The Exodus Movement
There’s a lot of buzz in the media surrounding the new Exodus movement. On March 1, 2019, at CPAC (the Conservative Political Action Conference), there was a press release debuting the movement (formerly called Jexodus) where they were described as Jewish Millennials “tired of living in bondage to leftist politics.” The main belief of the Exodus movement is that today’s Democratic Party has built itself on anti-American, anti-Semitic and hypocritical thoughts; the main hypocrisy coming from Jewish Democrats. The press release points to open displays of anti-Israel legislation and political rhetoric against Jews coming from the Democratic Party. With Elizabeth Pipko appointed as the Exodus movement’s spokesperson, the movement is determined to sway Jews to dissociate from the Democratic Party. The movement is based on the Exodus of Jews from Egypt; a historical event in Jewish history. “We left Egypt and now we’re leaving the Democratic Party,” Pipko explained.
The people of this movement feel a need to take action now because the underlying anti-Semitism from Democratic elected officials has never been higher. Representatives Ilhan Omar (D-MN) and Rashida Tlaib (D-MI) both openly spoke out against Israel, and instead of being condemned for their statements, they received protection from their political party. Rep. Ilhan Omar claimed, “Israel has hypnotized the world.” Tlaib has called out Israel advocates, accusing them of dual loyalties when Republicans proposed legislation against Boycott Divestment and Sanctions (BDS). She is known to be one of the only members in Congress who openly supports BDS and is against the existence of Israel.
The first and maybe even the only public figure on the left to denounce Ilhan Omar’s anti-Semitic statements was the freshman Jewish Rep. Max Rose (NY-11). He wrote on Twitter, “Congresswoman Omar’s statements are deeply hurtful to Jews, including myself.” Few, if any, Democrat elected officials followed in his footsteps.
The fact that there aren’t a greater number of voices condemning Ilhan Omar’s statement and that the majority of Jewish constituents on the left have let Omars comments slip through the cracks is unacceptable. While Omar did apologize for her statements, her apology was merely a means to make peace, and therefore is not enough.
Some say this movement has the potential to harm the bipartisan relationship between America and Israel. Steny Hoyer, (MD-5) the Democratic House majority leader, explained, “Exploiting anti-Semitism for partisan advantage is dangerous and wrong.” He added, “It is misleading on the facts, destructive to the critical bipartisan support that Israel has always enjoyed and that has been so important to its security and success, and a risk to the unity of our country.” Obviously, the intent of the movement is not aimed at unraveling the bipartisan relationship between America and Israel. The aim is to misalign from the anti-Semitic and anti-Israel rhetoric surrounding the Democratic party.
Where does your allegiance lie? To America or Israel? This choice is a dilemma that involves a difficult compromise for most Jews who care about their Jewish ideals and identity and the future State of Israel.
The Exodus movement isn’t inherently against the Democratic Party’s ideals, it is against the anti-Semitic and anti-Israel rhetoric that particular members of the Democratic Party have expressed. Jews have dealt with adversity and hate for centuries, and today is no different. To stand behind these spokespeople would be doing the Jewish people a disservice.
Photo Caption: Elizabeth Pipko, model and figurehead of the Exodus movement
Photo Credit: New York Times