Sunday, January 17, 2021

The full-page ad in this past week’s Link paid for by the Teaneck Republican Municipal Committee was disturbing and offensive. Given that the aforementioned organization is not officially Jewish, the message of the ad and specific phrases are particularly concerning.

The ad starts off with the header that it is “Time for North Jersey Jews to stand up for America, the Jewish people, and Israel.” For a secular organization to suggest that we Jews do not already express loyalty to both America, our people, and our homeland is reminiscent of the age-old anti-Semitic idea that we Jews are not sufficiently dedicated to the welfare of the country we live in, when that country is not Israel. Furthermore, the end of that statement, coupled with the list of President Trump’s achievements in Middle Eastern affairs, implies that American Jews are one-issue voters who only care about the U.S. government’s policies with regard to ourselves and Israel.


Next, the ad implores us to “reject the anti-Semitic, anti-Israel Democratic Party of Ilhan Omar, Rashida Tlaib, and Linda Sarsour.” Normally, I would not mind a reference to “the Squad” of progressive freshmen congresswomen, because I, too, find their views frightening. Conspicuously, this ad omits a key member of said “Squad,” Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, and adds Sarsour, who, last I checked, is not a member of Congress. The common thread between the names specified in the ad is that they are all Muslim, leading me to conclude that whoever composed the ad was trying to underline this very fact.

Following a list of the president’s policies and achievements relating to Israel and Jews is the bizarre line, “If President Trump had done only one of these things, it would have been enough. Dayenu.” Why is a non-Jewish organization invoking language from the Pesach Haggadah to make a political appeal?

Lastly, the ad urges Jews to “express your gratitude, a fundamental Jewish virtue,” by voting to re-elect President Trump. Why is a non-Jewish organization explaining to us how our own Jewish values instruct us to vote? That is to say nothing of the countless other Jewish values that would deter us from voting for the president’s reelection.

This ad is patronizing to Jewish voters, and I was disappointed to see it in the Link.

Eliana Suldan