Monday, November 11, 2019

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Your recent editorial “The Democratic Party’s Shame” (March 14, 2019) promulgated a false narrative. A review of the facts is in order. The response to the antisemitic tropes of Reps Omar and Tlaib, of a Jewish financial conspiracy and dual loyalty, was met with an immediate and forceful denunciation by the entire Democratic leadership and party. Omar and Tlaib were forced to apologize. In a rare moment in American history, a resolution was drafted condemning antisemitism and subsequently amended to include all forms of racism and ethnic hatred. This was overwhelmingly passed.

This is in direct contrast to the recent statements and inactions of the Republican party. This past January, Rep McDonald tweeted that the USA was threatened by three billionaires, Bloomberg, Soros and Steyer. Hmm, any Jews there? He retracted. Trump stated that Soros was funding the Central American caravan to invade our country. The images in Charlottesvillle, of torchlight Nazi parades with chants of “Death to the Jews’ and “the Jews will not replace us” was chilling.The Republicans ran from a Democratic led resolution of condemnation. Our President praised the “very fine people on both sides.” One can certainly posit that the Koch brothers have been the major molders of the modern Republican party. Their father was the original founder of the John Birch Society, known for its antisemitism, racism and anti-Catholicism. The  Southern strategy is now in its fiftieth year.

Our president uses hatred and fear as political currency, employing every catchphrase and dog whistle to mainstream white supremacist conspiracy theories. Is it a coincidence that David Duke, Richard Spencer and others of their ilk call him one of theirs? Is it a coincidence that the terrorist in New Zealand idolizes Trump?

You praise Rep Zeldin for his unyielding stand. For 12 years, Rep Steve King was promoted and funded by the Republican establishment, even after meeting with the head of the Austrian Neo-Nazi party. Where was the heroic and uncompromising Rep Zeldin?

This apocryphal narrative is not simply a planned diversion from the travails of Trump and his confederates. There is a much greater danger. Repercussions will cause enormous damage by polarizing American support for Israel. Israel has always benefited from strong bipartisan support. We cannot allow American support for Israel to be tied to the vagaries of the political fortunes of a single party or the statements of a demagogue.

Earl Sandor