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2016-08-12 digital edition

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August 12, 2016  RSS feed
World News

Text: T T T

Reader: Democrats’ anti-Semitism

Dear Editor:

Almost four years ago, I wrote my first letter to the editor about a disturbing incident and press coverage at the 2012 Democratic National Convention. I wrote about how shocked I felt after learning that pro-Israel issues where removed from the party platform and then watched in horror, on live TV, as delegates loudly booed the idea that Jerusalem should be recognized as Israel’s capital during a floor vote. Back then, I noticed growing anti-Israel sentiment in the Democratic Party youth, and what disappointed me most was the utter lack of coverage about it, even in a newspaper like the Jewish Press. For me, American support of Israel is a crucial issue, and I was stunned to see a JTA writer ignore the incident and even write about it as if it never happened. My beloved father-in-law was a Holocaust survivor who lived through European anti-Semitism. He probably thought such things could never happen in America, yet here it is, and with the Democratic Party of all places!

Now it’s four years later, and I’m saddened to say things have gotten worse. [Demonstrators] at the DNC burned an Israeli flag on the convention grounds (Jerusalem Post 7/27/16). On another story that day, Wikileaks exposed dismissive email comments by a DNC staff member over her reluctance to follow a request, from the former DNC chairwoman, to recognize Yom HaShoah. My prediction is you will read nothing about this in any local or national paper. I fear that even the Jewish Press will avoid these rather common occurrences, and this needs to change. Sorry to insert my politics here, but had either of these incidents been done by RNC members, they would’ve made front-page news for weeks. Recently, a Trump staffer used a red Jewish star on a picture to highlight “Corrupt Hillary,” and we never heard the end of it.

There is something I’m very thankful for from the Jewish Press. There was a JTA story a few months ago, by Uriel Heilman, about who advises Donald Trump over Israeli/Jewish issues. Although the article had an insulting title (“No Experience Necessary...”), it showed how Trump has normal, down-to-earth relationships when it comes to picking his advisers. Rather than hiring J Street “experts,” Trump talks to his main real estate attorney of 19 years, who happens to be an Orthodox Jew who attended a yeshiva in the West Bank, his son-in-law, Jared Kushner, who also happens to be an Orthodox Jew and Ivanka, who converted to Judaism. While I understand that Trump avoids the conventional, well-known policy professionals (look where that got us), he hears the advice of American Jewish citizens who aren’t driven by lobbying interests. What’s curious to me is why the Jewish community would be so reluctant to embrace such a person, yet support someone who’s base support is increasingly anti-Israel and supports policies (e.g. Iran Nuclear Agreement) so contrary to our interests.

As we draw closer to the election, I suspect acts of anti-Semitism will continue. I hope the Jewish Press will have the courage to report them without bias, regardless of who commits them, or what the fallout of reporting that news will be.

Noah Jacobson

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