Reform rabbi warns Democrats not to take Jewish vote for granted

‘Israel is accused of genocide and the genocidal forces that launched this war are forgiven or forgotten.’

By Vered Weiss, World Israel News

Ammiel Hirsch, a prominent Reform rabbi in the U.S. warned the Democratic Party not to take the Jewish vote for granted in the 2024 elections.

During a sermon at the Stephen Wise synagogue in New York City, Hirsch said, “Allow me to express a non-partisan word to all our friends in elected office from the Democratic party from one who is finely attuned to the American Jewish sentiment: Do not take American Jews for granted.”

He added, “Be careful: The results of the upcoming election do not only depend on Michigan.”

Rabbi Hirsch was referring to a large number of young progressives from Michigan, Minnesota, and Massachusetts who voted “uncommitted” during the Democratic primary to protest incumbent candidate President Joe Biden’s support for Israel in its war with Hamas.

Although uncommitted voters commanded double-digit percentages of the total outcome in a few states, Joe Biden handily secured the Democratic Party nomination.

Ammiel Hirsch warned the Democratic Party that growing antisemitism and anti-Israel sentiment tolerated in some circles may drive Jewish voters from the party.

“Israel is accused of genocide and the genocidal forces that launched this war are forgiven or forgotten,” Hirsch remarked.

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He added that while it was important to show compassion for Gazan civilians and those caught in the crossfire of the conflict, it was also essential to recognize that Israelis are not trying to kill civilians, but feel they have a duty to defend themselves against Hamas who started the war by committing atrocities against Israel on October 7th.

Hirsch said that amid the war and the rise of global antisemitism, “The Western world is spinning off of its moral axis.”

He added, “The assault on liberty and decency will not end in the Middle East, it will come to the Midwest. It will not stop at Kibbutz Beeri, it will invade Brussels, Barcelona, Berlin, and Baltimore.”

Following the Iranian attack on Israel overnight on Saturday, Rabbi Hirsch released a video during which he said “It was a scary night last night in Israel,” and expressed wishes for a complete recovery for the Bedouin girl who was injured by shrapnel.

Hirsch praised the resilience of the Israelis and the IDF’s missile defense systems which neutralized 99% of the attack.

He also recognized that the cooperation of several countries in fighting off Iran’s attack may provide an opportunity for creating lasting alliances.

“We should welcome the support of the allies. While of course, the Israelis took down many of those missiles, so did Israel’s allies,” he said.

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“The United States first and foremost, the United Kingdom, France, and even the moderate Arab state took part in one way or another — The Gulf States, Saudi Arabia, the Jordanians,” said Hirsch.

“Big wars often create big geopolitical opportunities, and let’s hope that in the aftermath of this Iranian attack, the Western mind will be more focused.”