web analytics
August 29, 2015 / 14 Elul, 5775
At a Glance
InDepth
Sponsored Post


Home » InDepth » Op-Eds »

The Debate That Needed To Happen


Over the next few years, the Jewish community will face serious challenges. Throughout this presidential election, we always understood that whoever was elected president would shape how our country deals with these challenges.

From the beginning, both Republican and Democratic candidates competed for support in the Jewish community. They elaborated on their solutions for critical issues like our troubled economy, the threat of a nuclear Iran, continued Hamas violence against Israel and the need for energy independence.

The Republican Jewish Coalition (RJC) not only helped raise these critical issues, but helped the Jewish community get clear answers.

Since the first days of the election, the RJC challenged President-elect Barack Obama to articulate his positions on these issues, and through our actions, let him know that the Jewish community would carefully examine his responses. As a result, neither party nor candidate took the support of the Jewish community for granted. The RJC is proud to have played a role in facilitating this important debate.

Early on, there were serious and legitimate reasons to be concerned with Obama’s positions on Israel, Iran and the Middle East. Nervous Jewish Democrats mobilized as never before. Numerous third-party groups formed and scores of high-profile surrogates flooded the community dedicated to addressing these concerns and to electing the Democratic candidate for president.

The Obama campaign itself deployed an unprecedented amount of resources and manpower into the Jewish community to maintain this traditional support. Despite this tsunami of Democratic resources, Obama was unable to exceed Bill Clinton or Al Gore, and only slightly improved on John Kerry’s support in the Jewish community. Unlike many other constituencies, which had huge increases in support for Obama, Jewish support for him showed only slight gains and lagged far behind other key demographics.

Throughout the fall, through our efforts, the RJC challenged the candidates to specify their policies. If Obama’s positions on Israel, Iran and the Middle East evolved throughout this election, it stands testament that he, and his campaign, understood the RJC’s message and adjusted theirs.

While we congratulate President-elect Obama on a hard-fought campaign, we were disturbed by some emerging trends that we hope do not continue. Throughout the campaign, Democrats consistently resorted to ugly intimidation to silence our message and stifle this important debate. It even went so far as the Obama campaign and other Democratic entities refusing to debate RJC surrogates.

When the RJC brought up legitimate policy differences, some Democratic surrogates reflexively called our questions “smear and fear” tactics and refused to discuss the important issues. Some discourse was marred by episodes of vicious attacks against our organization – at times even becoming personal.

One Democratic surrogate and former Clinton administration official likened the RJC to Yasir Arafat. Clearly, this goes beyond any acceptable level of discourse.

Unfortunately, the trend of Democrats punishing those who disagree with their policies seems to be continuing past Election Day. Only two days after President-elect Obama’s victory, there were reports that Sen. Harry Reid is contemplating threats, rebukes and penalties against Sen. Joe Lieberman over Lieberman’s decision to back Sen. McCain’s presidential campaign.

Throughout the campaign, Obama promised a post-partisan era of cooperation. If he is truly sincere about that commitment, seeking retribution against Sen. Lieberman is not the right way to start his administration.

The kind of behavior Sen. Reid is exhibiting is an all too-familiar hallmark of the Obama campaign and other Jewish Democratic entities. It is unfortunate that Jewish Democrats who engaged in these blackball, retributive tactics do not revere, as we do, the Jewish intellectual tradition of debate.

Our tradition teaches us that we hold the capacity to accept multiple opinions and to even value opposing positions. The Talmud says that these opposing positions are to be valued as they may prove to be correct someday.

Today, our nation moves forward into a new chapter. We come together in the Jewish community not as Democrats and Republicans but as Jewish Americans united in our resolve to move our country forward.

We pray that President-elect Obama will stay true to his campaign commitments and promises to the Jewish community. But one thing is certain: while our Jewish tradition teaches us to not shy away from debate, it also commands us to not stand idly by.

About the Author:


If you don't see your comment after publishing it, refresh the page.

Our comments section is intended for meaningful responses and debates in a civilized manner. We ask that you respect the fact that we are a religious Jewish website and avoid inappropriate language at all cost.

If you promote any foreign religions, gods or messiahs, lies about Israel, anti-Semitism, or advocate violence (except against terrorists), your permission to comment may be revoked.

No Responses to “The Debate That Needed To Happen”

Comments are closed.

Current Top Story
Swiss Amb. to Iran Giulo Haas presents his credentials to Iranian Pres. Rouhani
‘US and Iranian Cartoon Doves’ Shown Defecating on Bibi by Swiss Amb to Iran
Latest Indepth Stories
Ben Cohen

Corbyn leading the Britain’s Labour Party polls, describes Hamas & Hizbullah as England’s “friends.”

PA Chairman Abbas proudly celebrating with released terrorists.

The convicted murderer was released from Israeli prison with more than two dozen other sociopaths

New Israel Fund

JCF is a donor/supporter of The New Israel Fund which supports BDS & wants IDF soldiers prosecuted

Moshe Feiglin

The ‘Peace Industry’ promotes its adherents; weak leaders, both military & political, is the result

The conundrum for US Labor Zionists: Lobbying for Iran deal while Israel’s Left lobby’s against it.

What does the Torah want from our small nation described as “they who struggle with God & with men”?

Mr. Nadler’s support for the deal is a naked political gift to a president who has defied logic in his quest to reinvent international affairs according to his ideological inclinations.

In practical terms, the proclamation surely makes a compelling argument:

BDS activists are not shy about discriminating against Israelis simply because they are Israelis –

A Federal Ct Judge ordered the PA to post JUST $10 million due to interfering letter from State Dept

Osakwe, like many other students at the CAMERA conference, described an extremely hostile campus environment when it comes to the issue of Israel.

Many people view a letter or manuscript by a chassidic rebbe or the Chofetz Chaim as intrinsically holy.

Key Iran Lobby figures had been major donors to both Biden and Kerry when they were in the Senate,

Abbas’ resignation has now sparked speculation about who will fill his place if and ‎when he leaves

More Articles from Matthew Brooks
Brooks-062912

When Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney told the passionately pro-Israel members of the Faith and Freedom Coalition that he would “do the opposite” of the things that President Obama has done regarding Israel, the room erupted in applause. They understood exactly what he meant because they know the Obama administration has not strengthened the U.S.-Israel relationship. President Obama has brought that strategic alliance to its lowest point in decades.

Over the next few years, the Jewish community will face serious challenges. Throughout this presidential election, we always understood that whoever was elected president would shape how our country deals with these challenges.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/indepth/opinions/the-debate-that-needed-to-happen/2008/11/12/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: