Friday, May 27, 2016


Was it sincere outrage and indignation and concern for the country?  Or was it typical cynical political grandstanding and exploitation?
Democrats have expressed outrage at Donald Trump's demagogic, myopic, and racist statements about Mexican Americans and Muslims. They've protested his tasteless, misogynistic attacks on women. They've bemoaned the fact that he, with the active participation of some of his Republican primary rivals, has taken the presidential campaign down to all-time lows.
They've been right to do so. I joined them in doing so.
The Democrats called on Republicans to join them and to refuse to support such a man as the nominee of their party.  They've been right to so.
Some Republicans--not enough--have refused to support Trump, even if it means a Democrat wins the White House.  Most of those Republicans have attributed their position to their lack of faith in Trump's conservative bona fides and to his crassness.  A very few--not nearly enough--have attributed their position to Trump's racism and misogyny.
We have seen what is important to Republicans.  Standing up against hate?  Taking a principled stand?  Being truly concerned about the nation? Or party unity?  Winning the presidency at any cost?  Stopping a candidate they seem to hate with a vengeance?
Now the Democrats face a similar test.

Senator Sanders has appointed two people, Professor Cornell West and James Zogby, to the Democratic Party's platform committee who are supporters of BDS, the Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions Movement against Israel.
BDS is not an organization whose goal is to strongly criticize Israel or to change its policies.  Its objective, as stated repeatedly by its founders and leaders, is the destruction of the only Jewish-majority nation in the world.  It seeks to deny the Jewish people, and only the Jewish people, their right to self-determination.
BDS treats the Jewish people's nation like it treats no other nation, and it applies standards to the Jewish nation applied to no other nation. The Jewish people's liberation movement is the only liberation movement they seek to deny.  By description and by action, BDS is a Jew-hating movement.
There are some supporters of BDS who truly believe that BDS does not seek to destroy Israel and to deny the Jewish people their right to self-determination.  They truly believe they are working simply to change Israel's policies.  They are, in the parlance of those in the know, dupes and useful idiots.
Senator Sanders, James Zogby, and Professor West are not dupes or useful idiots.  They are informed people.  Zogby and West knowingly participate in a movement whose objective is to destroy Israel and to deny the Jewish people their right to self-determination in their ancestral homeland.  Sanders knowingly associates and consults with them.  West has introduced Sanders at many campaign events.
West's own words confirm the man's vileness and hate.  He has demonized Israel at every turn, mischaracterizing its actions and totally mistating the impact of its policies.  According to Wednesday's NY Times, he pulled one out of the Protocols of the Elders of Zion to allege that “the role of money and lobbies makes it difficult for there to be a candid dialogue” on Israel.
Bigotry doesn't get much clearer than that.  If one thought such Jew-hatred was based on rational thinking, one would wonder if Professor West had read a magazine, scoured the Internet, or taken a stroll on an American or European campus in the last five years.  I pity the Kurds, the Syrians, and the Christians of the Middle East.  Oppressed, exiled, and often starving, they get no attention.  Israel occupies the field.
It seems that nothing but dialogue on Israel consumes the faculty and much of the student bodies of most campuses, especially those charging more than $40,000 per year and reveling in their inclusiveness and tolerance.  If Professor West was dealing in the real world, he would know that the voices being quashed, sometimes violently, are those of pro-Israel and Jewish students.
But Professor West is not dealing in the real world.  He is dealing in prejudice, stereotypes, and hate.  He supports a movement that wants to destroy the Jewish nation.  James Zogby joins him in supporting that movement.  Bernie Sanders champions West and Zogby, and the Democratic Party places them on its platform committee.  
Democrats have been right to stand up against Trump, and they have been right to call on Republicans to join them.
Was it sincere outrage and indignation and concern for the country?  Or was it typical cynical political grandstanding and exploitation?
The test begins.
(Originally published in The Times of Israel)

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  1. Interesting blog with well-made points about Trump and Sanders. Conspicuously absent (unless I missed it, and sorry if I did), was a word about Hillary and some of her cadre of advisers.

  2. very good but you should have outed Sanders right away. People are willing to forgive a Jew anything.

  3. Thank you Alan for this excellent piece about our presidential candidates. I Agree about your thoughts re Trump and the concerns about Sanders positions re Israel! According to press yesterday it appears Hillary will likely be indicted re her use of private emails for sensitive national security issues and international matters. Now we have just concluded that all the major Presidential candidates are poor choices!

  4. Sanders cannot play footsie with Cornell West without identifying with him. West is way over the top in being anti-Israel and there is no excuse for Sander's actions.
    This does it for me. I was inclined to support Clinton anyway, this clinches it. What terrible choices for the American voter- one is a complete fraud, obnoxious, with no business running and the other is a total establishment character with a sense of entitlement and self-importance who seems to screw everything up that she touches. Like it or hate it, but we could have had the Affordable Care Act 15 years ago if she hadn't mucked it up with her arrogance. And don't get me started on Benghazi; But, we really don't have an alternative.

  5. What a nation we turned out to be?