By Paul Miller, Originally published in the New York Observer
“I’ve always said, you’ve got Evangelical Republicans supporting Israel because they are building a stairway to heaven on the backs of the Jews in Israel,” remarked the head of the National Jewish Democratic Council at the 2015 Jewish Federations of North America General Assembly on Tuesday. Greg Rosenbaum, board chair of the NJDC, made his comment during a breakout session moderated by Jewish Insiderfounder Max Neuberger that included Matt Brooks, executive director of the Republican Jewish Coalition (RJC).
The session, “Inside the 2016 Election: Whither Go the Jews?” focused on the 2016 election and the Jewish vote.
During a discussion about Democrats’ dwindling support for Israel in contrast to Republicans’ more robust support, Mr. Rosenbaum questioned GOP motives, alluding to recent comments by former Minnesota Republican congresswoman Michele Bachmann calling for intensifying efforts to bring into Christianity “as many Jews as we can.”
The NJDC board chair was responding to his GOP counterpart who cited a Gallup poll that revealed 83 percent of Republicans support Israel compared to 48 percent of Democrats. Referring to Republican support for Israel, Mr. Rosenbaum said, “In the 83 percent that support Israel, what are their motives? Are they supporting Israel as a natural homeland for the Jews and to some extent a reaction to the millennia of persecution? Or are they in support of Israel because it represents the avenue for people who are evangelicals to get to heaven?”