‘Jewish Insiders’ React to Cantor’s Loss

Several prominent Jewish leaders and politicos sent us their reaction following House Majority Leader & The Only Jewish GOP Congressman, Eric Cantor’s, loss.

Malcolm Hoenlein, Executive Vice Chairman of the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations: It is very surprising to say the least, and it will have long term after effects. Eric Cantor will be sorely missed.

Jeff Ballabon: He’s a good friend, a dedicated public servant, a trailblazer and an outstanding role model. While his leadership in Congress most surely will be missed, he’s a great patriot and a proud Jew who will continue to be an influential leader. Sorry to see a friend go, but in the big picture, it high time the GOP paid more attention to its conservative base.

Phil Rosen: “The Jewish world lost perhaps it’s best friend and advocate in Congress, someone who proved time and time again he cared about Israel’s safety and security. On a personal level for many of us, Republican and Democrat, he was like a close family friend. Very sad.”

Nathan Diament: “”I’ve had the privilege to know and work with Eric Cantor since his first days running for the House of Representatives. He is a friend and been a critical partner for the advocacy work of the Orthodox Jewish community on issues ranging from Israel’s security and the security of Jewish institutions in the United States, to religious liberty to educational reform, and opportunity to defending the needs of the nonprofit sector — Eric has been a champion.  Moreover, he has truly been the model in the Congress of a ‘distinguished gentleman’ or, in Jewish parlance, a ‘mensch’. He will be sorely missed. We wish him and his family God’s blessings in his future endeavors.”

Douglas Bloomfield – who on Sunday wrote a piece titled “Could GOP Lose Its Only Jew In Congress?” and who might be one of the few people not shocked by the news – sent us this: “He bears major responsibility for the deterioration in U.S. – Israel relations over the past several years. He encouraged Prime Minister Netanyahu to oppose anything the Obama administration wanted by promising that Republicans would run interference for him. Perhaps this will send a wake up call to the Prime Minister to take seriously his need to repair relations with the administration.” Bloomfield also emailed us a November 11, 2010 article in Politico titled “Before Clinton meeting, Cantor’s one-on-one with Bibi” to compliment his point.

Hank Sheinkopf: He was–a conservative republican and a Jew–unusual and endangered. Most of his fellow Jews might disagree–based upon how they vote–that this a great loss. It is. Who would speak for Jewish concerns in a republican dominated congress now?

Anonymous AIPAC Board Member: He should run as an independent aka Joe Lieberman.

William Daroff: “Eric Cantor is a good friend; his leadership was impactful on many issues including: Israel, charitable tax deduction, and Holocaust survivor issues.”

Ezra Friedlander: Cantor’s loss proves that our political system cannot tolerate compromise which is not conducive to serving the people’s business. Although there wasn’t a Jewish component in Cantor’s loss it is sad that the Republican party has lost its only Jewish member of the House and a thriving Jewish community should have Jews in prominent positions in both parties.

Other Jewish reactions in the media and on social media.

NYTimes: “David Wasserman, a House political analyst at the nonpartisan Cook Political Report, said another, more local factor has to be acknowledged: Mr. Cantor, who dreamed of becoming the first Jewish speaker of the House, was culturally out of step with a redrawn district that was more rural, more gun-oriented and more conservative. “Part of this plays into his religion,” Mr. Wasserman said. “You can’t ignore the elephant in the room.” [NYTimes]

POLITICO – “Goodbye, first Jewish House speaker” by Alexander Burns: “The dream of a Jewish Republican speaker of the House is no more. Now, with Cantor’s defeat, there’s no longer a point man to help organize trips to Israel for junior GOP lawmakers, as Cantor routinely did. Jewish nonprofits and advocacy groups have no other natural person in leadership to look to for a sympathetic ear. No other Republican lawmaker can claim to have precisely the same relationship with gaming billionaire Sheldon Adelson, a primary benefactor of both the Republican Party and the Republican Jewish Coalition. [Politico]

Matt Brooks, Director of the RJC: “one of those incredible, evil twists of fate that just changed the potential course of history.” “There are other leaders who will emerge, but Eric was unique and it will take time and there’s nobody quite like Eric in the House to immediately fill those shoes,” Brooks said. “I was certainly hoping that Eric was going to be our first Jewish speaker.”

Ari Fleischer, former Bush White House press secretary: “From a historical perspective Cantor’s defeat was “very sad – but my politics don’t revolve around my identity as much as they do my ideology.” “It was a real point of pride to have Eric as a Jewish Republican. There are some other Jewish Republicans running in 2014,” Fleischer said. “Let’s wait and see.”

Rabbi Shmuley Boteach: “Shocked by Eric Cantory primary loss. Huge Mistake. Eric one of the finest, nicest, more astute kind of public servants in all of american political life.”

TOP TWEETS: @IsaacDovere: “Cantor’s defeat means no more point man for House GOP trips to Israel… so less Galilee skinny dipping now? @J_Insider: “On a trip to Israel a few years ago, Rabbi Ovadia Yosef told Eric Cantor that he would become POTUS one day. #Cantor2016?


Subscribe now to
the Daily Kickoff

The politics and business news you need to stay up to date, delivered each morning in a must-read newsletter.