Considering that about 70% of American Jews are die-hard democrats/leftists, especially in NYC, it’s nice to see a large contingent of NYC Jews, all of whom are first generation immigrants, supporting Donald Trump.
Forward In Russian-speaking Jewish communities in South Brooklyn, the Trump fans at the senior center are not alone. That sets them apart from the American Jewish community at large, where Trump has struggled to find traction.
Yet Trump’s promise to cut back on Muslim immigration to the United States, along with his strongman persona, has struck a chord among New York City’s Russian-speaking Jews.
“I like his honesty, that he’s against Muslims, that he’s against unvetted refugees,” said Valentina Albert, a former refugee from Moldova whose husband was Jewish. “I think that our lives, the lives of immigrants from Russia, will be better with Trump.”
Whether they were born in Ukraine or Azerbaijan or Belarus, and whether they came to the United States as immigrants in the 1970s or as refugees in the’90s, all support the same candidate.
“There is a widespread opinion in the Russian Jewish community that… Muslims are terrorists.” Many in the Russian Jewish community in South Brooklyn are suspicious of, and even hostile toward, Muslims.
Members of the community spent years fighting the construction of a mosque on Voorhies Avenue in Sheepshead Bay. The dispute began in 2010; as recently as this February, the mosque had yet to open, and its members were using a closed Burger King as a prayer space.
For many of the Russian-speaking Jews, echoes of the life they fled in the former Soviet Union seem to shape how they see American politics. At the senior center, the former Soviets retain a terror of socialism, an ideology that they tie to the Democrats.
“We spent 50 years under [Bernie] Sanders in the Soviet Union,” said Naum Novosiletsky, an 89-year-old former builder from Kiev who said he is voting for Trump because “We’ve had socialism up to here,” he said, slicing his hand across his throat.
Second and third generation Jews in America don’t understand what it’s like to live under real Communism or Fascism, nor do they realize how close in ideology and methodology, Islam actually is to Communism and Nazism.
If they did, they’d never be caught carrying signs like this: