Nachman Shai
Nachman Shai
Photo: George Ginsburg
Jamaal Bowman

As U.S. veers left, Israel swerves right

Opinion: America's demographic is changing, and so are its dominant political allegiances, something that both Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Foreign Minister Gabi Ashkenazi must realize ahead of the U.S. presidential elections in November

Dr. Nachman Shai |
Published: 07.25.20 , 13:41
It is doubtful many people in the U.S., perhaps a handful, had heard of Jamaal Bowman until recently. But it's worth taking note of his name.
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  • In New York, people had heard little of him, though in New York's 16th Congressional district, which is encompasses northern Bronx and the southern half of Westchester County, he is probably better known today.
    ארה"ב בחירות 2020 בית הנבחרים ג'מאל בוומן דמוקרטי פריימריזארה"ב בחירות 2020 בית הנבחרים ג'מאל בוומן דמוקרטי פריימריז
    Jamaal Bowman
    (Photo: AP)
    Last weekend, Bowman defeated influential Democrat Eliot Engel, the serving U.S. Representative for NY's 16th District for the past 31 years and current chairman of the House Committee on Foreign Affairs, in a party primary.
    Unless something surprising transpires in this district, which traditionally votes for Democrats, Bowman will become a member of the U.S. Congress in November.
    He is a 46-year-old Black man who grew up in a single parent family in public housing in the Bronx. In his youth he was beaten up by the police. Today he is a political novice whose public service background is running a school.
    Bowman beat Engel, a Jewish 73-year-old Israel supporter who recently led the impeachment process of U.S. President Donald Trump with his House colleague Adam Schiff.
    Democratic Representative Eliot Engel of New York, chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee Democratic Representative Eliot Engel of New York, chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee
    Democratic Representative Eliot Engel of New York, chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee
    (Photo: AP)
    At the most defining moment, nothing helped Engel, who has been washed away by the same tidal wave now sweeping across the United States in general and the Democratic Party in particular.
    Shrugging off the establishment, shaking up the current order and moving towards a new future - this is democracy.
    The wave of protests has moved to the political arena, and translates into personal and ideological changes across the board.
    It is hard to underestimate the power of the revolution sweeping across the United States right now.
    A Black Lives Matter billboard is seen next to a Confederate flag in Pittsboro, N.CA Black Lives Matter billboard is seen next to a Confederate flag in Pittsboro, N.C
    A Black Lives Matter billboard sits beside a Confederate flag in North Carolina
    (Photo: AP)
    The statues of heroes of the U.S. south, historic, military and civilian leaders, the Confederate flag, symbols of government like the police are all being thrown to the curb, literally.
    America, it seems, is bent on rewriting its own history as it leans towards the radical left. It wishes to translate the anger and frustration of the public into a revolution using democratic means, like the November elections for example.
    The writing has been on the wall for a good while now. Demographic changes show that in the next 25 years, American people of color will be the majority in the U.S.
    These rising powers have found a home in the Democratic party. And while the Republicans tried to win them over, with Donald Trump even trying to woo their votes, these people - along with the young, women and blue collar workers - are veering towards the Democratic party.
    סיסמת המחאה  Black Lives Matter  מול מגדל טראמפ ב ניו יורק ארה"בסיסמת המחאה  Black Lives Matter  מול מגדל טראמפ ב ניו יורק ארה"ב
    The words 'Black Lives Matter' are painted in front of Trump Tower in New York
    (Photo: AP)
    Presumptive Democratic nominee and former vice president Joe Biden is currently polling an average of 9 percentage points higher than Trump. His willingness to promote the social and economic ideas of both Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren (which include universal health care and higher taxes for the wealthy and the financial sector) has surely contributed to this fact.
    Biden has indeed taken something from both Sanders and Warren, and he will have to repay them in kind.
    Sanders has been a leading critic of Israel for years, and he now enjoys mass support within the Democratic Party. This is bad news for Israel under Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.
    Israel has always been cautious about becoming embroiled in domestic U.S. politics, until the sharp swerve to the right made by Netanyahu circa 2016.
    תמונת ג'ו ביידן נואםתמונת ג'ו ביידן נואם
    Presumptive Democratic nominee Joe Biden
    (Photo: AP)
    Regardless, dissatisfaction with Israel has grown among Democrats. Israel's plan to annex parts of the West Bank - although not realized at this stage – has caused the party to issue several warnings.
    Quite a few voices are trying to draw a parallel between the situation of Blacks in the United States and the Palestinians and turn the protest of the Black minority and their supporters into an anti-Israel m.
    This should not be taken lightly.
    Currently, the Democrats control the U.S. House of Representatives. If they do well in the elections in 14 weeks, they could take the White House or the Senate - or both.
    Foreign Minister Gabi Ashkenazi said recently that in the current coalition, his Blue & White party has a hand on the wheel and a foot on the brakes. Well, the time for him to demonstrate his driving skills is almost upon us.
    מייק פומפאו נפגש עם גבי אשכנזי בזמן ביקורו בישראלמייק פומפאו נפגש עם גבי אשכנזי בזמן ביקורו בישראל
    Foreign Minister Gabi Ashkenazi meeting with his American counterpart Mike Pompeo in Jerusalem
    (Photo: U.S. Embassy in Israel)
    Israel under Netanyahu is approaching an historic turning point - Tuesday, November 3, 2020. When he reaches it, Netanyahu will have to decide whether to turn right or left.
    His tendency is likely to turn to the right, and it is equally likely that someone will have to pull the steering wheel the other way.
    This will be the job of the co-driver, Gabi Ashkenazi, to ensure that our car does not get driven off the road altogether.
    Dr. Nachman Shai is a visiting professor at Duke University in North Carolina and a former member of Knesset

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