During 2000 Presidential elections, Al Gore and Lieberman were on the Democratic ticket. The American Jewish population was thrilled to see one of their own at the ticket for vice President. But many conservative Muslims were worried about the possibility of Jewish politician only a heartbeat away from becoming the President of United States. It was a hard to swallow scenario so they voted for George W. Bush and Dick Cheney. But eight years of Bush and Cheney turned out to be worst nightmare for Muslims.
As the things stand now in Presidential Primaries, there is a strong possibility that Bernie Sanders, competing for Democratic nomination, and Donald Trump, competing for Republican nomination, will emerge as nominees of their respective parties. The Jewish reaction to Bernie Sanders, a non-practicing Jew, is low key as compared to enthusiasm for Joseph Lieberman in 2000. Mr. Nicholas Confessore writes in NYT:
“Did Bernie Sanders Just Grab Jewish Crown in New Hampshire?” asked a headline in The Forward. An essay published by the Jewish Telegraphic Agency questioned why Mr. Sanders’s victory received less attention as an emblem of acceptance and accomplishment than the selection of Joseph I. Lieberman as the Democrats’ vice-presidential nominee in 2000.”
Despite the low key reaction, one can still expect overwhelming Jewish support for Bernie Sanders. But how the conservative Muslims will choose between Donald Trump and Bernie Sanders?
And how Mr. Trump, who has offended every minority, will react to a Jewish opponent with overwhelming Jewish support? Mr. Donald is already upset about his cancelling of Israeli visit and he may turn ugly against Jewish minority as he has done with other minorities. Mr. Dana Millbank writes in Washington Post:
“This year’s Holocaust remembrance comes at a time when Donald Trump, the front-runner for the GOP presidential nomination, retweets to his nearly 6 million followers a message from @WhiteGenocideTM based in “Jewmerica,” and a time when his nearest challenger, Ted Cruz, brandishes the endorsement of a minister who says Hitler was a “hunter” sent after the Jews by God. There has never been a more important time for Americans to heed the moral authority of the Holocaust survivors still among us.”
Mr. Dana Milbank further writes:
“I am exceptionally concerned about demagogues,” the 85-year-old Weiss told me at Wednesday’s commemoration at the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum. “They touch me in a place that I remember. I know their influence and, unfortunately, I know how receptive audiences are to demagogues and what it leads to.”
“It has echoes, and maybe more so to me than to native-born Americans,” she said after lighting a candle for Hitler’s victims. “I’m scared. I don’t like the trend. I don’t like how many people are applauding when they hear these demagogues. It can turn.”
Mr. Dana Milbank continues;
“Munzer, who lost two sisters and his father to the Nazis, said he never thought such things could happen in America, but now he’s not so sure. “Thinking that Germany was somehow unique is wrong,” he said.
If the choice is between Bernie Sanders and Donald Trump, I hope Muslims has the wisdom to join Jewish friends to support Bernie Sanders and stop a bigot who may turn out to be worse than Bush and Cheney.