Confronting the Hard Right this November

Jeremy Ben-Ami Image
Jeremy Ben-Ami
on January 22, 2018

Over the past 48 hours, in both Israel and here at home, we’re witnessing the logical outcome of leadership that embraces hard-right ideology and rejects core democratic values.

In Israel, with Vice President Mike Pence basking in the embrace of Prime Minister Netanyahu and the settler movement, we’re seeing those who oppose diplomacy, two states and democratic freedoms taking a victory lap as Israel’s very future as a democracy and Jewish home are called into question.

Meanwhile, in Washington, we’re seeing the most xenophobic voices in the White House and Congress — like Stephen Miller and Tom Cotton — steamroll overwhelming public support for the Dreamers, and in the process bring our entire government to a halt.

The common threads running through the actions and rhetoric of the far-right here and there — of Trump, Pence and Netanyahu — are clear:

  • Extreme partisanship that puts right-wing ideology ahead of national interests and democratic values;
  • Contempt and disrespect for immigrants and people of color;
  • Disdain for diplomacy, negotiation and compromise.

These political trends both in Israel and in the US are deeply disturbing — and go against everything that we believe in and fight for as Jewish Americans.

But while these are the trends dominating our politics right now, we will NOT let them define our future.

The future of our country is not going to be written by a close-minded and hateful minority, but by the growing majority of Americans who know that diversity and equality are what make us truly great.

And the future of US leadership in the Middle East and around the world will not be driven by unilateralism, confrontation and provocation, but by a commitment to diplomacy, partnership and problem-solving.

At J Street, that’s the future we believe in — and it’s the future we need to fight for.

In 2018, we take that fight to the ballot box. 

In November, we have the opportunity to strike a major blow against the politics of Trump and Pence, shift the balance of power and help put our country back on track.

J Street’s core priority this year is helping elect a Congress that can contain and reverse the Trump administration’s most dangerous policies — and stand for a different vision of American leadership.

After ten years of continuous growth and work electing pro-Israel, pro-peace, pro-democracy champions to Congress, J Street has the infrastructure and experience to do just that.

Already, a dynamic wave of new candidates is stepping forward to challenge Trump and his enablers — and they’re seeking J Street’s support. Over the past few months, our staff and activists across the country have been meeting non-stop with candidates who represent the future of American leadership, preparing to fight for crucial competitive seats.

By electing them this fall, we can help shape a Congress that is ready to lead America forward again. We can elect leaders who will stand up for policies in line with our core values, our national interest and our understanding that securing Israel’s future as a democratic homeland for the Jewish people requires diplomatic resolution of its conflicts and an end to occupation.

I know you share my deep frustration over the damage being done to the US and to Israel right now by leaders whose policies and ideas go against everything we stand for.

But only by channeling that frustration into action, can we turn the tide.

Only by fighting and winning at the polls, can we do justice to our ideals and to our heritage.

With our advocacy, our organizing, our fundraising and our votes, we can — and we will — bring the brighter future we want and believe in.

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