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Red Jews, blue Jews, his Jews, her Jews

Getting to the bottom of why Jewish Clinton and Trump supporters are sad and glad and bad

From there to here and here to there, successful Jews are everywhere

The recent elections brought many surprises. Like many, I went to bed thinking that Hilary Clinton would be elected president only to wake up in the morning to see that Donald Trump had won. One surprise that wasn’t was the fact that the new administration would include several Jews in prominent positions. No surprise there at all.

For as long as I can remember, Jews have had an out-sized role in American politics. One of the great freedoms of  the United States is the freedom to participate in and to contribute to the government of  the country. Appreciating and cherishing the right to be involved, Jews have become one of  the minorities with the highest rate of  participation in politics. Both Clinton and Trump had Jews working on their staffs, even close advisers, and a large percentage of the donations to both parties came from Jewish donors.

What was unusual this election cycle was how close both Clinton and Trump are to certain Jews: both have Jewish sons in law. Clinton’s daughter Chelsea is married to Marc Mezvinsky and Trump’s daughter Ivanka is married to Jared Kushner. (In addition, two of Donald Trump’s sons are married to women with Jewish ancestry, although not Jewish themselves). Trump’s daughter Ivanka converted to Judaism before her wedding.

In short, most likely neither candidate could be called an “anti-Semite,” at least not in any conventional sense.

And Clinton and Trump supporters? Unfortunately there are some card carrying Jew-haters who supported Trump in the last election. David Duke and his followers, Richard Spencer and his followers, and the Westboro Baptist Church and their ilk. In short, those who believe that Jews are pushing a new world order, control the reins of finance and are responsible for murdering Jesus.

On the other side of the divide, Clinton had in her camp a few Jew haters too, some masquerading as anti-Zionists or anti Israel “activists” and some a bit more explicit. Think Louis Farrakhan and the Nation of Islam, or Jeremiah Wright, Former pastor of Trinity United Church of Christ. Think of the Presbyterian Church where “the IPMN-PCUSA has posted articles that accuse Jews of controlling Hollywood, the media, and American politics – and blaming Israel for the American housing and economic crisis. IPMN-PCUSA’s communications chair also posted her opposition to a two-state solution and the existence of a Jewish state, something which she terms ‘anachronistic.’ The same IPMN leader, Noushin Framke, clicked ‘like’ on the Obama cartoon with the Jewish stars and another post that Hamas should keep Israeli Gilad Shalit hostage until Palestinians are granted a right of return.” (Arutz7)

In other words, there are a bunch of Clinton supporters who believed that Jews control the US government, run Wall Street and that Jesus was a Palestinian.

My conclusion is that perhaps Trump isn’t perfect, but neither was Hillary Clinton and there is no reason that Jews who voted for Trump have to be ashamed for acting in a “non-Jewish” fashion. Those who voted, red or blue, were exercising their right to influence and to participate in the greatest democracy of the world. Maybe it is time that those moaning the results grow up.  The world isn’t a children’s book after all.

Yes. Some are red. And some are blue.

Some are old. And some are new.

Some are sad.

And some are glad.

And some are very, very bad.

Why are they sad and glad and bad?

Because of  the election that we had.

From here to there and sea to sea.

This is what they call democracy.

About the Author
Shlomo Toren has been a resident of Israel since 1980, and a transportation planner for the last 25 years. He has done demand modeling for the Jerusalem Light Rail and Road 6. He is married to Neera and lives in Shiloh.