Ruth Kantrowitz (42), Republican from Mequon, WI, immigrated to the U.S. from Israel in 1989 at age 13 when her family won the green card lottery. She calls herself a “very liberal conservative” who supports both abortion and gun rights. Kantrowitz carried twins for a New York gay couple. She voted twice for President Barack Obama, but says his presidency pushed her to become a Republican because of “handouts” and “immigrants living off tax dollars.”
We are providing the unfiltered opinions of voters interviewed for this project. Those views are based on their understanding and perception of facts and information from a range of sources. In some cases, that information may be misleading or incorrect.
How concerned are you about the rise of anti-Semitism in this country and why do you think it’s happening? I am concerned about it because so much of it is just based on complete fiction. I think that anti-Semitism has always been there.
Do you think President Trump’s rhetoric has fueled the recent rise in anti-Semitism? I don’t think it’s impossible that the far right is feeling emboldened by Trump. I think that Trump has had quite a few instances of utilizing unwise words. But I think it’s minuscule compared to ‘the squad’ and Bernie Sanders. We see the far-right marching and we see the far-right using words. I don’t believe there are as many examples of the far-right acting on their anti-Semitism as followers of the left acting on their anti-Semitism. Neither one of them is okay in any way, shape or form, but I do think to blame it on Trump, as so many people like to do, is just silly.
What is it about the words and actions of the left and members of “the squad” in Congress that concerns you? I think the so-called squad is just spreading vile lies. They are working to undo the good things that Israel does and the good things that American Jews do. Representatives Rashida Talib and Ilhan Omar are plain out supportive of terrorists. They don’t hide it and they’re not ashamed of it. I also think Bernie Sanders is a shame as a Jew. I am ashamed to call him a member of the tribe. I think he is more concerned with people who want to kill his ancestors and future generations and just somehow refuses to see anything in reality.
Is there anything else you’d like to add about factors contributing to anti-Semitism? I think there’s a major level of anti-Semitism within the black community. It comes very much from the ‘poor me, I need help’ thinking. All of these government programs, all of these handouts just feed into that mentality. Anything that doesn’t go their way they find a scapegoat. I think it’s very easy to find Jews as a scapegoat because we come from a history of hard work, education and inventions. It’s just really easy to say we don’t have because they [Jews] stole it. So, I do not know that there is a true, shall we say, cure to the problem [of anti-Semitism.].
Do you think anti-Semitism is being addressed adequately by the Democratic presidential candidates? No, I don’t think any of them address it sufficiently. I don’t think any of them understand just how deeply ingrained the hatred is and how it needs to be uprooted from the source and from the base.
What specifically should the president or presidential candidates be saying about how to combat anti-Semitism? I think whoever is in power needs to hammer home the point that everything you have or don’t have is the result of your choices. Make different choices. Choose different ways of living and acting, do things in the right order in life and you don’t have to be jealous of what anybody else has.