“For all the tightrope walking, the carefully formulated nuanced comments, and the impossible straddling between wishing to allow Israel to make its own decisions while providing cautionary input from abroad, American Jews and their views don’t really move the needle in Netanyahu and Gantz’s decision-making process.”
AIPAC is a political organization, and as such, it has been engaging with black voters, activists and lawmakers for years on a political level. The lobby has been actively seeking these engagements, reaching out to African-Americans in all stages of their political careers, from college student body presidents to state and federal lawmakers, and by featuring prominent figures in the community, such as Bakari Sellers, as key voices within AIPAC.
Jewish Americans have always been reliable allies in civil rights battles and have consistently led advocacy and legislation aimed at helping minority communities and denouncing injustice and inequality. It’s no surprise that the community is once again standing up for African Americans in their struggle for justice and for reforming the way police forces deal with black Americans.
Where can the Jewish community play a part this time around?
Joe Biden, the comeback grandpa, had the best Super Tuesday anyone could have imagined. In fact, he performed so well, from solid wins in southern states, to surprise victories in Massachusetts and Minnesota, and an unbelievable upset in Texas, that some are already speculating that it’s all over and Biden is on a safe path to clinch the Democratic nomination.
There’s still a long road ahead, and if anything, Biden has proven time and again that he has a rare talent for ruinous missteps. But still, he is now the frontrunner in a narrowed-down Democratic field.
In terms of the Jewish community, a Sander vs. Bloomberg match would be a moment of pride mixed with a fair amount of communal oy vey. The pride part is obvious. The oy vey relates to the not unreasonable concern over the rise of anti-Semitic stereotypes relating to either candidate. Clearly, pride overpowers concerns about haters just using this as another reason to hate, but the ride would be a tough one.
And yet, AIPAC, the American Israel Public Affairs Committee, should have been able to navigate this minefield a little more gracefully. The lobby, known for its political savviness, has demonstrated its mastery of political nuance in the past, knowing exactly how far it can go in stepping on the toes of one side (usually the Democrats) without alienating it altogether. AIPAC has shown its ability to remain a welcome guest and a trusted adviser regardless of the party occupying the White House or holding the majority in Congress.
This week, however, was different.
Democrats Go on AIPACIsrael Trip, Donald Trump and White Supremacy, Jewish Vote in 2020
Nathan Guttman on the upcoming Israeli elections and Benjamin Netanyahu’s play on American politics