By Emerald Ashe
Last week, the 45th president of the United States said “any Jewish people that vote for a Democrat show a total lack of knowledge or great disloyalty.” Not even touching the fact that this represents deeply embedded falsehoods of the American Jewish community’s “dual loyalty,” this is the absolute wrong way to go about this. If Trump truly wants to win over and mobilize the Jewish people, he needs to adopt the cultural tradition of perpetual nagging and belittling.
Jokes aside, over 75% of the American Jewish population votes Dem according to the New York Times. Our President assumes that us Jews cannot possibly vote Democrat anymore because of the two members of the party that are openly anti-Israel, Rashida Talib and Ilhan Omar. He assumes that their narratives dictate the views of the party as a whole. Do not assume that I blindly adopt the fringe ideologies of two members of congress. Do not assume I will vote for you because you use my people as a political shield. I assure you, Mr. President, I vote for people who share my views. If I was in their districts (which I am not) I wouldn’t vote for them in the next election. However, I would consider myself to be a progressive, and I reliably vote Democrat. I’m not quite full socialist, not quite full capitalist. I believe in the equality of genders. I believe that people of any sexual identity and orientation should be allowed to express themselves and live their lives. I believe in self determination. I believe in free speech. This inherently makes me support the State of Israel.
Israel is the only state in the region that embraces Western values of personal expression. It’s hard to avoid a pride flag in Tel Aviv, which is also considered the vegan capital of the world, and second to the Bay Area when it comes to tech. The socialist in me loves the idea of the Kibbutz, which is how the early Israeli economy came to be. Gender equality? Setting aside the fact that Jewish culture leans matriarchal, both men and women are drafted into the armed forces and given equality of opportunity. Do I have to worship the current Netanyahu administration? No. I disagree with a substantial amount of his actions, but that does not mean I cannot support Israel at its core. Do not assume that I see only black and white.
“B-b-but Emerald, the new wave of progressives hate Israel! How can you not?”
You’re right, they do. There is a growing section of progressives that view Israel only as an occupying force, randomly oppressing and shooting at Arabs for no apparent reason. The soundbite media culture we have perpetuates that narrative. If I had no knowledge of the conflict, and I came across videos from the protests at the border, I would probably support their cause too – if I never truly looked into what was going on. These soundbites fit perfectly into the image of global social justice if you do not understand what a “free Palestine” would look like.
“…okay what does a ‘free Palestine’ look like to you, Mr. Ashe?”
The governments in charge would create a nation no different than Jordan. Or Syria. Or Libya. Another middle eastern nation that is disorganized, systematically and institutionally oppressing women, minorities, and homosexuality.
Why is there this narrative that a free Palestine would be a utopia of equality?
Do modern progressives realize they are actively supporting organizations that literally lynch gays? Do they not see how this actively goes against the ideologies of progressivism? Excuse me for not wanting to support a nation ran by Hamas – an internationally recognized terrorist organization that openly wants to expel Jews from the planet, or the Palestinian Authority – which just last week officially made all LGBT media and movement illegal.
A small step above Twitter slacktivism, we find BDS, a completely unrealistic movement for the “Boycott, Divestment and Sanctioning” of Israel and Israeli products and services. The hard truth is that Israel makes products the world wants and needs. The forces of the global economy override any narrative of claimed oppression. If you want to support BDS, go right ahead. Don’t use anything that has an Intel chip in it. Don’t use Google, or Facebook, anything Microsoft, Apple, or leave a voicemail; all that software was developed and improved on in Israel. Don’t drive a Ford or GM car, they have research offices there. Just use Palestinian made products instead… wait, what do they make again?
This movement is supported by the congress members Rashida Talib and Ilhan Omar. Combined with their itinerary backed by anti-Israel organizations, their plans for a trip to “Palestine” were blocked by Israel, a recognized state with airports. Big surprise. It’s the equivalent of me getting upset over not getting into Chi Phi after calling them a Rape Frat ran by misogynistic, alcoholic meatheads. This event is what prompted Mr. Trump to make his comments about the loyalties of American Jews.
I’d like to end this train-wreck of an article by leaving a short message to progressives, conservatives, and my President. I think Ilhan Omar and Rashida Talib were presented with a great opportunity to represent a growing segment of the American people; Immigrant and Muslim Americans. I think they dropped the ball. I think their embedded anti-semitism has been exposed, and I do believe they are anti-Semitic. Nothing they can say can change my thoughts on that, but they do have a constitutional right to say what they want. I think they willingly fell into a media vacuum, and I do feel somewhat sorry for them as people. But do not assume that I see only black and white. Do not assume that I blindly adopt the fringe ideologies of two members of congress. And do not assume I will vote for you because you use my people as a political shield.