Jewish Americans Can't Afford to 'Sit Out' This Election, Bill Clinton Says

Hillary Clinton's husband adds that Americans should 'disagree the way Israelis do' and that 'this is about tikkun olam,' referring to the Jewish concept of repairing the world.

Former U.S. President Bill Clinton speaks at an event in Las Vegas, Nevada, U.S., October 20, 2016.
Erik Verduzco, AP

More than any other group of Americans, Jewish Americans cannot afford to sit out this presidential election, former U.S. President Bill Clinton said on Sunday.

“I could talk about all the issues in this election, but the real thing I want to say is every Jewish American should participate in this election, because this is about more than party,” the husband of Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton said, speaking at an event at Century Pines Jewish Center in Broward County, Florida. 

“If there is any group of people in this country that should understand the threat to the fundamental character of the nation and the future of our children and grandchildren posed by the choice in this election, it should be members of the Jewish community. No one should sit it out.”

Clinton said that Americans should handle their political disputes the way Israelis do.

“Disagree the way Israelis do: Fight like the devil over the things we disagree with, but in the end have this process by which we come together and we get the show on the road and move into the future and go on and remain a beacon of hope and freedom to the rest of the world. That’s more important than any specific issue,” he said.

He said Americans must work to improve democracy in the United States. “This is about tikkun olam,” the Jewish concept of repairing the world. “We have bridges in our country. We have to repair them,” he said.

Former vice presidential candidate Sen. Joseph Lieberman, the former senator from Connecticut who ran in 2000 with Al Gore and who is Jewish, also stumped for Hillary Clinton in Florida late last week, speaking to Jewish voters in Palm Beach, Broward and Miami-Dade counties.

Hillary Clinton leads Republican candidate Donald Trump by a slim margin in Florida, where Jews make up about five percent of the population, according to polls.