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DJOP endorsements 2022

Josh Shapiro for Governor

The board members of Democratic Jewish Outreach Pennsylvania (DJOP) announced their “enthusiastic endorsement” of PA Attorney General Josh Shapiro for Governor of Pennsylvania.

Jill Zipin, Chair of DJOP, explained that traditionally the 13-year-old political action committee supports candidates for federal office in general elections. But she said the board determined that the Republican Party’s ongoing assaults on voting rights and reproductive rights of women demonstrate that governors have an increasingly important role in shaping these and other policies.

“Our organization’s mission is to help elect those candidates who best reflect Jewish values, including assisting the less fortunate, treating strangers and foreigners with kindness, and striving for equality for all,” Zipin said.

“These very values have long informed Josh Shapiro’s public service as a state representative, as a Montgomery County Commissioner and most recently as Attorney General,” she added. “Our board was unanimous in agreeing to endorse his candidacy. Many of us have known him for many years and we look forward to playing an active role in his campaign for Governor.”

Zipin said that those DJOP board members who attended Shapiro’s announcement of his gubernatorial candidacy “were very much impressed by his assessment of the serious threat to our values that have become central to the agenda of the Republican party,” including the GOP’s state-by-state drive to eliminate the right to abortion, to restrict voting opportunities and to gerrymander voting districts.

She noted that Shapiro has been consistent and effective in his support for gun safety, reproductive choice and the protection of minors from sexual abuse.

Austin Davis, Lt Governor

Democratic Jewish Outreach Pennsylvania (DJOP) announced its endorsement of St. Rep. Austin A. Davis (D-35th) in the campaign for Lt. Governor.

Jill Zipin, Chair of DJOP, said that she and the organization’s other board members have met with Davis by Zoom “and we came away very much impressed with his energy, his commitment to social justice and his grasp of the issues that are central to DJOP’s values.”

Although the positions of Governor and Lt. Governor are separate votes on the ballot, Democratic gubernatorial candidate Josh Shapiro has announced that he is running with Austin as a team. DJOP also has endorsed Shapiro.

“We believe that Josh Shapiro and Austin Davis will deliver an essential victory in November for Democrats and will make a dynamic partnership in Harrisburg to address the challenges facing Pennsylvania,” Zipin said. “We are proud to commit our full support to both of them now in the primary election and going forward.”

Fetterman for US Senate

Democratic Jewish Outreach Pennsylvania (DJOP) endorsed Lt. Gov. John Fetterman in his campaign for the U.S. Senate and congratulated him for his victory in the primary election.

“DJOP is proud to support Lt. Gov. Fetterman on his win in the PA Primary race, and we look forward to working with him for a big victory for all Pennsylvanians in November,” said Jill Zipin, Chair of the political action committee.

“Lt Gov. Fetterman reflects both Democratic and Jewish values,” Zipin said.

“He has shown the ability to connect with the residents of Pennsylvania, and has been an articulate advocate for economic justice, voting rights, a woman’s right to reproductive freedom, strong unions, criminal justice reform and ending the outdated filibuster rule.

“Just as Lt. Gov. Fetterman changed the office of Lt. Governor for the better, he will bring positive change to PA. A vote for John Fetterman in November will be a vote for a better PA and a better America.”


Why Joe Biden is the Best Choice for Israel and for Jews

Trump vs. Biden: A Jewish Primer

By Martin J. Raffel, Board Member, Democratic Jewish Outreach Pennsylvania

We are approaching what many have described as the most important election of our lifetimes. American Jewish voters can make a difference, especially in some of the “battleground states.” Surveys have consistently shown that Jews choose their parties and candidates based on the same domestic criteria as most other Americans, including healthcare, the economy, the environment, and matters of social and economic justice.

Historically, Jews have shown a strong preference for the Democratic Party and its candidates. This is not surprising given Jewish political sensibilities. According to a 2019 survey by Brandeis University’s Steinhardt Social Research Institute, there are more than twice as many Jewish liberals (42%) as Jewish conservatives (20%), with 37% identifying as moderates.

As all Americans, Jews look at how the Trump administration has mishandled the pandemic and the resulting economic dislocation. They look at how the administration has mishandled the protests and civil unrest that followed George Floyd’s brutal murder at the hands of a police officer. They look at the administration’s response, or lack thereof, to Russian interference in the 2016 election, interference that continues to this very day. They look at the president’s demeaning of women, immigrants and asylum-seekers, certain minority ethnic groups, people with disabilities, military war heroes and red star families.

Because honesty is a Jewish value (e.g., vigorously fighting against Holocaust denial), they look with disdain at the president’s assault on truth and his attacks on the media with his constant charge of “fake news.” Given our history and respect for America’s democratic institutions, Jews look nervously at the president’s authoritarian tendencies. Trump is now acting on those tendencies to try to steal the 2020 election by falsely discrediting reliable mail-in voting, which is especially necessary during a pandemic, undermining the viability of the postal service, limiting the use of ballot drop boxes and otherwise doing everything in his power to suppress voter turnout. Therefore, no doubt, most Jews will vote for the Joe Biden/ Kamala Harris ticket.

However, there may still be some Jews who will vote for Trump because they believe his economic philosophy is more closely aligned with theirs. Yet, other Jews may consider voting for Trump because they believe the false claims that he has been the “best president” Israel has ever had in the White House, and that the Democratic Party has become antagonistic to Israel. This Q/A document is intended to enable Democratic candidates and activists to effectively counter that false narrative when speaking to Jewish audiences, writing op-ed pieces and letters-to-the-editor, and preparing for town hall meetings and debates.

Is Trump good for American Jews and Israel?

Has Trump maintained American strength?

What is Trump’s connection to antisemitism in America?

Wasn’t Trump’s recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital and moving the embassy a great thing?

What about Trump’s recognition of Israeli sovereignty on the Golan Heights?

How about Trump’s decision to pull the U.S. out of the JCPOA, the Iran nuclear deal?

Isn’t Trump’s decision to declare Israeli settlements to be consistent with international law and his ‘Deal of the Century’ peace plan, which sanctions Israeli annexation of 30% of the West Bank, a win for Israel against the Palestinians?

Yes, but doesn’t the groundbreaking Israel-United Arab Emirates (UAE) agreement to normalize their relations, which was facilitated by the Trump administration, make peace more likely?

Doesn’t the fact that Trump pledged his unshakeable loyalty to Israel’s security count?

Biden and Harris are good for the Jewish Community and Israel

What is Biden’s relationship with the Jewish community and his position on Jewish security?

Isn’t the Democratic Party hostile to Israel?

What is Biden’s record on Israel?

Didn’t the Obama-Biden administration allow the United Nations to adopt an anti-Israel resolution in 2016 (UNSC 2334)?

What is Kamala Harris’ relationship with the Jewish community and record on Israel?

What does the Democratic Party platform say about Israel?

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