My post up at The Forward:
Years ago, I came to the conclusion that, as a Jew, I am religiously homeless. While I am not very observant, I feel very Jewish — I just don’t perform all the rituals or believe in many of the archaic rules. But at the same time, I am unabashedly pro-Israel and believe that Jerusalem is the center of the Jewish world. In truth, I simply do not care to bend my beliefs to fit into a mold. I learned long ago that my religion is between me and the almighty. My Judaism is a Judaism of the home. My family does not go to synagogue. We have no local community to attach ourselves to. However, we have created a comfortable existence where Hashem understands that when we light Shabbat candles, we do it with a Jewish soul.
Essentially, I am caught between two halves of a whole. In truth, I don’t always feel welcome within the Jewish world, either because I am not religious enough in some synagogues, or because my politics are seen as a failure in others. I follow no platform, nor do I have knee-jerk reactions to events or ideas that govern the Jewish people. Essentially, I don’t like being told what to think or believe.
Years ago, I also came to understand that, as an American, I am politically homeless. My father was a Reagan presidential appointee, and in the Reagan era, I saw a respect of country that I had not seen before. I grew up in the 1960s and 1970s, when there wasn’t much love of country around. Hatred and denigration of the U.S. had become the cultural norm. I did not agree with everything the Republicans at the time stood for, but I felt proud to be an American.
My view of the GOP changed when “F**k the Jews” James Baker became secretary of state. I knew right then and there that I no longer belonged — if I really ever did. Since then, Republicans have slowly moved away from small government, constitutionality, individual freedoms and respect for decency. Republicans today make excuses for a boor of a man and turn a blind eye to cruelty, incivility and lack of humanity.
But I did not turn to the Democrats, who still laude President Jimmy “Israel is an apartheid state” Carter. Democrats, since the 1960s, have slowly started to embrace left-wing anti-Israel policies. Democrats booed Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, and had on their 2016 platform committee people who support BDS and would destroy the Jewish state if given the chance. Moreover, Democrats sold us a flawed nuclear agreement that had no real hopes of preventing a nuclear Iran, but managed to finance a resurgent Hezbollah and genocidal Syria. Meanwhile, today’s Democrats shrug at the anti-Semitism of progressive-non-progressives and Louis Farrakhan, while embracing those spouting double standards for Israel, in the hopes of winning elections.