NC Democratic Party votes against recognizing Jewish Caucus as party leaders abstain
The North Carolina Democratic Party voted Sunday night against recognizing the Jewish Caucus as an official affiliated organization, a decision that comes as tensions rise within the party over the war between Israel and Hamas.
The vote angered some Jewish Democrats, who questioned whether the party had been “hijacked” by the “anti-Jewish left.”
The state Democratic Party already has a number of recognized, smaller groups, such as the African American Caucus, the LGBTQ Caucus and the Coastal Caucus.
But an effort by the fledgling Jewish caucus to be recognized failed in a close vote. The vote of the executive committee was 17 people against recognition with 16 in favor, according to the Jewish Caucus.
Sixteen people abstained. Among the people who didn’t vote were all of the party’s officers, including party Chair Anderson Clayton.
Irwin Orenstein and Steve Abrams of the Durham Chapter of the Jewish Caucus wrote about the vote in an email to supporters. The subject line said “North Carolina Democratic Party to Jews — Drop Dead!”
They wrote that it was a “shocking defeat.” They said the meeting had been hijacked by what they called the anti-Jewish left and that the decision by party leaders not to vote was cowardly.
In North Carolina, the backdrop to the party’s decision was a complaint made by Nazim Uddin of Charlotte, who told Democratic party leaders that former Jewish Democratic Caucus leader Matt Sadinsky had used incendiary language in a conversation with someone else about Uddin several months ago.
He said he had called him a Nazi and an Iranian spy.
He provided the state party with a recording of the conversation.
Details about the complaint were reported last month by The Charlotte Observer. The Assemblyhas also written about rising tensions in the state Democratic Party over Israel and Hamas.
Sadinsky resigned from the group shortly before the party voted Sunday. He said in an e-mail he hoped his departure would help the caucus be recognized.
Uddin told WFAE that he is glad the Democratic Party is taking the issue of racism and Islamophobia seriously.
The Democratic Party released a statement saying that it “is a big tent party, united by our shared values” and that it “believes in creating safe spaces for our many constituency communities to organize so that they may advocate for the elected officials and policies that most-impact their lives and their beliefs. Despite the procedural issues that caused many of the no-votes during this attempt, we remain committed to helping the Jewish Caucus achieve recognition under the NCDP. We recognize the sinister rise of antisemitism and we will continue to listen to the voices of our Jewish brothers, sisters, and friends. We stand with them and will fight every day to ensure they feel safe and welcome in North Carolina.”