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‘You Must Earn Our Vote’: Joe Lieberman’s Last Statement Warned of Political Consequences for Dems’ Anti-Israel Shift

Former US Senator Joe Lieberman speaks at an event in Ashraf-3 camp, which is a base for the People’s Mojahedin Organization of Iran (MEK) in Manza, Albania, July 13, 2019. Photo: REUTERS/Florion Goga

Former US Senator and Democratic Party vice presidential nominee Joe Lieberman‘s last statement was a warning to Democrats about the political danger of turning against Israel.

Lieberman died on Wednesday after sustaining a fall.

Alan Dershowitz, a professor emeritus at Harvard Law School, detailed the late senator’s concern in a new op-ed for the Wall Street Journal.

“Hours before his fatal fall on Tuesday, former Sen. Joseph Lieberman put his final touches on a statement we were writing together about Israel, the 2024 election, and the future of the Democratic Party,” wrote Dershowitz, who, like Lieberman, was a strong supporter of the Jewish state.

Dershowitz explained the message was a “warning” to the re-election campaign of US President Joe Biden that it can “no longer count on pro-Israel Jewish voters” to vote for the Democratic Party if it turns against Israel.

“We are here to say that you can no longer simply count on our vote just because Jews traditionally have voted Democratic. We are here to say you must earn our vote,” the joint statement read

It continued: “We want to continue to support Democratic candidates, but you need to know that if you abandon Israel in order to garner the support of anti-Israel extremists within the Democratic Party, it will be difficult for us to support Democrats who are on the ballot this November.”

In the 2020 US presidential election, only 30 percent of Jews voted for former US President Donald Trump, a Republican, while 68 percent voted for Biden, a Democrat. Since 1968, an average of 71 percent of Jews have voted for the Democratic candidate in the presidential race.

“None of us can or will vote for any candidate who supports cutting military support for Israel’s right to defend itself against Hamas. So please, do the right thing. Do not abandon Israel and its time of great need. And we will not abandon you,” the statement concluded.

A recent Pew Research Center poll found that 89 percent of American Jews believe Israel’s reasons for fighting the Hamas terror group in Gaza are valid. A December poll found that 81 percent of American Jews support Israel’s mission to “recover all Israeli hostages and remove Hamas from power.”

Lieberman and Dershowitz wrote that they “appreciated President Biden’s statements in the wake of the Oct. 7 Hamas barbarisms” but that “more recently … we have become concerned about what appears to be a weakening of support for Israel by President Biden, Vice President Harris, and some other leading Democrats.”

“We are especially concerned about the possibility that some of this weakening may be influenced by domestic political fears of losing electoral support from anti-Israel voters who have threatened to stay home unless the Biden administration pulls away from Israel,” the statement noted.

In Michigan, a key battleground state and home to America’s largest Arab population, a campaign to vote “uncommitted” during the state’s primary rather than for Biden gained significant support — including from US Rep. Rashida Tlaib (D-MI). More than 100,000 people, making up more than 13 percent of the total voters, cast an “uncommitted” ballot. It was a small spike of uncommitted votes in terms of proportion relative to when former US President Barack Obama ran for re-election in 2012, but a significant spike in terms of raw numbers.

There have been questions raised about whether an anti-Israel stance would actually help Biden’s re-election stance, though. A recent Morning Consult/Bloomberg poll of Michigan voters found that, while only 1 percent of respondents said the Israel-Hamas war was the most important issue to them, a striking 67 percent said the issue was either “very important” or “extremely important.”

Lieberman’s last statement “was intended to be circulated among prominent pro-Israel Democrats and sent to the White House in a public release,” according to Dershowitz. “Its goal was to make it clear that if domestic political considerations — the so-called two state solution, meaning Michigan and Minnesota — were influencing the administration’s change of attitude toward Israel, there would be a domestic political price to pay for such a change.”

Lieberman has long been a staunch supporter of Israel. When he ran for vice president on Al Gore’s ticket in 2000, he was the first Jew to be on a major party ticket in American history.

He also observed Shabbat, the Jewish day of rest. Although some questioned how he was able to cease all work on Friday nights and Saturday while also being a US senator, he responded, “I don’t think I could be a senator and not observe Shabbat.”

Lieberman was considered a moderate Democrat who aimed to work across the aisle.

“Joe’s tragic death won’t end his campaign to keep support for Israel a bipartisan issue,” Dershowitz wrote. “Joe believed in this to the depths of his being. And those of us who were working with him to send this message will continue this campaign in his memory.”

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Hate crimes in Toronto are predominantly antisemitic—and the numbers continue to rise: TPS security and intelligence commander

Antisemitic hate crimes continue to account for more than any other category of reported hate crimes in Toronto, according to the head of Toronto police intelligence. Superintendent Katherine Stephenson of Toronto Police Service (TPS) confirmed the ongoing spike in hate occurrences during a presentation at Holy Blossom Temple on May 29, where she addressed 350 […]

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‘Israel Is Not Jewish People,’ New York Times ‘Daily’ Guest Really Wants You to Know

Anti-Israel protesters outside Columbia University in Manhattan, New York City, April 22, 2024. Photo: USA TODAY NETWORK via Reuters Connect

When producers from the New York Times podcast “The Daily” posted on social media looking for “Jewish students who represent a range of feelings and experiences, from being enthusiastically pro Palestinian to enthusiastically pro Israel, and everything in between,” I replied, “This is a trap! They’ll use the ‘pro-Palestinian’ (the polite term they use for the ones who want to wipe Israel off the map) ones to make it sound like the Jewish community is divided and give listeners the illusion that the anti-Israel protests aren’t antisemitic.”

Sure enough, the Times podcast episode that finally aired, headlined, “The Campus Protesters Explain Themselves,” included three students.

Mustafa Yowell, of Irving, Texas, said his mother was from “Nablus, Palestine” and described himself as a Palestinian Arab. He’s a student at the University of Texas, Austin who complained to the Times that “two IDF [Israel Defense Forces] soldiers had infiltrated the campus.” By “IDF soldiers” he meant Israeli students at the university who had, like many Israelis, served in the army before college.

The second student interviewed, Elisha Baker, a student at Columbia University, described himself as a proud Zionist and a graduate of Jewish day school.

And the third student, Jasmine Jolly, a student at Cal Poly Humboldt, described herself as the daughter of a Catholic father and “of Ashkenazi descent on my mom’s side.” Jolly showed up at protests with a sign that said “in honor of my Jewish ancestors, I stand with Palestine.” Jolly also chanted “there is only one solution, intifada revolution.”

“There’s nothing that has come across to me as antisemitic if you are able to pause and remember that Israel is not Jewish people and Zionism is not Jewish people,” Jolly explained to the Times audience.

Jolly read an email from her Jewish grandfather claiming, “Israel is an increasingly apartheid state.”

This is just such a misleading view of reality on campus and in American Jewish life. Even polls like Pew that use an expansive definition of who is Jewish find overwhelming Jewish support for Israel and negligible support for Hamas, including among younger Jews 18 to 34.

In reality, a lot of the anti-Israel protesters aren’t even Palestinians; they are European or Asian students or white or black Americans who either have been brainwashed by their professors or who have underlying, pre-existing antisemitic attitudes. Few of them have been to the Middle East and many of them are ignorant about basic facts about it — remember the Wall Street Journal piece, “From Which River to Which Sea?

“The Daily” episode made it crisply concrete, with the Times representing Jews as being split 50-50, with one normative Jew and one Jew chanting “there is only one solution, intifada revolution.” That’s ridiculous, yet a similar approach contaminates other Times coverage of the Jewish community, misleadlingly portraying American Jewry as deeply divided rather than unified around the goals of getting the hostages back, eliminating the threat of Hamas, and making American college campuses safe for Jewish students.

The Times was at this game well before Oct. 7, 2023, proclaiming “the unraveling of American Zionism” and trotting out old chestnuts such as the Reform movement’s Pittsburgh Platform of 1885 and the New York Times‘ favorite Jew, Peter Beinart.

I find myself rolling my eyes at such depictions, but there is clearly some audience for them among the Times readership and top editorial ranks. The Times executive editor, Joe Kahn, told Semafor’s Ben Smith in a May interview, “I’m not an active Jew.” Maybe the New York Times can sell sweatshirts: “Inactive Jew.” Who, exactly, is supposed to find that distinction between “active” and “inactive” Jews reassuring? Maybe they can put it on top of the front page in place of “All the News That’s Fit to Print”: “Edited by someone who wants the public to know he’s not an active Jew.”

Of all the moments to choose to distance oneself publicly from the Jewish people, this is sure quite one to choose.

This “Daily” episode seems calculated to appeal to the inactive Jews, and to others who want justification to believe it’s not antisemitic to set up on Passover and falsely accuse Israel of genocide. It’s nice for the Times to include a Zionist voice on the program, but he wound up sandwiched in between a Palestinian and an “only one solution, intifada revolution” person. It’s fairly typical for the New York Times these days, but it isn’t pretty.

Ira Stoll was managing editor of The Forward and North American editor of The Jerusalem Post. His media critique, a regular Algemeiner feature, can be found here. He also writes at

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Palestinian Islamic Jihad Releases Second Video of Israeli Hostage Sasha Troufanov

Israeli hostage Alexander (Sasha) Trufanov as seen in an undated propaganda video released by the Palestinian Islamic Jihad terror group on May 30, 2024. Photo: Screenshot

The Palestinian Islamic Jihad terrorist group on Thursday released a second propaganda video this week featuring Israeli hostage Alexander (Sasha) Trufanov, 28, who was kidnapped by Palestinian terrorists during Hamas’ Oct. 7 massacre across southern Israel.

In the video, Trufanov says he is doing well and criticizes Israel’s prime minister and government in remarks that were likely scripted by his captors.

There was no information about when the video was filmed. However, Trufanov refers to Israel’s decision on May 5 to order the local offices of Qatar’s Al Jazeera satellite news network to close, indicating he may have been filmed in the last few weeks.

The latest video came just two days after Islamic Jihad, an Iran-backed Palestinian terrorist group in Gaza, released its first video featuring Trufanov.

The 30-second undated video shows Trufanov, an Amazon employee, identifying himself and saying that he will soon discuss what has happened to him and other hostages in Gaza.

Similar videos have been released by terrorists groups in Gaza. Israel has lambasted them as psychological warfare meant to torture the Israeli public, especially the families of the hostages being held in Gaza.

Trufanov’s mother said after the first video was released that she was happy to see her son after all this time, but it was “heartbreaking” that he had been a hostage for so long.

“Seeing my Sasha on my TV was very cheering, but it also breaks my heart that he’s still been in captivity for so long,” she said in a video released by the family. “I ask everyone, all the decision-makers: Please do everything, absolutely everything, to bring my son and all the hostages home now.”

Hamas-led Palestinian terrorists abducted over 250 people during their Oct. 7 onslaught. Sasha was kidnapped alongside his mother, grandmother, and girlfriend. All three women were released as part of a temporary ceasefire agreement negotiated in November. His father, Vitaly Trufanov, was one of the 1,200 people killed during the Hamas massacre.

“The proof of life from Alexsander (Sasha) Trufanov is additional evidence that the Israeli government must give a significant mandate to the negotiating team,” the Hostages Families Forum, which represents the families of the hostages, said in a statement.

More than 120 hostages remain in Gaza, which is ruled by Hamas. Islamic Jihad is a separate but allied terrorist organization in the Palestinian enclave. Both are backed by Iran, which provides them with money, weapons, and training.

Negotiations brokered by Qatar, Egypt, and the US to reach a ceasefire agreement between Israel and Hamas in Gaza have been stalled for weeks.

Trufanov was an engineer at the Israeli microelectronics company Annapurna Labs, which Amazon owns.

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