The country’s ever-growing conscience about rejecting prejudices and systemic oppression apparently doesn’t settle well with some radical leftists when it comes to Jewish people.
One of those leftists is Nina Turner, a former Ohio state senator and co-chair for independent Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders’ 2020 campaign.
She’s also a former candidate in the race to fill former Democratic Rep. Marcia Fudge’s seat in Ohio’s 11th Congressional District, which houses Cleveland.
A number of fundamental differences between Turner and her opponent Shontel Brown came to the forefront during the primary. One of those differences was the candidates’ approaches to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
As violence escalated between Israel and Hamas back in May, Brown said the United States should stand with its Israeli allies while condemning Hamas’ “massive rocket attacks.”
“In times like these the United States must stand firmly behind our close ally Israel,” Brown told Jewish Insider at the time.
“Hamas’s massive rocket attacks are deeply troubling and must stop,” she added. “Hamas is placing civilians on both sides at risk. Israel has the right to defend its citizens in the face of these attacks. Israeli families should never have to spend the night in a bomb shelter.”
Brown stressed that all sides should work to de-escalate tensions plaguing the region.
Turner took a different stance, however.
In a May 11 tweet, Turner shared pictures of Jewish people standing in front of the State Department, bearing signs with pro-Palestinian sentiments, including the hashtag “#EndApartheid.”
Her caption was brief: “Solidarity is a verb,” accented by a raised fist emoji.
Solidarity is a verb ✊🏾 https://t.co/Kupgdtuqey
— Nina Turner (@ninaturner) May 12, 2021
Her brief message expressed support for a tweet from far-left Jewish group If Not Now which read, “NOW: American Jews are joining with Palestinians and others in front of the State Department to say #SaveSheikhJarrah and #EndApartheid,” referencing a dispute over land in an East Jerusalem neighborhood.
“The Jewish moral tradition demands action,” the message concluded.
Needless to say, the Jewish community in her district didn’t take her Palestinian solidarity lightly.
“By promoting the attack that Israel engages in ‘apartheid,’ Nina Turner does nothing to advance ‘solidarity’ and only furthers division,” Shaker Heights city councilmember Rob Zimmerman wrote in an email to Jewish Insider.
“Her views are uninformed and out of step with the Jewish community she wishes to represent,” he added.
Perhaps this misalignment proved too reprehensible for the community to vote for her in good conscience.
Brown eked out a win over Turner on Tuesday, and now she’s favored to win against Republican Laverne Gore.
NPR labeled her primary win “a victory for more moderate Democrats,” and noted how she won despite Turner’s “broader name recognition” and “money and early polling lead.” In fact, according to Roll Call, “Brown trailed Turner in fundraising, pulling in $2 million to Turner’s $3.8 million through July 14.”
Perhaps Turner’s loss marks yet another “no thank you” to the radical left.
And, of course, the loss is anyone’s fault but hers.
Turner chalked up the “L” to “evil money,” likely from the “billionaire-funded Super PACs,” she referenced in a tweet before the results came in.
We’ve got billionaire-funded Super PACs fighting tooth and nail to stand in our way.
They’re spending millions to buy this election. We need real campaign finance reform in this country—but until then, let’s show them that organized people work harder than Dark Money.
— Nina Turner (@ninaturner) August 3, 2021
The narrative also showed in her concession speech on Tuesday night.
“I am going to work hard to ensure that something like this never happens to a progressive candidate again. We didn’t lose this race — evil money manipulated and maligned this election,” she said, according to Newsweek.
#OH11 Nina Turner in concession speech: “I am going to work hard to ensure that something like this doesn’t happen to another progressive candidate again. We didn’t lose this race, evil money manipulated and maligned this election.”
— Kirk A. Bado (@kirk_bado) August 4, 2021
According to NPR, Turner flaunted the endorsement of top progressive Democrats, including “squad” members Reps. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York, Rashida Tlaib of Michigan, Ilhan Omar of Minnesota and Cori Bush of Missouri.
Brown, on the other hand, found support in the Democratic establishment, garnering endorsements from the likes of Hillary Clinton and House Majority Whip Jim Clyburn of South Carolina.
Perhaps Cleveland’s Jewish community had a hand in Turner’s candidacy’s demise.
Turner may have spread anti-Israel dogma, but the community had its say in the end.
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