Supporting Israel and Terrorism? No, that doesn't work

You are either on their side or on our side, not both. And there are proud Jews, unabashedly pro-Israel, in the NYS Dem. primaries. Op-ed.

Rabbi Elchanan Poupko ,

Chaim Deutsch
Chaim Deutsch
Bentzi Sasson:

At an increasing rate, Jews, and pro-Israel activists, myself included, feel like we need to apologize for existing. All too often, being unapologetically pro-Israel and proudly Jewish has declining popularity in the Democratic primaries.

This coming primary season that can all change. Two unabashedly pro-Israel candidates are running in heavily Jewish areas. Michael Weinstock is running in New York’s 3rd Congressional district covering the densely Jewish area of Great Neck, Long Island, and many parts of Queens, and Chaim Deutch is running in New York’s 9th district in Brooklyn. Both are unabashed supporters of Israel and won’t twist themselves into a pretzel to explain under what conditions they support Israel or are proud of being
We need to pick a side. We can no longer complain about being ignored, and then not show up the polls.
Jewish. They just are.

Case in point, Weinstock is running against Rep.Tom Suozzi who has yet to apologize for sending a letter of support for CAIR, the Council of American Islamic Relations, which has been investigated due to its ties with terrorist entities. Suozzi also came out against India's moves regarding Kashmir in a letter to Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and then had to apologize to voters after bringing on the fury of Indian Americans in his constituency.

As recently as a few days ago, Suozzi hosted a large townhall meeting for his constituents on Shabbat, disregarding the feelings of thousands of his Orthodox Jewish constituents. It is time for Jews to vote themselves back into the public sphere. Should we fail to show up to the polls in large numbers, we will have only ourselves to blame for being treated as second class citizens. Enough is enough.

We need to pick a side. We can no longer complain about being ignored, and then not show up the polls. We need to be proud of who we are, and not be shown in through the back door. If elected officials want our support, they will need to be clear about whom they support.

The same has happened with Congresswoman Yvette Clarke running for re-election in the Brooklyn’s iconic Flatbush, Boro Park, and other Jewish neighborhoods, all while supporting CAIR, with all of its Hamas and Muslim Brotherhood affiliations.

The time has come to draw a line, you cannot support Hamas and terrorism affiliates, and then go on to ask for the Jewish vote. We can no longer put up with this. We need to show up to vote, and demand candidates that support Israel, and are proud of their constituents.

Seeing people like Michael Weinstock, who is a proud Democrat, but also unabashedly pro-Israel and proud of his Judaism, gives New Yorkers great hope. Michael has been a 9/11 firefighter and knows you cannot dance with terrorists. You are either on their side or on our side.

Chaim Deutch who has been speaking out in defense of the Jewish community for years, marching alongside us in the Celebrate Israel parade on Fifth Ave. and who wears his Judaism on his sleeve, can help usher in a new era. It is time New York Jews fight for proper representation in Congress.

It is time we vote for people who won’t usher us in through the back door.

The pro-Israel and proudly Jewish community has a historic opportunity just a week away to vote for candidates that will change the landscape of the Democratic party. We have a unique opportunity to reverse the damage inflicted by people like Rashida Talib and Ilhan Omar, let’s not miss it.

New York, go vote! In fact, you don’t need to go vote. This year, due to COVID-19, you can even vote from home with New York’s new absentee ballot program, but you must apply for it asap. If you don’t live in New York, call that cousin, grandparent, grandchild or cousin, and tell them to go vote. It is up to us to change the discourse. Now, more than ever.



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