By Jeff Kunkes
I realize that the majority of Jewish voters poll for the Democratic Party, and it has been that way since the time of FDR. It was not until Bill Clinton defaced the Oval Office and changed the definition of sex that I even considered voting Republican.
As election issues are now in the forefront, it is time for Jews to acknowledge some truths about whether our people are really wanted in the Democratic Party or are taken for granted.
On the state level, it was only after the first Republican governor, Sonny Perdue, was elected in 2002 that an official Georgia visit was made to Israel. That gubernatorial trip has been repeated the past two years by Gov. Nathan Deal.
Both Republican governors brought back businesses and technology agreements benefiting Georgia Tech and Emory.
Similarly, despite decades of Democratic control of the legislature and of the governor’s office, it took a Republican-dominated General Assembly for Georgia to buy and buy and buy again Israel Bonds for the state pension plan.
This same Republican-led legislature, having power for only a short time in Israel’s life, took the time to divest from any Iranian investments and to shun those companies that support the boycott, divestment and sanctions movement against Israel.
It’s the national Democratic Party that has mistreated and worked against the democratically elected government of Israel.
Who keeps the leader of the country’s best ally waiting for hours for a meeting, as President Barack Obama did to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu? And Obama has tried to cut support to Israel, only to have Congress restore the aid on a bipartisan basis.
Ben Rhodes, the president’s deputy national security adviser, boasted to The New York Times about misleading the media on the Iran nuclear agreement to get it approved last year even though Israel’s political leaders begged for it not to be passed.
Secretary of State John Kerry acknowledges that Iran’s windfall of over $100 billion from the deal will help arm Hezbollah and Hamas, and there is nothing we can do about Iran’s ballistic missile trials.
Moreover, Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz gave a tearful (crocodile) plea for the Iran deal even though she knew the truth about the lack of checks and balances in it and even though AIPAC, which has made sure she has been financially supported, was firmly against it.
We know now that she sold out her fellow Jews not for what was best for America, but for what was best for her, her position with the Democratic National Committee, and her position of power with Hillary Clinton and Obama. Even when she was discredited and booed off the floor of the Democratic convention by her former supporters, she found a golden parachute with the Clinton campaign.
But the most disturbing problem I have with my fellow Jews who give the Democrats a pass is what happened in late July.
When the hacked emails came to light, it was clear that in the inner circles of the DNC a conspiracy had been discussed to trash Bernie Sanders as either a Jew or a nonbelieving Jew, depending on which story would help the Clinton campaign more. That is quite a cynical thing to do to your supporters.
Then Congressman Hank Johnson spoke to an anti-Israel group attending the national convention and likened Jewish settlers to termites trying to destroy the Palestinian home. He apologized, but as we were taught when we took the college boards, your first gut answer is usually the right one.
What is more damaging to the psyche of Democratic-voting Jews is the lack of response to this affront by Rep. John Lewis and other leaders of the Georgia Democratic Party. Where are the protests by Jason Carter and Michelle Nunn?
I think it is high time that we hold our leaders accountable. Our country’s relationship with Israel is at an all-time low. Polls show that only 47 percent of Democrats hold favorable views of Israel (33 percent view the Palestinians favorably), compared with over 75 percent of Republicans and independents who see Israel favorably.
It may be time to trade in the old car that brought us this far in America and kick the tires on a new vehicle to get us farther.