Skip To Content
JEWISH. INDEPENDENT. NONPROFIT.
Fast Forward

Pro-Israel Democrat suggests the Black-Jewish alliance will save his party from the far-left

Ritchie Torres, a first-term Democratic congressman from New York, suggested on Tuesday that the Black-Jewish alliance could save his party from being overtaken by the far-left progressive movement in the 2022 midterm elections.

Torres, who describes himself as the embodiment of a pro-Israel progressive, pointed to the recent election in Ohio’s 11th Congressional District where the Jewish community’s support of Shontel Brown delivered her a stunning victory over Nina Turner, the progressive candidate and early frontrunner. The candidates’ stances on Israel became a contentious issue as outside groups spent over $2 million to mobilize the Jewish vote against the far-left of the party.

During a Zoom call hosted by Pro-Israel America, one of the groups that raised money for Brown in the special election earlier this month, Torres described the outcome as a defining moment in the battle against the progressive movement in what he referred to as a “civil war” within the Democratic Party. “For the first time ever, we saw signs of a counter-revolution,” he said. “We have shown that if we push back, if we resist the hard-left, fiercely competitive races can be won.”

“I think the lesson learned is to keep fighting,” Torres said.

Torres became the only congressional candidate in 2020 to win a competitive race that the Democratic Socialists of America endorsed a candidate by touting a strong pro-Israel message. Torres, who is running for re-election next year, suggested that his win “would be a powerful message that reverberates across the country” by showing that one can be both progressive and pro-Israel and survive politically.

On the call, Torres highlighted the strength of a Black-Jewish alliance as evident in recent elections in New York. In June, Eric Adams won the Democratic nomination for mayor with the support of the Jewish community, and in 2019, Melinda Katz, a longtime Jewish Democratic politician, eked out a win against Tiffany Cabán, a prominent progressive activist, in the race for Queens District Attorney.

“There’s a natural marriage between the pro-Israel Jewish community and the African American community,” Torres explained. “And that can be the marriage that saves our party from the extreme hard-left.”

I hope you appreciated this article. Before you go, I’d like to ask you to please support the Forward’s award-winning, nonprofit journalism during this critical time.

Now more than ever, American Jews need independent news they can trust, with reporting driven by truth, not ideology. We serve you, not any ideological agenda.

At a time when other newsrooms are closing or cutting back, the Forward has removed its paywall and invested additional resources to report on the ground from Israel and around the U.S. on the impact of the war, rising antisemitism and the protests on college campuses.

Readers like you make it all possible. Support our work by becoming a Forward Member and connect with our journalism and your community.

Make a gift of any size and become a Forward member today. You’ll support our mission to tell the American Jewish story fully and fairly. 

— Rachel Fishman Feddersen, Publisher and CEO

Join our mission to tell the Jewish story fully and fairly.

Republish This Story

Please read before republishing

We’re happy to make this story available to republish for free, unless it originated with JTA, Haaretz or another publication (as indicated on the article) and as long as you follow our guidelines. You must credit the Forward, retain our pixel and preserve our canonical link in Google search.  See our full guidelines for more information, and this guide for detail about canonical URLs.

To republish, copy the HTML by clicking on the yellow button to the right; it includes our tracking pixel, all paragraph styles and hyperlinks, the author byline and credit to the Forward. It does not include images; to avoid copyright violations, you must add them manually, following our guidelines. Please email us at [email protected], subject line “republish,” with any questions or to let us know what stories you’re picking up.

We don't support Internet Explorer

Please use Chrome, Safari, Firefox, or Edge to view this site.