President Donald Trump is derided by American Jews, while he is extremely popular among Israelis, Gil Hoffman, chief political correspondent of the Jerusalem Post, told a JCRC/AJC audience several weeks ago.
At a rally in the wake of the Pittsburgh Tree of Life massacre, the president stated, “This evil, anti-Semitic attack is an assault on all of us. It is an assault on humanity. It must be confronted and condemned everywhere it rears its ugly head. We must stand with our Jewish brothers and sisters to defeat anti-Semitism and vanquish the forces of hate. Those seeking their destruction, we will seek their destruction.”
Israel’s Ambassador Ron Dermer said, “I am not aware of a single non-Israeli leader that has made such a strong statement [as President Trump’s] in condemning anti-Semitism.”
The New York Times, Washington Post and many other media outlets made no mention of these uniquely strong remarks by our president.
President Trump’s strong statement against anti-Semitism is a sharp rebuke of President Barack Obama’s comments on the Islamic terrorist attack in Paris at the kosher market. Obama described the Jewish victims as “a bunch of folks in a deli in Paris,” insisting that the Jews shopping in a kosher market, somewhere that mainly Jews go, were not targeted because they were Jews.
President Trump’s recognition of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel and moving the U.S. Embassy there are a remarkable fulfillment of a long-ago promise. This move effectively defied the 2016 U.N. Security Council resolution that said Israel had no claim on the Western Wall and the Old City of Jerusalem. Professor Alan Dershowitz, at the Magen David Adom reception, pointed out that the Obama administration orchestrated this horrific Security Council resolution.
In 2017, President Trump publicly challenged the leaders of 50 Islamic nations to eradicate Islamic terrorism at a meeting in Saudi Arabia. Many American Jews have ignored Obama’s shameful treatment of Israel and his refusal to speak out against Islamic terrorism.
The Iran situation is very disturbing and only Trump is addressing it on the world stage. Iran is a serious threat on Israel’s border, shouting “Death to Israel” and enriched by billions of dollars given by the Obama administration. Iranian nuclear documents, recently obtained by the Mossad, show that Iran’s goal was/is to develop nuclear weapons.
Yet false canards against Trump and others are consistently reiterated. For example, that Brietbart News, which publishes articles supporting Israel by its Israel-based staff, caters to white supremacists. Anti-Semitic canards against former White House advisor Sebastian Gorka have been thoroughly debunked, and Rev. Robert Jeffress, chosen to speak at the embassy dedication in Jerusalem and branded as an anti-Semite, is a strong supporter of Israel, as one can hear in his many interviews this past year.
Some claim George Soros is attacked because he is a Jew. However, James Kirchick makes clear in his recent Tablet article, American Conservatives oppose Soros not because he is Jewish but because he supports the politics of the far left. “Through his Open Society Foundations, the second-biggest philanthropic institution in the United States, Soros funds a multitude of explicitly left-wing causes. Soros’ lifetime spending through OSF ($32 billion) vastly outpaces that of the libertarian Koch brothers ($2 billion)” who get all the media attention.” Kirchick also wrote, “There is more than a whiff of hypocrisy to Soros using charges of anti-Semitism, especially given his own use of the same tropes he decries as anti-Semitic against people who object to him.”
Some say Trump is worse than Father Coughlin of the 1930s in stoking anti-Semitism. Coughlin had a weekly radio show where he spread his vile pronouncements, while Trump readily promotes the accomplishments of his Orthodox Jewish son-in-law, Jared Kushner, and daughter Ivanka — two of his presidential advisers. Trump also placed Nicki Haley at the U.N. Her outspoken defense of Israel has been exceptional.
While his phraseology could be better, President Trump’s many accomplishments have made a significant positive impact to the benefit of our country and the Jewish people.
Eugene Greenstein lives in Farmington Hills.