The Anti-Semite’s Party Platform or When an Apology is Not an Apology

I can now say that I have finally lived long enough. I have lived long enough to watch the American political party once dedicated to Jewish immigrants and having their voices heard from within the party spew anti-Semitic vitriol in a series of e-mails coming from the American Democratic National Committee. The unfolding scandal began with the Russian government hacking of DNC e-mail servers and dumping the thousands of messages into WIKILeaks’ open arms. The fact that a foreign government wants to interfere in American elections is bad enough. The contents of the e-mails forced the ouster of Jewish lightening rod Representative Debbie Wasserman Schultz who had been the chairman of the DNC. They showed what Bernie Sanders supporters have been complaining about all along, namely: that the DNC was skewing the nominating process in favor of Hillary Clinton to the detriment of Sanders.

Make no mistake, the DNC’s sole purpose is to make sure that Democratic candidates get elected as they support the Democratic Party positions. What happened, thanks to the Russians, is that e-mails indicate DNC members were caught posing possible strategy points such as questioning Bernie Sanders’s religious affiliation and belief in God as a Jew. What is astonishing is that these musings came from the highest officials in the DNC, not just the low-hanging fruit staffers. This smacks of questions being raised of a Jew’s loyalty to the country in which they reside. I thought this anti-Semitic canard subsided after World War II; but clearly, it has not. The DNC profusely apologized to Sanders and his supporters, but they neglected to apologize to Jewish Americans and they should do so immediately. The damage to the Democratic Party will take more time to heal.

Prior to the Democratic National Convention getting underway this afternoon, Bernie Sanders spoke to his supporters and pleaded with them by cautioning them against protests and reminding them that their sole purpose this year is to defeat Donald Trump. Indeed, Sanders managed to get much of what he campaigned for included in the party platform. Thus, major changes are on the way as far as delegates and the so-called “super delegates” issue is concerned. But there are underlying problems that a party platform has not addressed or fixed and that is anti-Semitism and by its extension, Israel-bashing.

There is a perception that President Obama “is no friend of Israel” but this is not borne out by the facts based upon the high level of financial support for the State of Israel, military intelligence and hardware and the like. Destructive e-mails in policy circles are much more damaging because they indicate an underhanded and insidious attempt to deny a voice to a very influential group of American citizens.

Widely documented violence committed against unarmed African Americans by law enforcement individuals led to a movement known as “Black Lives Matter”. If those who draft policies adopted by political parties do not also acknowledge that Jewish and Israeli lives matter and agree that the attitudes of party spokesmen and women reflect their true beliefs and need major revision, otherwise an exodus of financial support will surely follow.

About the Author
Rachel Grenadier was an olah from the Commonwealth of Virginia in 2003 who returned to the United States in 2015. She really wanted to stay in Israel, but decided that having family members nearby was better for her health than a bunch of devoted, but crazed, Israeli friends who kept telling her hummous would cure her terminal heart condition. She has her B.A. and M.A. from George Mason University in Virginia and is the author of two books: the autobiographical "Israeli Men and Other Disasters" and "Kishon: The Story of Israel's Naval Commandoes and their Fight for Justice". She is now living in Virginia with her three Israeli psychologically-challenged cats and yet, denies being a "hoarder".
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