Now that the election is near, I keep seeing the same old arguments regarding "the Jewish vote", both on Facebook among peers, friends, and colleagues, and also online in news articles. The arguments are mostly the same on both sides: "the GOP is against the Jewish values of tikkun olam, and Donald Trump is supported by many anti-Semites because he sounds like Hitler"; or, conversely, "the Democrats are anti-Israel, and Hillary will continue Obama's naive policies that endanger Israel and make excuses for radical Islam." To some degree, concerns on both sides are legitimate. However, they're missing the major point: neither the Left nor the Right have historically been friendly and welcoming to the Jewish people. 

Throughout history, the Right-Wing has been about ultra-nationalism, often infused with religious extremism. It manifested itself differently in different countries and at different time periods. However, one thing that always remained the same was this ideology's disdain for Jews. Whether with the Spanish Inquisition, the pogroms in Russia, the Nazi regime, or modern-day far-right extremists in Europe who deface Jewish cemeteries, and bemoan a "vast, Jewish conspiracy". These right-wing extremists claim that the Jews are behind 9/11, that for the sake of "open borders" we manipulate the electoral process in favor of liberals around the world, that we run the banks and caused the Great Recession, and even that Mossad is responsible for ISIS and other terror groups around the world. Make no mistake: people with these beliefs may despise Iran, the Arab World, and Islam in general--all three of which are painted broadly as the enemies of Judaism and Israel--but they look at us with equal disdain, and probably have for a lot longer. The basis of this? That we don't belong to those countries since we didn't originate in them, and thus we should be removed, one way or another. This is not to say that everyone on the Right or in the Republican Party is an anti-Semite, because that's far from the truth. Unfortunately, many involved in the "movement" of Donald Trump do feel this way. In fact, his most ardent supporter is arguably David Duke, the Klansmen who blames Jews for just about everything, from 9/11 to CNN's alleged pro-Clinton bias. The fact that The Donald didn't immediately disavow his support earlier this year speaks to his character. Trump also defended the anti-Semitic attacks launched by some of his Twitter fans against a reporter who allegedly gave an unfair interview to Melania Trump that presented her in an unflattering light. Regardless of one's political views or emotions, using racist rhetoric is reprehensible and should be considered crossing a boundary. 

For those thinking that my above paragraph legitimizes the fact that most Jews in the USA vote for Democrats, or that the Left-Wing is better for us, think again. It's true that there are many pro-Israel and pro-Jewish people on the Left. But many on the far-left subscribe to the same ridiculous and prejudiced conspiracy theories about Jews as those on the far-right. The belief that Israel is responsible for the Iraq War, that a "Jewish lobby" makes America's foreign policy while ruining our economy in 2007, and that Israel was either behind 9/11 or responsible for radicalizing the people who flew airplanes into buildings, proves that racism belongs to no specific political party or ideological wing, but has infected them all. And it's not just the fringe Left that holds biases against Jews--the Democratic Party under President Obama, for some reason, believes that building homes in Judea & Samaria is the cause of all that is wrong in the Middle East. The term "Middle East Peace" is almost always used to refer to the conflict between the Palestinians and Israel, making it sound as if everything in that region that spans from northern Africa into western Asia would be set right if Israel withdrew to insecure borders, sacrificing itself just to make the global media, Arabist establishment, and Left-Wing have a heightened feeling of morality and a kumbayah zeitgeist. Their message is saddening and disappointing, yet simple: Jewish Lives Don't Matter. For all their talk of racial justice and denouncements of Palestinian terror, the emphasis and focus for the Left is on "ending the occupation". Apparently the mere construction of houses in the core of our historic land--which, by the way, was promised to us by the British in 1917--is a more pressing and dangerous matter than the Assad regime's slaughter of civilians, Iran's funding of terrorism, and the rampage of Sunni extremists like ISIS, let alone the gross violations of human rights committed by all of the Arab countries. Even if a two-state solution were adopted tomorrow, would it really end all of the conflicts in the region? Would Israel really be at peace with the Palestinians? Would anti-Jewish sentiment in the Arab and Islamic World come to an end? It's naive to believe any of this would be the case. The Left is right to decry victim blaming, such as when women are blamed for their own rapes for drinking or dressing a certain way. But why, then, after every stabbing of a soldier, ever car-ramming attack that kills an elderly person, every mass murder of children in their homes, is the first reaction of the Left to call for "both sides" to stop violence when only one side is committing it, or repeated calls for "an independent Palestine to be established"? How will a boycott of wine made in Judea & Samaria, or bullying students in pro-Israel groups and panels, bring about peace? It won't, because it's never been about bringing peace. Throughout recent history, whether in the Soviet Union or with leftist terrorists siding with the PLO in its terror campaign against the Jewish state, the Left has proven that it hates us as much as the Right does. 

It's understandable that after centuries of persecution, Jews would want to feel "wanted" or "welcome" somewhere, but we can't forget our past, and our present is reminding us of this fact. We should realize instead that our "home" is in the Center. On issues regarding environmental and social justice, we align perfectly with the Democratic Party, for the most part. On issues of foreign policy--such as eliminating terrorism, national security, and protecting Israel--we tend to agree more with the Right. Our duty shouldn't be to one party or the other, or being committed to just a single issue, but to living by our values while also protecting our people and our history. It's up to us to keep both of the parties honest and steer them away from the bigotry many involved in both have given themselves over to. 

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