Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-FL) has been forced to resign as chairwoman of the Democratic National Committee after revelations that the DNC engaged in a concerted campaign to sabotage Bernie Sanders’ campaign.
Of course, she would have gotten away with it if not for the leak of the DNC’s emails — which will undoubtedly contain more embarrassing disclosures if and when the press goes through all 20,000.
A few days ago in Cleveland, Wasserman Schultz tried to smear Republican nominee Donald Trump as a guy engaged in stoking anti-Semitism. Schultz told the JTA’s Ron Kampeas, “I am not calling Donald Trump an anti-Semite,” but, she said, “He has sanctioned anti-Semitism, made anti-Semitic remarks and given permission to an anti-Semitic thread running through his campaign that leads to his feet.”
Now, I am well aware that some people reading this dislike Donald Trump. I myself have called out Trump for his attempt to temporarily ban Muslims and his unacceptable comments about Mexican immigrants, among other areas of disagreement. I have also called on Trump to utterly disavow and condemn the white supremacist nutjobs who support him. But if we’re going to challenge Trump for smears, we must hold Wasserman Schultz to the same standard.
It was especially galling to hear Schultz trying to defame Trump – who has a Jewish daughter and three Jewish grandchildren – with Jewish voters after Bernie Sanders chose two virulent Israel-haters to represent him on the DNC platform committee, and Clinton supporters had to fight off their efforts to dilute the party’s traditional support for Israel.
Even more disturbing is the revelation that Democratic bosses advocated suggesting Bernie Sanders is an atheist rather than a Jew in states where they believe atheists are unpopular. One of the leaked DNC emails from Chief Financial Officer Brad Marshall to press secretary Mark Paustenbach, communications director Luis Miranda, and Chief Executive Officer Amy Dacey said:
It might may [sic] no difference, but for KY [Kentucky] and WVA [West Virginia] can we get someone to ask his belief. Does he believe in a God. He had skated on saying he has a Jewish heritage. I think I read he is an atheist. This could make several points difference with my peeps. My Southern Baptist peeps would draw a big difference between a Jew and an atheist.
Now the public, and many Democrats who agreed with Sanders’s claim that the nominating process was rigged, have discovered Schultz’s betrayals, as she made the DNC into an arm of the Clinton campaign. Only now, after embarrassing the party, and distracting from the Democratic National Convention’s coronation of Hillary as their nominee, is Schultz being forced to resign as chairwoman.
I have long said that politicians who lack conviction in one important area will show they have no conviction in other areas as well. Debbie Wasserman Schultz demonstrated with her support for the Iran deal that she would do anything — including selling out the security of her people — for political gain.
Of all the people to have betrayed Israel and the Jewish people over the Iran deal, Debbie Wasserman Schultz was near the top. She had always traded on her Jewish identity to gain currency in politics, and had massive Jewish financial support.
Her support of the Iran deal, amid Iran’s near daily genocidal incitement against her people, was the ultimate betrayal. Worse was when she went on CNN to cry crocodile tears about how torn up she was about her support for the deal. Tears mean nothing. Action is everything. It’s now clear that she betrayed her power as DNC chair to stay close to the presumptive nominee.
Schultz has much more to apologize for than this leaked email, however, which may turn out to be only one of many Jews will find offensive. Early in the campaign, she said, “Republicans have chosen the dangerous strategy of politicizing Israel’s security as their strategy to win over Jewish voters.” I was appalled that she would accuse Republicans of playing politics because they were concerned about Israel being shelled by thousands of Hamas and Hezbollah rockets, or being attacked with nuclear weapons by Iran.
Schultz and her fellow Democrats must also try to explain Obama administration policies – implemented by Secretary of State Hillary Clinton — that endangered Israel, showed disrespect for the prime minister, attempted to sway the Israeli electorate to vote against Benjamin Netanyahu, subsidized Palestinian terrorism, put the onus on Israel for Obama’s poorly conceived peace initiatives, and destabilized the Middle East.
Ironically, Israel and the Republicans were accused of partisanship when Netanyahu was invited to speak to Congress about the dangers posed by Iran’s nuclear ambitions. Democrats expressed outrage that support of Israel, which enjoys broad bipartisan participation, was in some way undermined because Israel’s head of government accepted the Speaker of the House’s invitation to address America’s elected representatives. Even more hypocritical was Democrats’ silence when Obama tried to prevent Netanyahu’s reelection after complaining about alleged Israeli interference in our election.
You can say a lot of things about Donald Trump, but you cannot say that he has not forcefully declared his support for Israel. In his convention speech, for example, he said, “We must work with all of our allies who share our goal of destroying ISIS and stamping out Islamic terror. This includes working with our greatest ally in the region, the State of Israel.”
If Trump is elected he would have the full backing of Republicans in and out of Congress on issues related to Israel. By contrast, Hillary Clinton would have to face the Sanders faction of the party, and others that do not see Israel as an indispensable ally whose security we must ensure.
Like any good politician, Schultz pays attention to the polls, and she knows that Republican support for Israel has been growing while support among Democrats is declining. In the most recent Gallup poll (February 2016), 79 percent of Republicans sympathized with Israel over the Palestinians, compared to 53 percent of Democrats.
Rather than cast slanderous aspersions on others, Schultz’s successor and her fellow Democrats should focus on the dangerous forces within their party that seek to continue the misguided Middle East policies of President Obama and take even more extreme positions to weaken the U.S-Israel alliance.
“America’s Rabbi,” Shmuley Boteach, whom The Washington Post calls “the most famous rabbi in America” is Executive Director of The World Values Network, which promotes universal values in politics and culture, and is the international best-selling author of 30 books, including his forthcoming, “The Israel Warriors Handbook.” Follow him on Twitter @RabbiShmuley.