2020 has been a transformative year in global politics, not least in the case of the United States of America. As the global power and the leader of the free world, the US has been at center stage for the confrontation between the frustrated and scared masses and the governments elected to represent them. The fear evoked by the COVID crisis and subsequent economic meltdown has led to mass protests, momentarily inspired by historical social injustices, that have devolved into months of violent riots, attacks on law enforcement, and calls for a socialist revolution intended to literally dismantle American democracy.
Amidst this chaos, the American Jewish attachment to the Democratic Party has gone from wavering to cracking. The adage “vote blue, no matter who!” which was once fervently proclaimed and defended around Shabbat tables is beginning to lose its grip on American Jews, who, like the rest of America, are anxiously witnessing a new wave of Democratic leadership.
Fortunately, there are some members of the tribe who are taking a bold stand and pushing back against the party that most Jews have called home for so long.
Unfortunately, too many of those who are still holding on to their Democrat values are failing to recognize the shift taking place in the Party. Rabbi Alan Sherman of West Palm Beach, FL is one of who has already left Democratic ship. The Rabbi has serviced his community for decades and has garnered highly accredited praise. This election season the Reform Rabbi is openly supporting President Donald J. Trump and now Congressional candidate Laura Loomer.
Laura Loomer, who recently won the Republican nomination for Florida’s 21st district, is a shining example of this new political reality. Laura has decided that if Jewish survival in America is to be made a priority, then it can’t be done in a rapidly transforming Democratic Party. Laura is a staunch supporter of Israel and the Jewish people. She has no qualms with calling out hatred. Her outspoken combativeness against the anti-Jewish left has made her a target of a mainstream media corrupted by the same politics she’s fighting back against. Laura has committed herself to not allowing the Jewish community to be taken for granted or picked on any longer.
Louis Frankel, Loomers Democratic opponent and the incumbent, on the other hand, holds a substantial and consistently failing record in defending the Jewish community. To date, she has yet to condemn antisemitism within congress and the wider left. Her silence is so notable that her constituents have designated her “Lazy” Lois Frankel. In talking to people in the district, one finds an ubiquitous complaint; she’s simply never around. This election, Frankel should not feel comfortable assuming support from the Jewish community. It’s time to send a message to Frankel and her colleagues: the days of “voting blue, no matter who” among Jewish voters is increasingly shaky. Rep. Frankel should know that she has a big fight ahead of her.
When I spoke to Rabbi Sherman he explained his decision, “I’ve known Lois Frankel for decades- longer than Laura Loomer has been alive. I’ve supported and voted for her in the past. But now I believe it is time for a change and I’m endorsing Laura Loomer for Congress in Florida’s 21st District. Support for Israel and zero tolerance for anti-Semitism were once bipartisan issues on which politicians from both political sides could wholeheartedly agree. Unfortunately, that’s just not true anymore. Over the past few years, I have been disturbed by the Democrat Party’s tolerance of Anti-Semitism and their support for Nancy Pelosi who donated $14,000 to the campaign of Representative Omar who has expressed anti-Semitic views. Jews in this district, and throughout America, are growing fearful of what will happen to them if the party of Ilhan Omar and Rashida Tlaib captures the presidency. Lois Frankel was silent on the resolution diluting anti-Semitism and the ugly new direction the Democrats are taking. Instead of condemning the anti-Semitic and anti-Israel ‘ Squad’, Lois has chosen to embrace and mentor them. She also supports failed approaches to solving Jewish problems in the Middle East. I don’t understand why she has abandoned her pro-Jewish past. By contrast, Laura Loomer has repeatedly and enthusiastically affirmed her support for Israel and her loathing for anti-Semites who have now, tragically, reached the halls of Congress. In the interests of both the United States and Israel I urge you to vote for Laura Loomer this November.”
This is a significant moment in history. Rabbi Sherman and Laura Loomer are two courageous Americans that represent the first steps away from the DNC and in a new direction. A direction towards an America that remains a safe place for all communities, including the Jewish community. It’s time to confront these new political realities and join the movement to protect our community and our country.