There are just a couple of weeks remaining till we go to the polls in what many describe as the most important election in American history. While it may be true, it’s likely that it is true of most presidential elections. Nixon/Kennedy, Johnson/Goldwater, Reagan/Carter, Bush/Gore, and Obama/McCain were all epic elections that were game-changers for the country.
Yet there is no doubt that the upcoming election will change the course of this country, perhaps forever. It is a choice between the country tilting with the radical left or leaning hard right. It seems to me that if the Democrats win, the change will be eternal. The Democrats have every intention of packing the states with immigrants, legal and illegal, who are sure to vote Democrat and turn formerly red states blue. They are also making efforts to grant Puerto Rico and Washington, DC, the status of states. These populations are more than likely to vote Democrat. This may mean the end of the two-party system for the foreseeable future.
We are left with the choice of two candidates, neither ideal. But we, especially as Jews, need to compare the two and vote for whoever is better to lead the country, better for Israel, and better for us as a vulnerable people.
The danger for the Jewish people used to be from the right. Now, with the rise of Antifa, Jew-hating anarchists, the pull to socialism, prominent anti-Semitic representatives, and the likes of Louis Farrakhan – tolerated and even adored by the left – the real danger is no longer on the right. This was articulated by Donald Trump, who unsuccessfully tried to get Joe Biden to condemn Antifa in their first debate. Of course, the media only focused on Trump’s fumble with fully condemning White Supremacy with the language they wanted, but made nothing of Biden’s calling Antifa a “concept.” No big deal.
So here is what we are faced with. A Donald Trump, who tends to speak in rough terms – “grub” would be the favorite Yiddish description – or a Joe Biden, who tends to speak in very confusing terms (although calling a woman a “lying, dog-faced pony soldier” is considered acceptable). But let’s contrast the two sides. You decide for yourselves. Allow me to simply list the issues. Please come to the conclusion in your own minds.
Israel: Which candidate has unflinchingly supported Israel? Which one has referred to Israel as an “obstacle to peace”? Which candidate defunded the PLO and stopped “Pay For Slay”? Which candidate wants to fund them again?
Iran: Which candidate wants to return to the Iran Nuclear Deal, which represents an existential threat to the State of Israel? Which candidate got us out of it?
Israelis: Which candidate enjoys a 67% approval rating by Israelis living in Israel? Which one was part of an administration that had 4% support of the same Israelis?
The United Nations: Which candidate has unwaveringly supported Israel in the UN? Which one was part of an administration that orchestrated a condemnation of Israel and called for Israel to return to pre-1967 borders?
Peace in the Middle East: Which candidate brokered perhaps the most sweeping peace deal between Israel and its Arab neighbors?
Jerusalem: Which candidate delivered on the decades-long promise to move the US Embassy to Jerusalem? Which one sat idly on the issue for 47 years?
The Squad: Which candidate openly condemns the anti-Israel, anti-Semitic “Squad” of Ilhan Omar, Rashida Tlaib, Ayanna Pressley, and AOC? Which one has refused to do so?
Linda Sarsour: Which candidate had an avowed anti-Semite address his national convention?
Green New Deal: Which candidate supports the Green New Deal?
Taxes: Which candidate has promised to raise taxes?
Pack the Supreme Court: Which candidate has hinted strongly that he will likely pack the Supreme Court if the current nine-justice system is not in his party’s favor?
Law and Order: Which candidate has called for defunding and/or rearranging the police? Which one is solidly behind the police?
Antifa: Which candidate refuses to condemn Antifa and the anarchists who are destructive of American culture and Jewish property?
Violent Speech: Which candidate has, on more than one occasion, threatened to settle differences with political and audience opponents by a fist fight?
Corruption: Which candidate has serious accusations of corruption looming over him and his family but is fully protected by mainstream media? Which one was accused for three years of a Russian scandal that proved to be a hoax, which actually was more likely committed by his accusers?
Immigration: Which candidate has promised “on day one” to allow immigrants into the United States from countries whose current immigrants to the US have been the greatest source of anti-Semitic incidents? Which one will offer illegals all the rights that citizens have?
COVID: Which candidate will do a better job handling COVID-19?
Economy: Which candidate is better equipped to handle an economic recovery?
Race: Which candidate declared “you ain’t Black” if you vote for his opponent? Which one claimed that Blacks are not diverse as are Hispanics? Which candidate was in an administration that presided over racial tensions that gave rise to Black Lives Matter?
Media: Which candidate will be less likely to be subject to scrutiny for any misdeeds by the electronic, print, and social media?
MeToo: Which candidate effectively put an end to the “#MeToo” movement?
Anti-Semitism: Which candidate made it illegal to engage in anti-Semitic activities on college campuses? Which one deported a Nazi criminal living here in Queens? Which one pardoned an Orthodox Jew who was given a grossly disproportionate sentence to a crime he committed? Which candidate hails from a party in which a former president in recent times joined a platform with Louis Farrakhan? Nobody objected.
Confused: Which candidate for president more than once declared he is running for senator?
Running Mate: Which candidate has a running mate who has the most liberal voting record in the Senate? Which one has a running mate who is an unabashed lover of the Jewish people and Israel?
Finally: Which candidate belongs to the party that is headed by Nancy Pelosi and Chuck Schumer? That should be the dealbreaker right there!
Rabbi Yoel Schonfeld is the Rabbi of the Young Israel of Kew Gardens Hills, Vice President of the Coalition for Jewish Values, former President of the Vaad Harabonim of Queens, and the Rabbinic Consultant for the Queens Jewish Link.