Trump's Comments About Disloyal Jews are Both Anti-Semitic & Uninformed
President Trump met with reporters in the Oval Office yesterday and said, among other things, ..."I think that any Jewish people that vote for a Democrat, I think it shows either a total lack of knowledge or great disloyalty."
The "great disloyalty" comment has garnered quite a bit of [deserved] criticism as an anti-Semitic "dual loyalty" trope, much like comments that Rep. Ilhan Omar apologized for in February. It assumes, without evidence, based solely on stereotyping, that Jews are loyal to Israel first, above their loyalty to America. In the early 20th century the same slur was made against Catholics and their allegiance to the Pope.
Beyond being anti-Semitic, such cliches prove the old saying, "stereotypes are a simple mind's way of dealing with complexities." In other words, they are often wrong, especially so in this case.
Trump meant that if you are Jewish and vote for a Democrat in 2020 [it's the only election he cares about] then you must oppose his administration's full bear-hug embrace of Benjamin Netanyahu and his policies toward the Palestinians, settlements and a two-state solution, among other things, and that in doing so you are being disloyal to Israel. In essence, the President is saying that if you love Israel you must support Donald Trump because he supports Netanyahu's policies. That is imbecilic on two distinct levels.
First, it's quite possible that an American Jew might agree with Trump on many of his policies toward Israel, but view the President as anti-Semitic.
New York Times: "American Jews, in contrast, see President Trump as their existential threat, a leader who they believe has stoked nationalist bigotry, stirred anti-Semitism and, time and time again, failed to renounce the violent hatred swirling around his political movement. The F.B.I. reports that hate crimes in the United States jumped 17 percent in 2017, with a 37 percent spike in crimes against Jews and Jewish institutions."
And, even if they don't believe he is anti-Semitic, many will find him so abhorrent personally and so wrong on pretty much everything else, that they could never vote for him in 2020. Almost 70% of Jews voted for Democrats in 2018 and there is no indication that Trump will do any better next November.
Second, and more to the point, there is a growing divide between the views of Israelis and American Jews on the Palestinian question. According to recent polling, many American Jews who care deeply for Israel disagree with Netanyahu's policies toward the Palestinians and Trump's support for them. Moreover, many young American Jews are moving in the opposite direction, even looking for new and creative solutions that allow Palestinians to join a future non-sectarian Israel with equal rights, without walls and separation.
That might seem like a fantasy to Netanyahu and Trump, but many American Jews feel uncomfortable with the direction of Israeli policy which they believe is not at all reflective of American, Jewish, or Israeli values.
By: Don Lam & Curated Content