American supporters of Israel, pumped by pro-Israel pronoucements by President Trump, should not discount the importance of keeping and building alliances with Democrats, Malcolm Hoenlein said on Monday.
The Democratic Party should not be “written off,” Hoenlein, executive vice-chairman of the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations, told the Jerusalem Post.
“We can’t afford in the United States right now to lose the Democratic left,” he said. “We are working hard all the time, reaching out and trying to build connections.”
Meanwhile, Hoenlein told the Post, “We welcome the support of President Trump. We are not going to sacrifice that, and say that because they don’t like it, we should dismiss him or not express appreciation for the good that he is doing. It is a big change from where we were.”
“We should not sacrifice our friends because it alienates people,” he said, but at the same time, “we should be smart about how we embrace them, how we manifest it. We should be open to everybody.”
While some on the left are lost to Israel, most of the “Democratic left” is still in play, Hoenlein said.
He told the Post that an effective way to reach younger, left-leaning people is to invite their celebrities to visit Israel and spread the good news — the truth — about the Jewish state.
“When they say or tweet to their millions of followers that Israel is the exact opposite of an apartheid state, or write about their time in a Tel Aviv bar and tweet about what a great place it was, that has more of an effect, frankly, than me or Israeli leaders speaking,” he said.
Hoenlein applauded changes that the Trump administration brought to the United Nations, to how we relate to Iran, and to how we deal with Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas.
President Trump “has had an impact,” he said.