The Bible in the Book of Exodus tells us, “Then a new king, to whom Joseph meant nothing, came to power in Egypt.” It does not declare the new Pharaoh hated the Jews. He just did not know them. The sages of the past found that distinction of significance. They had a good reason to note the observation and warn future generations of its dangers. As in Egypt of the years past the Jews of the Goldene Medina have experienced the prosperity, affluence and freedom of unprecedented proportions. However, the next Commander in Chief is likely to be the last American President to know the proverbial Joseph personally.

Over the past one hundred years the Jews have successfully integrated into American society. Moreover, their penetration of the elites is beyond anything the Diaspora has witnessed in the past two millennia. For the white Christian majority of the country the Jews have become the most important and understood minority. It’s not to say the Jews have been universally liked. However, the ruling elites know and comprehend their concerns and interests well. This status quo is rapidly disappearing. The whites are ceasing their supermajority with the old established elites rapidly losing its leadership status. The new groups filling the corridors of power are either only superficially familiar with the Jewish Community or totally ignorant of it (though the blame is at least partially at the feet of the Jewish Leadership for not cultivating the strategic links). This new emerging elite has no connections to anything Jewish. It is foreign to Jewish concerns and sensibilities. Their main source of information on the subjects are the media and fellow political activists. Hence, they are easily influenced and manipulated having no independent way to verify claims and accusations.


President Obama is an excellent example of the trend and needs be considered in details.  Some of his ardent followers claim he is the most Jewish of all American presidents. Not a few of his detractors accuse him of being an anti-Semite and Israel hater. In reality, he is neither. His early upbringing was totally devoid of any Jewish connections (not to mention rather hostile environment of the Muslim countries of his residence towards Jews and Israel). To his credit he harbors none of those prejudices. In his later years at Harvard and as a community organizer and activist he had come into contact and under significant influence of the Jews of the Left. They adhered to the tenets of what they declared to be a true Jewishness: tikun olam, internationalism and disdain for hard power bordering on pacifism. Indeed, all of them are present in Jewish worldview, but only as pebbles in a large kaleidoscope. However, Mr. Obama has learned them as the cornerstone of what being Jewish means. In his understanding the ideas originated in the Pale of Settlement of the Tsarist Russia of the early 20th century have taken over and totally eclipsed the previous thousands years of Jewish thought and experience. Israel, the nationalist expression of Jewish aspirations, looks to him foreign and contradicting all he knows about the subject. His seemingly anti Israel actions are his attempts at correcting the course of Jewish history the way he understands it. He is not being anti Semitic, he is simply trying to make Israel more Jewish. However, the people who may follow him are not to have even that limited exposure to the Jewish milieu.


Mrs. Clinton may share many opinions with President Obama, but with respect to her Jewish background they cannot be more different. Her Jewish relatives are just a minor aspect of that. Her dealings with Jewish community in general and Chasidic Sects in particular while serving as a Senator from the state of New York and in the capacity of the First Lady had made her an expert in Jewish affairs. However, what is immensely more important are the Jews (and many of them) who surrounded Mrs. Clinton her entire political career. It is true not all of them are best friends of Israel, but the vast majority do have their Yiddishkeit correctly tuned. She may disagree with Benjamin Netanyahu and many Israelis on how to deal with the crises in the Middle East. Rest assured, she will take the interests of the US (as she perceives them) over Israel’s when the two are not aligned as all presidents before her had done. What distinguishes her from the rest of the candidates is her awareness of the context and her arguably solid track record of supporting the State of Israel at times of peril. She is no stranger to the emotional aspect of Jewish experience distant and near. Her latest stand against inclusion of the “balanced” approach to the Arab-Israeli conflict into the Democratic Party Platform shows her determination at standing her ground with respect to issues vital to American Jews and Israel. Her critics suggesting low political cost of such move either don’t understand or claim ignorance regarding powerful left leaning trends in the party. Even though at times she may sound like President Obama one shall never judge gefilte fish by its plate. She may not be the best reality, but she definitely is the best the reality can offer.


Mr. Trump’s acquaintance with Jews is very similar to Mrs. Clinton’s. However, given his personality, untraditional campaign and utter lack of any political track record, predicting his actual posture towards Israel would be an exercise in futility.


Mrs Clinton’s background, as a member of the ruling elite, vis-a-vis Jewish Community and Israel represents a unique period of Jewish history. Sadly, it is slowly fading away into the fog of the past. The isolationist tendencies so pronounced in this election cycle are only going to intensify in the future. Americans no longer take their moral responsibilities before the world for granted. Thus the distance to the interests of Israel will not only grow physically, but spiritually as well. Soon there will not be men or women running for the highest office of the land who may know us as well. We should not squander this last opportunity to have the king who is no stranger to the People of Israel.
Relevant to your professional network? Please share on Linkedin
Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this blog article are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the official position or viewpoint of The Jerusalem Post. Blog authors are NOT employees, freelance or salaried, of The Jerusalem Post.

Think others should know about this? Please share