Hallie Jackson and A.B. Stoddard discussed the ways in which Trump is pandering to American Jews to break what Politico reported was Democratic "stranglehold" over them. I have issues with that phrasing...I mean, most Jews I know are basically concerned with social justice and open to questioning authority and concerned with lifting up the most vulnerable among us (who even in America can include us Jews.) So I would hardly call it a stranglehold. Really more of an alliance of heart and values. But okay, Politico, they have us in a stranglehold. Whatever.
Stoddard characterized the Democratic leadership as "panicked" at the Republican threat to steal all the Jews away from the Democrats. She reminded us that Nancy Pelosi and Steny Hoyer spoke at AIPAC to reassure the American-Israeli group that our friendship with Israel is still strong, and support for Israel should not be a wedge issue, used to for division. Again, I'm taking issue with the phrasing...I'm not sure Nancy Pelosi has ever "panicked" about anything in her life, but okay. And while American Jews are certainly feeling insecure in this country in a way they hadn't in a couple of generations thanks to the legitimization of Trump's rhetoric and tactics, most of us know which party has our backs. I'm pretty sure Pelosi and Hoyer know that.
Jonathan Allen made this very point brilliantly, outlining just how preposterous it was for Trump to use a term that riffs on the First Book of the Torah, "Jexodus," to lie about us abandoning the Democrats in droves. Not only that, he made it clear how repulsive and twisted it continues to be for any Jew worth their salt to support this man and his immigration policies. I mean, some do — a small percentage of Jews are Republicans — but the biggest supporters of Israel in America are evangelical Christians, and lemme tell you - it ain't because they love the Jews.
ALLEN: Two things. A.B. is absolutely right. The largest group of people who support what the president's doing on Israel are evangelical Christians. A smaller set of hard-line Jewish Republicans support what the president is doing. But what he said at this RJC meeting the other day could not have been more deeply offensive too the vast majority of Jews in the country about rejecting people who are trying to emigrate to the country. If you look at the history of the Jewish people going back to Exodus, he likes to talk about "Jexodus," which is kind of crazy because Exodus applied to the Jews. Go back to Exodus, go back to the Inquisition, you go back to the Jews being able to live in the Venice Ghetto when they weren't able to live in other places in Europe, you look at emigration from pogroms in Eastern Europe, the Holocaust. The Jewish people exist because of the freedom of movement. The idea that the United States would come and say, "We're all full, go home," is deeply offensive to most Jewish people in this country.
Or at the very least, it should be.
I mean, look at what the RJC did to Exodus — our defining story. The song, Dayenu, is traditionally sung during the Passover Seder, where we're expressing gratitude at having escaped oppression. And the RJC did THIS...
You read that right. These Jewish Republicans replaced thanking God with thanking Donald Trump. NAH. Most Jews with any sense of history, self-respect or understanding of our story would not claim these people or their horrendous actions. Democrats and the Left may have issues with anti-Semitism of their own, but it's highly unlikely those will send us Jewish Democrats running into the arms of the RJC. That's for damn sure.