Liberal Jews who are “closet” supporters of President Donald Trump paid a high price for revealing their loyalties, a hawkish New York-basked Jewish newspaper reported on election day, saying they lost decades-old friendships and were told they would be mourned as if they were dead.
The Jewish Week cited Bonita Nathan Sussman, a 67-year-old from Staten Island, NY, as saying that when she announced she would be voting for Trump, her Facebook friends responded they would hold a virtual shiva, the weeklong Jewish mourning ritual, for her.
“Oh my gosh, have I lost friends,” Nathan Sussman told the paper about her decision to “come out of the closet” as a Trump-supporter.
“I’ve been called a racist, a homophobe, anything you can name under the sun,” she said.
“If you know me,” she continued, “you know those things aren’t true. But people who I’ve had relationships with for over 20 years don’t want anything to do with me anymore.”
She added that “lots of liberal Jews have crossed over the line,” and are quietly pledging allegiance to the incumbent.
“They whisper about it. They’re afraid to lose jobs, friends, family members. If you support Trump in liberal Jewish circles, you become a pariah. You simply can’t say you’re pro-Trump without inviting some kind of a backlash,” she said.
According to the latest poll, Joe Biden has a 75-22 advantage over Trump among American Jewish voters.
Other interviewees declined to give their names to the newspaper for a variety of reasons including: inciting a “family civil war”; putting a current living arrangement in peril; becoming estranged from a daughter; losing a job or incurring damage to a personal business, and being permanently exiled from their synagogue or intimate social circles.
“It’s cancel culture in our own community,” he said. “Somehow or other, leftwing ideas have become inextricably linked to moral rightness — the corollary being anything else is stupid, bigoted or cruel.”
Nathan Sussman said she voted for Trump after feeling “betrayed” by Obama on his handling of Israel.
“I’m a lifelong Democrat — I voted for Obama both times and went to both of his inaugurations,” she said. “But I switched my head to the Republicans because I’m very pro-Israel.”