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Monday, August 19, 2019

In December of 2016, then Secretary of State John Kerry unleashed an hour and a half of invective against Israel’s future as a Jewish and democratic state.

His screed came just months after his boss, President Barack Obama, pushed through, against Israel’s protests, the Iran Nuclear Deal, even though it was clear the agreement was flawed and could empower Iran in Israel’s neighborhood, threatening its very existence.

So now, the aftershocks of the Obama Administration’s distancing from the Democratic party’s connection to Israel are manifested in the midterm elections of Rashida Tlaib (D-MI), Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) and Ilhan Omar (D-MN) to the House, both supporters of the BDS Movement and no strangers to anti-Semitism and anti-Zionism in their political campaigns.

The antidote for the damage done by Obama and one that we need to add to our Jewish alphabet soup is DMI, or the Democratic Majority for Israel.

It is no secret that the Democratic Party’s left wing finds an intersection with those who would see the U.S. cool its close friendship with Israel. Indeed, newer organizations such as Jewish Voice for Peace and IfNotNow are showing up on the young, Jewish adult radar screen. We have seen in recent months more and more young Jews leaving the ranks of the pro-Israel community.

The need for DMI is urgent with Pew Research Center numbers showing 79 percent of Republicans backing Israel and only 27 percent of Democrats showing that support.

We wish nothing but success for Democratic strategists Mark Mellman and Ann Lewis, who are leading DMI. And it is our hope that the well-known career Democrats will reach the younger liberal Jewish adult voting blocs where many are drinking the very Kool-Aid the BDS movement pours. DMI knows it has the support of Democratic Party stalwarts such as Steny Hoyer, Ben Cardin, Robert Menendez, Eliot Engel and others. But the future of the Democrat’s support for Israel is no longer a slam dunk.

Still, DMI is an effort whose timely appearance on the scene cannot be underestimated.

Its efforts towards a continued connection of strength between the U.S. and Israel within the Democratic Party has our support.

Its work is vital; and its time for success needs to be now. If not now, when?