Roger L. Simon

Jerusalem Debacle at the DNC: Whither the Jewish Vote?

I was both elated and scared when I heard the “nays” and “boos” emanating from the Democratic National Convention floor Wednesday as a pathetic Antonio Villaraigosa desperately tried to take votes amending the Democratic platform on “God” and “Jerusalem” — elated because I was watching a bogus public dumb show come apart, at least temporarily, at the seams, but scared because I was staring, again at least temporarily, into the gaping yaw of the 1930s.

For those fleeting seconds, I realized that, yes, it could also happen here, because, make no mistake about it, those copious boos were not for “God” (except, perhaps, for a few scattered nitwits), but for Israel. A sizable and serious claque on the Democratic National Convention floor was shouting and applauding against the Jews.

Back when I was a kid, when I used to see the Auschwitz numbers on the arms of the nurses in my doctor father’s office, I would wonder how something that horrible could happen. It was beyond my childhood imagination. No longer, unfortunately. Not that the Democratic Party is the equivalent of the Nazi Party, even remotely. I won’t indulge in that game. But those boos, taken with the overall theme of the convention — that we all belong to the government — are chilling. That people of color are often the ones being seduced by this garbage is even more depressing to this ex-civil rights worker. Where, oh where, is Martin Luther King?

Conventions in general encourage group think, especially now that they are so planned and canned. That is why I cannot believe that Barack Obama (or his clone Valerie Jarrett) did not approve the platform in advance. They can deny that all they wish, but it is absurd to think people who devote their lives, more than anything, to political success would leave such a stone unturned. The platform reflected the manner in which Obama regards Israel, disdain tempered by desire for Jewish votes and money. How much disdain we might find out if the Los Angeles Times were to release the Khalidi tape. But the Democratic Party fanatics who helm that newspaper would rather walk over their proverbial grandmothers than publicize anything that could damage their secular saint.

Of course, these events are all about the Jewish vote and that accounts for the panicked fashion in which the administration people reacted (although nothing can account for the tone-death imbecility of Deborah Wasserman Schultz). Worth noting is that in their haste they did not change, to my knowledge, all the clauses that the still somewhat loyal Democrat Alan Dershowitz demanded be changed. No reference to Hamas terrorism was added back, similarly nothing about the “law of return.” Both appeared in earlier Democratic platforms.

In an interview, Dershowitz also stated: “Israel should never become a wedge issue that separates Republicans from Democrats and I fear that this omission from the platform contributes to making it a wedge.”

Indeed it does — or did. But the problem is mere word changes in a platform do not begin to alter this. Anyone, and I defy Dershowitz to contradict this, observing the reaction to Villaraigosa on the convention floor can see that a significant portion of the Democratic Party has a real problem with Israel that appears, though I wish it were not so, painfully close to anti-Semitism. On balance, the Republicans are vastly more pro-Israel, even if some bizarre characters, like the antediluvian Democratic Party chair of Palm Beach County Mark Alan Siegel, still believe evangelical Christians are a bigger threat to Jews than Ayatollah Khamenei. (If the bigoted screed on this video doesn’t get this clown fired, what will?)

So we come again to the age-old question: Will Jews finally stop their slavish devotion to the Democratic Party and vote in their own interest? Cynics in my readership often wave this off as an impossibility. To them I say, we are at a significant moment in our nation’s history and your cynicism isn’t very useful. It is self-fulfilling prophecy and I don’t care if you are right. It’s time to put negativity aside, all of us, and do everything we can to wake up our friends, neighbors, and relatives. We have to do that without rancor or self-righteousness. For anyone to change the tradition of a lifetime is difficult and highly threatening. I know it was for me. But it also can be even more invigorating and renewing once you walk through that ominous wall.

As frightening as it could be in one sense, what happened at the Democratic National Convention on Wednesday could be a gift, an opportunity to effectuate some change in the Jewish community. Even a small amount could have considerable significance in the obvious states. Make sure everyone you know sees the convention video. Email it everywhere. It’s appended above for your convenience. (By the way, mentioned not once in Bill Clinton’s speech? Israel. I wonder why.)

(Also see the video “The Obama Doctrine: Turning his Back on Israel.”)

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