Originally published in The Jerusalem Post.
Saul Alinsky, the godfather of subversive radical political action, had a very clear strategy for undermining and destroying his enemies: Infiltrate, divide and destroy.
Since his disciple Barack Obama was elected US president in 2008, Alinsky’s impact on Obama has received a fair amount of attention.
Less noticed has been the adoption of Alinsky’s methods by radical leftist Jews in the US and Israel for the purpose of undermining the American Jewish community on the one hand, and Israel’s nationalist camp on the other. This week we saw the impact of both campaigns.
The striking weakness of the American Jewish community was exposed on Tuesday with the Democratic primary defeat of Rep. Steve Rothman in New Jersey. In Israel we saw the impact of the campaign to undermine and destroy the nationalist camp with the defeat of the proposed legislation aimed at saving the doomed Givat Haulpana neighborhood in Bet El.
Ahead of the 2008 US presidential elections, the anti-Israel pressure group J Street made a sudden appearance. Claiming to be pro-Israel, the anti-Israel lobby set about neutralizing the power of the American Jewish community by undermining community solidarity. And it has succeeded brilliantly.
Rothman is Jewish and a strong supporter of Israel. His defeat at the polls in New Jersey by Rep. Bill Pascrell owed in large part to openly anti-Semitic activism by Pascrell’s Muslim supporters.
According to an investigative report of the primary campaign by the Washington Free Beacon’s Adam Kredo, in February Pascrell’s Muslim supporters began castigating Rothman and his supporters as disloyal Americans beholden only to Israel.
Aref Assaf, president of the New Jersey-based American Arab Forum, published a column in the Newark Star Ledger titled, “Rothman is Israel’s Man in District 9.” He wrote, “As total and blind support becomes the only reason for choosing Rothman, voters who do not view the elections in this prism will need to take notice. Loyalty to a foreign flag is not loyalty to America’s [flag].”
These deeply bigoted allegations against Rothman and his supporters were not challenged by Pascrell. Pascrell also did not challenge Arabic-language campaign posters produced by his supporters enjoining the “Arab diaspora community” to elect Pascrell, “the friend of the Arabs.” The poster touted the race as “the most important election in the history of the [Arab American] community.”
Rather than challenge these anti-Semitic attacks, Pascrell enthusiastically courted the Muslim vote in his district.
Pascrell was a signatory to what became known as the “Gaza-54 letter.” Spearheaded by J Street, the 2010 letter, signed by 54 Democratic congressmen, called on Obama to put pressure on Israel to end its “collective punishment” of residents of Hamas-controlled Gaza.
Pascrell’s race was far from the only recent instance of anti-Semitism being employed by Democratic candidates to win their elections. In Connecticut’s 2006 Democratic Senate primary, anti-Semitic slurs and innuendos were prominent features of Ned Lamont’s successful race against Sen. Joseph Lieberman. Defeated in his party’s primary, Lieberman was forced to run as an Independent. He owed his reelection to Republican support.
LIEBERMAN’S GENERAL election victory over Lamont did not force all of his fellow Democrats to rethink their use of anti-Semitism as a campaign strategy. At a candidate’s debate in this year’s Connecticut Democratic Senate primary race, candidate Lee Whitnum attacked her opponent Rep. Chris Murphy as a “whore who sells his soul to AIPAC.”
Given the fact that the overwhelming majority of Jewish Americans are supporters of the Democratic Party, it should have been assumed that they would have responded to Whitnum’s anti- Semitic slurs by seeking to get her expelled from their party. They also could have been expected to pour resources into defeating candidates like Pascrell who actively court the votes of open Jew-haters. But this didn’t happen.
Instead, due to J Street’s agitation, and the penetration of the Jewish organizational world by J Street fellow travelers, for the past three years, the American Jewish community has been fighting among itself about what it means to be pro-Israel. At a time when the US Jewish community’s party of choice is increasingly falling under the influence of radical leftists and Muslims who reject Israel’s right to exist, rather than standing tall, Jewish communities around the US are being neutralized by the solipsism of self-defeating, J-Street-invented issues like whether AIPAC is legitimate and whether Jewish anti-Zionists can be considered pro-Israel.
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