we commit fully and passionately. When you speak with your Jewish friends, you don’t need to use President Trump’s actions to wake them up Instead, remind them of authentic Jewish values, of the need to always support Israel, and point out to them the many anti-Semitic leaders and actions of the Democratic Party.
Then maybe in the next election we can get over 40% or more of America Jews to vote with conservatives.