This Old Jew: Do I Go Right or Do I Go Left?

As I approach my 74nd year as an adult child of Holocaust Survivors, I hear the dark echo of “links/rechts” in the back of my head as I look towards the future of American politics. Archetypal images in black and white flash in my head as to whether I will be heading right or left both figuratively and figuratively in terms of a political future. Neither is a particularly affirming direction and both are fraught with peril.

The fact is that in America, the extremists are dominating party rhetoric which is becoming increasing tolerated by party members and avoided in real public discussions of importance.

Alarms are going off, but it appears people are blind, deaf and dumb in the real sense of being dumb. Finger pointing to the other side is simply a reflection in the mirror. Think about the bastardization of word usage. It is become “progressive” to be antisemitic and “conservative” to be a white supremacist who is antisemitic. We have the likes of David Duke saying the President speaks for him and Past President Clinton sharing the podium with Louis Farrakhan.

We have a Jewish candidate for President who gives credence to antisemites legislators and political aspirants who point to him and say, “see, even he’s against Israel…” We have a President, who on the one hand appears to be a friends of Israel and lionized by Israelis who is using Israel as a wedge issue in his racist attack against opponents of color, immigrants and allies resulting in a rise in antisemitic hate crimes against the Jews around the world. We have two Democratic debates where neither news network raised the issue of the rising tide of antisemitism in this country or the Palestinian-Israeli conflict as a substantive issue of either domestic or foreign policy. And in the halls of congress, individual legislators are voting both for allowing BDS as an expression of free speech and against it as a matter of principle in a significant show of ambivalent stances against antisemitism.

The haters know that because of assimilation, decreased birthrates and historical revisionism of Jewish history, the Holocaust and framing of Israel, that Jews are a decreasing population and becoming increasingly fractionated while aligning themselves with the extremist factions in the party.

So this year and next, I will be voting for the person and not the party. I will be voting for persons with a truly progressive and humanitarian domestic agenda and for candidates who stand beside me as soldiers in the war on antisemitism without equivocation and the rest can go suck and egg. I may have a few elections left in me, but that’s the way it’s going to have to be. No half-stepping for me. No settling for one thing at the expense of another for me. I don’t know how much time I have left, but I hope others will join me in demanding candidates who are principled in a good way and articulate against the evils of antisemitism and will stand tall. I have no time for the equivocators or the half-steppers. Time is running out and you will either do the right things or you will not get a penny or a vote. I ask people to join me in taking a pledge to not compromise with candidates and not accept candidates who are equivocators.

To those who say it is more important to defeat another candidate with a less acceptable candidate, remember you have already accepted defeat. We must replace terrible candidates with better candidates not compromised candidates. Please, don’t be blind to equivocation because that’s how evil slips in and takes over.

About the Author
Retired College Professor, President Emeritus & Co-Founder Scholars for Peace in the Middle East. Founding Publisher and Editor Kol Central Pa; Philadelphia JCRC; Academic Engagement Network, Residing in Huntingdon Valley, Pennsylvania