Opinion: Jeremiah Wright and J Street take Georgia

It means a rough road ahead for U.S.-Israel relations as the Democratic party has veered increasingly into anti-Israel territory.

By David Isaac, World Israel News

It couldn’t be worse news for Israel supporters. Georgia has not only elected its Jeremiah Wright, but also the Jewish candidate who gave him moral cover.

The two Republican incumbents, Sen. Kelly Loeffler and Sen. David Perdue, went down to defeat against Democrat challengers Rev. Raphael Warnock, 51, senior pastor at Ebenezer Baptist Church in Atlanta, and Jon Ossoff, 33, a documentary filmmaker.

Democratic control of the executive and legislative branches means a rough road ahead for U.S.-Israel relations as the Democratic party has veered increasingly into anti-Israel territory – a space in which Georgia’s new senators will feel right at home.

None more so than Warnock. As he ran for Senate, a raft of his anti-Israel statements came to light over the years, from his 2008 defense of Rev. Jeremiah Wright to the 2018 accusation he made from the pulpit that Israeli soldiers were “shoot[ing] down unarmed Palestinian sisters and brothers like birds of prey.”

Only last year, Warnock signed a statement comparing Israeli control of Judea and Samara to apartheid South Africa.

Loeffler zeroed in on Warnock’s remarks in her campaign, tweeting on Nov. 10: “Reverend Warnock has a long history of anti-Israel extremism. He defended Jeremiah Wright’s anti-Semitic comments. He embraced the anti-Zionist BLM organization. And he thinks Israel is an ‘oppressive regime’ for fighting back against terrorism.”

In came Ossoff to defend the indefensible, telling the Forward on Nov. 18, “Kelly Loeffler’s baseless attacks on the Reverend make me sick.”

“Reverend Warnock is a beloved friend and ally of Georgia’s Jewish community and a friend of Israel,” he said.

The only thing more disgraceful than Warnock’s smoking pile of anti-Semitism was Ossoff’s attempt to blow it out.

No one who knew anything about Israel would have bought Ossoff’s defense. The Coalition for Jewish Values (CJV), an organization representing over 1,500 traditional rabbis, sure didn’t.

“We have thousands of years of experience with hateful rhetoric of this nature, and the deadly consequences of allowing it to flourish uncontested,” said CJV President Rabbi Pesach Lerner in an open letter on Dec. 18, adding that Warnock’s statements were “tainted with classic anti-Semitic tropes familiar to every Orthodox rabbi.”

“Only a fool, or someone callously unconcerned for the safety of Israel and the Jewish community, would grant credence to what he says on the campaign trail today to Jewish audiences, over what he said just a year ago in front of his own, supportive congregation,” Lerner added.

A fool or someone callously unconcerned. That describes Ossoff to a tee, who although he is Jewish, is a proud supporter of J Street.

J Street is a radical organization which pushes Dr. Kevorkian-style policy prescriptions for the Israeli side of the Arab-Israel conflict. It supports the “right of return” of Palestinian “refugees,” an idea which even far left politicians in Israel agree is madness.

In February of last year, J Street President Jeremy Ben-Ami kissed and embraced PA President Mahmoud Abbas – at the UN appropriately enough. Abbas sits atop a hateful, anti-Semitic regime that denies the Holocaust, indoctrinates racism and swears never to stop paying its people for killing Jews.

In short, if you’re on J Street’s side, you’re not on Israel’s side. J Street, it should be noted, happily contributed to both Warnock and Ossoff’s campaigns.

If there’s a glimmer of good news in this otherwise dismal result, it’s that Warnock will only serve for two years before he has to run again as he’s filling out the term of former Sen. Johnny Isakson, who retired early for health reasons.

David Isaac is managing editor of World Israel News.