I spent Shabbos with an influential Jewish businessman. Until the elections of November 2022, he barely donated to campaigns. Now he is invited to swearing in ceremonies, holiday home parties and on speed dial and texting elected officials. That’s the fun part.
He fears that opponents who won in campaigns in which he supported the losing candidate in expensive races will retaliate for his not supporting them. Does he have reason to be worried? He has received “friendly” hints of warning. He was “told” to watch his business very carefully. He feels that he has to purchase additional security for his home and his family now has had discussions about communicating their whereabouts and perhaps rethinking plans.
He is thinking about Aliyah.
He is not alone. Parlor meetings are popping up across the country, and people like this man are seriously thinking of leaving their homes. They fear their government.
Jews in New York, especially those who supported Congressman Lee Zeldin, feel threatened. Until campaign reforms happen, the only result all politicians should be concerned about is losing potential votes, volunteers and donations in the future.
All donations are public knowledge. All donations are carefully watched by every candidate, local county leaders, state leaderships, executives at super pacs and national political organizations. That goes for individuals and businesses.
The Calls I Received
People say things they don’t realize sound antisemitic. I can’t tell you how many “friends” reached out to me and asked if I could help them meet “rich Jews” to donate to their campaign. I even had people try to convince me they “love” Jews and even have Jewish blood from generations back. They don’t understand those remarks could be considered biased and antisemitic.
I wrote in this media outlet months ago an article questioning if New York was ready for a Jewish Republican Governor, Lee Zeldin.
Not only was New York not ready for a Jewish Governor, but our country isn’t ready to tackle campaign finance reform. Forget the costs involved to run a primary, nobody from either political party has actually addressed protecting donors.
Democrats want to change the entire primary system in a way that will only benefit black democrats who side with progressive politicians more and legislating in support of Israel less. New proposals of theirs will make small donors obsolete and the rich more powerful. That means more potential for antisemitic actions against Jewish business owners. Sounds familiar?
First they target American Jews defending themselves by owning guns, then they curtail our free speech and allow people like Kanye West and members of the Hadid family a platform to spur vile hate, then they target school choice decisions with Jewish tax dollars and now our businesses and their owners for partaking in the democratic election process.
Worse, the country’s highest ranking attorney, the Jewish Merrick Garland, seems to approve of all of this. Two of his grandmother's siblings were murdered in the Holocaust. Just as a sign of respect of their blessed memory, he should be sensitive enough to have a public conversation about this. Instead, Jewish donors to President Trump, and candidates like Lee Zeldin live in fear.
This really isn’t political. It’s common sense!
What should Jews do? We have important local elections in 2023. Presidential and national campaigns are already fundraising for 2024. County leaders are busy calling, meeting and promising donors perks for their donations.
Not everyone is in the position to leave the United States and make aliya on short notice.
Campaign reform is something our 2023 elected officials should put on their legislative calendars this winter. Jews from both parties have common ground to fight antisemitism with their voices and funds. They must use that power wisely.
Don’t ignore this spreading infection because then Jews won’t vote and contribute and will lose any power they have in American politics. Voting is a privilege, but silence is a leading cause of death in the disease called antisemitism in politics.
Listen to Editor-In-Chief, Yoni Kempinski, on a recent episode of my show The Jewess Patriots With Cindy Groszhttps://open.spotify.com/episode/1XhxR7KAqSaVdu2KG6qgIQ
Or Watch the video here:
Cindy Grosz is an award-winning pro-Israel and Education activist. She works on exposing corruption in schools, improving oversight on classroom curriculum and ending anti-Semitism in education situations. She also helps educators fight discrimination in the hiring and firing practices of school staff.