Jewish Democrats - for Trump
Jewish Democrats - for TrumpCourtesy of Dr. Paul Brody

Benjamin Kerstein is a writer and editor living in Tel Aviv. Read more of his work on Substack at No Delusions, No Despair. Purchase his books here.

(JNS) For some time, right-wing Jewish activists have called for a “Jexit” from the Democratic Party. They believe that the Democrats are now an anti-Israel and increasingly antisemitic party. Thus, for Jews to continue their monolithic support for the Democrats is suicidal.

American Jews have resisted the call, but post-Oct. 7 things may have changed.

While President Joe Biden and much of his party strongly supported Israel after the massacre, many Democrats did precisely the opposite. The Red-Green Alliance between the progressive left and radical Islam took to the streets to celebrate the slaughter and call for the genocide of the Jews. Progressive politicians spewed blood libels at the Jewish state. Arab and Muslim voters and organizations pledged to sabotage Biden’s re-election campaign, even if it put Donald Trump in office. Now, the Alliance is on an antisemitic rampage through the American university system.

This might have prompted the Democratic leadership to purge the Alliance. Instead, the Democrats chose appeasement. The Biden administration picked needless fights with Israel and clearly wants to prevent an IDF operation in Rafah, denying Israel victory. Worse still, the administration is moving towards legitimizing tactics such as an arms embargo on the Jewish state.

The campus rampage, however, has been the most telling sign of emerging perfidy. Despite the rampagers’ pogromist violence, genocidal rhetoric and blatant criminality, Biden took an excruciatingly long time to denounce them and has not demanded effective action against them. Other Democratic leaders such as Sen. Chuck Schumer have said essentially nothing. As for the antisemitic wing of the party, it is celebrating the rampages with the same passion it once reserved for Oct. 7.

It would seem that the Democrats have made a choice: In exchange for the antisemites’ support, the Democrats have agreed to feed them the Jews. This is a bitter pill for American Jews to swallow, but it is difficult to reach any other conclusion.

One thing should be clear: American Jews cannot stay in the Democratic Party. To do so would be antithetical to their interests and even their physical safety. Moreover, it would further empower the Democrats’ antisemitic wing, which would endanger not only the Jewish community but the United States itself.

The question is: Where can the Jews go? The Republican Party is the obvious answer. But despite whatever disillusionment they may feel, most American Jews are liberal or progressive. It may be impossible for them to jettison their most deeply held beliefs.

There are other options, however: A write-in vote for a pro-Israel progressive like John Fetterman or Ritchie Torres, abstention, or a vote for a third-party candidate. The natural objection is that this would effectively be a vote for Trump. Given that Jews tend to be concentrated in deep blue states, this is probably untrue, but it is also irrelevant. The imperative of the moment is not to elect a president. It is to force the Democrats to reckon with the measure of their betrayal.

There are several reasons this must be done. First, to teach the Democrats that they cannot take the Jews for granted. “F*** the Jews, they’ll vote for us anyway” is an attitude of pure and vaguely racist contempt for a community whose concerns ought to be respected like those of any other.

There is also the moral issue. If the Democrats have given themselves over to political evil, they do not deserve anyone’s vote. To support them would be unethical in the extreme.

Then there are the existential considerations: If the American Jewish community and perhaps America itself are to survive, the Red-Green Alliance must be defeated. America can withstand a second Trump administration. Disagreeable policies and laws can be changed or repealed. But a political alliance based on genocidal antisemitism is an existential threat to the republic. Sadly, it has become clear that the Alliance cannot be defeated unless the Democratic Party is defeated. Only then will it divest itself of the monsters within.

Finally, American Jews deserve some measure of vengeance. The Jews have a long and tragic history of being betrayed by their friends. For generations, Jews did not have the power to avenge such betrayals. Today, thankfully, they do. American Jews may not have the numbers or the competent leadership necessary to face down the haters in the streets. But the ballot is also a weapon, and they should use it.

It is by no means certain that this will happen, of course. The United States is now bitterly divided and both sides live in their own bubbles to such an extent that their perceptions of reality itself have become irreconcilable. The Jews remain in the left-liberal bubble and thus the possibility of Jexit may not even occur to them. Even if it does, denial is a powerful thing.

Nonetheless, there are subtle indications that this may not be the case. While polls of the Jewish vote have been suspiciously absent of late, recent surveys have shown Biden running behind Trump in the swing states of Arizona and Pennsylvania. The percentage in question correlates fairly well with the Jewish vote in both states. This proves nothing in and of itself, of course. However, if it is not just correlation but also causation, it will confirm that Jexit is underway and may well decide the next election.

The Democratic Party ought to take note: Its leaders shouldn’t be thinking about how to placate the antisemites. They should be worrying about what it might be like not to have the Jews to kick around anymore.