The horrific terrorist attacks of October 7th, 2023, should have been a moment of bipartisan unity in Washington, D.C. Republican Mike Johnson’s (R-LA) first act as the new Speaker of the House was a floor vote in favor of a congressional resolution expressing explicit support for Israel and condemning Hamas for the deadliest attack against Jews since the Holocaust. However, some Democrats responded with equivocation, talk of “both sides,” and demands for a ceasefire, revealing steep divisions within the Democratic Party over Israel.
Within the Democratic Party, there is a worrying emergence of anti-Israel sentiment, even antisemitism. A poll conducted by the AP-NORC Center shows that nearly half of Democrats disapprove of how President Biden is handling the Israel-Hamas conflict. This growing antisemitism within the party was unimaginable just six weeks ago, causing concern among longstanding Democrats.
Representative Josh Gottheimer (D-NJ) called out his Democratic colleagues who voted against condemning Hamas, stating, “They are despicable and do not speak for our party.” The acknowledgment of the growing antisemitism within the modern leftist coalition is necessary.
In the aftermath of the October 7th attacks, progressive activist groups, including college Democratic clubs, chapters of the Democratic Socialists for America, the Oakland teachers union, and members of Black Lives Matter, celebrated the terrorist acts. This was evident in a since-deleted tweet by BLM Chicago that declared support for Palestine along with an image of a Hamas paraglider.
The Democratic Party has long tolerated antisemitic hate, with instances such as Congresswoman Ilhan Omar (D-MN) repeatedly using antisemitic tropes and Congresswoman Rashida Tlaib (D-MI) defending the antisemitic slogan “from the river to the sea,” which calls for the eradication of Israel. Rather than showing remorse, Tlaib has grown more emboldened.
The Democratic Party’s focus on Arab American voters in battleground states like Pennsylvania and Michigan has led to the adoption of the callous and calculating “both sides are to blame” talking point in response to terrorist attacks against Israel.
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While Democratic sympathies lean towards Palestinians, a Gallup survey revealed that Republicans overwhelmingly align with Israel on the conflict in the Middle East. This shift in the Democratic Party has forced Jewish Americans to choose between their Jewish roots and their traditionally leftist political orientation.
Recognizing this shift, the Republican Party has taken a unified stance in support of Israel. The Republican National Committee unanimously approved a resolution denouncing antisemitism in all its forms, and congressional Republicans have unequivocally backed Israel’s right to self-defense.
As the Democratic Party turns its back on Israel, Jewish Americans are finding a welcoming home in the Republican Party, which stands in solidarity with Israel.