Does Israel Need a Republican in the US Congress?

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David Rubin

After seven terms, Jewish Republican Eric Cantor was defeated in his bid for re-election to the United States Congress.

After the resounding defeat of Republican Eric Cantor after seven terms in the United States Congress, there are now no remaining Jewish Republicans in Congress. Is that a problem for the GOP? More importantly, is it a problem for Israel?

We can certainly expect the Democrats to pounce on this vacuum to score political points. Undoubtedly, they will be boasting about their pro-Israel credentials in the coming elections, and many Jews easily will be persuaded by the ethnic numbers.

However, we who actually live in tiny Israel can’t afford to play that game. We remember all too well the forced building freezes, the forced terrorist releases, the implied boycott threats, and the apartheid charges of the D.C. Democratic triumvirate of Obama, Clinton, and Kerry.

We also remember the firm support emanating from the right side of the aisle, which even has recently begun to question the flawed idea of creating a “Palestinian” state in Israel’s biblical, historical heartland. Some leading Republicans have also started doubting the latest gospel—the recently invented concept of an “indigenous” Palestinian people. Furthermore, they have been outspoken in their skepticism about the dangerous American negotiations with soon-to-be nuclear Iran.

Whether these Republicans have been urged on by the strong Christian Zionist presence in the GOP or simply by a basic instinct for what is true justice, many of these pro-Israel Republicans have put their knee-jerk liberal Jewish colleagues on the other side of the aisle to shame in their strong support for the Jewish state in its ongoing existential struggle.

Would it be useful for Republicans to seek out and encourage a flock of good Republican Jewish candidates? Yes, of course, but that may be a daunting task, given the rightward drift in the GOP, along with the dogmatic social liberalism of much of American Jewry, with the notable exception of those who identify as Orthodox.

Nonetheless, we here in Israel will continue to judge our overseas friends by their actions.

Those who support a thriving, growing Jewish state in its ancient borders are our true allies, even if they’re not Jewish. Yes, a little tribal loyalty and tribal pride can be a nice thing, but I prefer survival.

David Rubin is former mayor of Shiloh, Israel. He is founder and president of Shiloh Israel Children’s Fund and the author of several books, including Peace for Peace and The Islamic Tsunami. He can be found at davidrubinisrael.com or at shilohisraelchildren.org.

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