Rabbi: Trump’s Use Of Jews In His Culture War Is Anti-Semitic

President Trump continues to use anti-Semitic tropes as he tries to turn American Jews against the Democratic Party. We see right through him.

President Donald J. Trump waves as he walks to board Marine One on the South Lawn of the White House Wednesday, Aug. 21, 2019, to begin his trip to Louisville, KY. (Official White House Photo by Tia Dufour)

President Donald J. Trump waves as he walks to board Marine One on the South Lawn of the White House Wednesday, Aug. 21, 2019, to begin his trip to Louisville, KY. (Official White House Photo by Tia Dufour)

President Trump managed to use his Islamophobia to turn on the Jews, and thus, exponentially increase the waves of hate flowing across the country.

The latest conundrum arose over a planned trip to Israel by two Democratic members of Congress: Rep. Ilhan Omar of Minnesota and Rep. Rashida Tlaib of Michigan, the only female Muslim Congresspeople. Omar and Tlaib are not fans of the Israeli government.

But many people are not, including a number of Jews. However, the main point is freedom of speech, freedom to disagree. We are all allowed to hold disparate political views. It’s only a problem when people call for violence. These women did not.

However, on August 15, two days before their trip, the President tweeted:

“It would show great weakness if Israel allowed Rep. Omar and Rep.Tlaib to visit. They hate Israel & all Jewish people, & there is nothing that can be said or done to change their minds. Minnesota and Michigan will have a hard time putting them back in office. They are a disgrace!”

Within an hour of this tweet, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu caved to our President and retracted their permission to visit.

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As if that was not enough, later that day, Mr. Trump tweeted: “Representatives Omar and Tlaib are the face of the Democrat Party, and they HATE Israel!” He told reporters: “I am only involved from the standpoint of they are very anti-Jewish and they are very anti-Israel.”

First of all, disagreeing with a country’s policies does not mean you hate it. Nor does it mean you hate its citizens. The President’s next stumble: he equates the Jewish people with the policy of the state of Israel. However, he has gone on to equate: disagreement with hate and the policy positions of two Democratic Congresswomen with their entire party.

Trump’s odd logic twists this into: the Democrats also hate Israel and Jews. Never mind that a number of Democratic Senators and Representatives are Jewish. And many on both sides of the aisle see Israel as an important ally. But logic doesn’t enter into the President’s rallying cry: “I think any Jewish people that vote for a Democrat, I think it shows either a total lack of knowledge or great disloyalty.”

President Trump spouted the age-old “dual loyalty” anti-Semitic trope after condemning Omar and Tlaib for doing the same thing.

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Today, he doubled down by saying: “If you vote for a Democrat, you’re being disloyal to Jewish people and you’re being very disloyal to Israel.” And he quoted a Conservative conspiracy theorist who said: “the Jewish people in Israel love him like he’s the King of Israel” and “the second coming of God.”

And I admit to not having polled Israelis, but I do read their news outlets. Yes, he is currently popular in Israel. But a king? No! And even if — big if – Israeli Jews did feel that way, he spoke about Israelis. Not Jews. Not American Jews.

Trump continually conflates Israel and the Jewish people. This wrong. We Jews live in almost every country in the world. I can proudly say: I am an American. Because I love America, I would never vote for Trump. Further, he is trying to pit Muslims against Jews and magnify the hatred.

It’s unnerving when the President is a hater in chief and tries to use Jews as pawns in his culture war.

We must not succumb to this. How much better for us to join hands in unity, and respect other (non-bigoted) opinions. In the end, this and voting is the only way to overcome.

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Opinion // Anti-Semitism / Donald Trump / Israel / Jews