US President Donald Trump, Aug. 21, 2019. Photo: Reuters.
US President Donald Trump on Wednesday offered some clarification but no remorse for his earlier comments accusing American Jews who vote for the Democratic Party of showing “total ignorance” and “disloyalty.”
Speaking to reporters on the White House South Lawn, the president was asked to specify to whom or what American Jews were being disloyal. “In my opinion, you vote for a Democrat, you’re being very disloyal to Jewish people and very disloyal to Israel,” Trump said. On Tuesday, Trump had asserted that Jews who voted for Democratic candidates were showing “either a total lack of knowledge or great disloyalty.”
After several days of verbal sparring with progressive Democratic Congresswomen Rashida Tlaib (MI) and Ilhan Omar (MN) — whose planned political tour of the West Bank last week was called off by the Israeli authorities shortly after a tweet from Trump urging the cancellation of the visit — Trump on Wednesday repeated his accusation that the Democratic Party as a whole was now hostile to Israel.
“In my opinion, the Democrats have gone very far away from Israel, I cannot understand how they can do that,” Trump said. “They don’t want to fund Israel. They want to take away foreign aid to Israel. They want to do a lot of bad things to Israel.”
The parents of the late Lt. Hadar Goldin — an IDF soldier who fell in battle in the Gaza Strip…
On a day when he also accused Danish Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen of being “nasty” and derided Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell as akin to “a golfer who can’t putt,” Trump was in similarly combative mood over the negative reaction to his comments about Jews and the Democratic Party. Among his early posts on Twitter was a note of thanks to Wayne Allyn Root, a populist right-wing commentator, for his “very nice words” about Trump’s supposedly messianic status in Israel.
“President Trump is the greatest President for Jews and for Israel in the history of the world, not just America, he is the best President for Israel in the history of the world…” Trump quoted Root as saying.
“The Jewish people in Israel love him like he’s the King of Israel,” the quote from Root continued. “They love him like he is the second coming of God.”
Trump went on to approvingly include Root’s frustrated assessment of the political mood of American Jews: “But American Jews don’t know him or like him. They don’t even know what they’re doing or saying anymore. It makes no sense!”
In the 2016 US presidential election, a solid 71 percent of US Jews voted for Trump’s Democratic opponent, Hillary Clinton — a figure entirely consistent with American Jewish voting patterns and party loyalties for the past century.
“We’ve woken up in a situation where a guy who wants us to believe that he’s our friend legitimizes the credibility of the most pernicious, hideous, constant antisemitic stereotype in our history: ‘You can’t trust the Jews,’” Abraham Foxman — the national director emeritus of the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) — told The Algemeiner on Wednesday. “It’s outrageous, it’s dangerous, and I don’t know who can get him to understand.”
When it came to Trump’s depiction of American Jews as a politically-hostile bloc, Foxman observed that “a part of antisemitism is seeing Jews not as individuals, but as stereotypes.”
He continued: “Any construct that he [Trump] sets up is by definition a bigoted one, because it’s looking at the subjects as ‘Jews,’ and not as individuals.”
Many US Jewish organizations responded to Trump by pointing out that Jews did not constitute a homogenous voting bloc, and that Israel had traditionally been a bipartisan issue that united Republicans and Democrats in support.
“America is better with a two-party system,” Rabbi Marvin Hier — dean of the Los Angeles-based Simon Wiesenthal Center (SWC) — told The Algemeiner. “The greatest danger for Jews is if we have only one party.”
In a statement released earlier on Wednesday, the SWC pointed out that it was “Democratic President Jimmy Carter who presided over the Camp David Accords and Republican President Ronald Reagan who helped open the gates of freedom for Soviet Jewry.
The statement went on to include Trump in the pantheon of pro-Israel American presidents. “It was Democratic President Harry Truman that made the historic decision that the US would recognize the State of Israel and Republican President Donald Trump who moved the US Embassy to Jerusalem,” the SWC said.
Hier — who recited the traditional Jewish blessing at Trump’s inauguration in January 2017 — told The Algemeiner bluntly, “Without a two-party system, we’re finished.”
He added: “People should not have to think alike. A democracy needs different points of view, and people are free to adopt different points of view.”
The Republican Jewish Coalition (RJC) continued its defense of Trump on Wednesday, saying that in portraying the Democratic Party as an adversary of Israel, the president had merely been “pointing out the obvious.”
“We take the President seriously, not literally,” the RJC declared on Twitter. “President Trump is pointing out the obvious: for those who care about Israel, the position of many elected Democrats has become anti-Israel.”
An Iranian flag flutters in front the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) headquarters in Vienna, Austria, March 4, 2019. Photo: Reuters / Leonhard Foeger / File.
The acting chief of the UN nuclear watchdog policing Iran‘s nuclear deal with major powers, Cornel Feruta, will meet senior Iranian officials in Tehran on Sunday, a spokesman for the International Atomic Energy Agency said on Friday.
“The visit is part of ongoing interactions between the IAEA and Iran,” the spokesman said
The headquarters of the World Zionist Organization (WZO) in Tel Aviv. Photo: Screenshot.
The World Zionist Organization (WZO) on Friday opened a three-day conference in Santiago, the capital of Chile, on the topic of confronting antisemitism in Latin America.
Convened by WZO vice-chair Yaakov Hagoel, the conference will involve 150 Jewish professionals from around the region who will receive briefings from “high-level experts in the field to deal with the growing phenomenon,” the Spanish-language Jewish news outlet Diario Judio reported.
Russian immigrants (new olim) attend an event marking the 25th anniversary of the great Russian aliyah to Israel from the former Soviet Union at the Jerusalem Convention Center on Dec. 24, 2015. Photo: Hadas Parush/Flash90.
JNS.org – For most olim, moving to Israel is the realization of a dream. After years of hoping and planning, making aliyah and taking root in the Jewish state is a joyous and exultant experience. Still, the big move is not without its challenges, and many new immigrants become frustrated while attempting to navigate Israeli bureaucracy, secure a job, and find the right neighborhood to call home.
Taglit-Birthright Israel trip participants visit the Western Wall in the Old City of Jerusalem, Aug. 18, 2014. Photo: Flash90.
JNS.org – “It’s so much more.” That’s the mantra of the 54 Jewish young adults from across North America who just wrapped up 10 weeks in Israel.
Sure, they had applied to the Birthright Israel Excel program for a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to intern at Israeli offices of such top global companies as Facebook, Visa, Microsoft, Ernst & Young (EY), and Barclay’s.
Last week, U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo’s announced that the State Department will consider allowing U.S. citizens born in Jerusalem to list “Jerusalem, Israel” on their U.S. passports.
“We’re constantly evaluating the way we handle what can be listed on passports,” he told JNS in a wide-ranging interview. “It’s something that’s actively being looked at.”
The Palestinian Authority Foreign Ministry responded to this in a statement published in Wafa News saying the move was “an emphasis by the administration of President Donald Trump to antagonize the Palestinian people and undermine any chance for peace on the basis of a two-state solution.”
If you’re Jewish, how afraid should you be of being a victim of a violent anti-Semitic hate crime? In the wake of the Pittsburgh and Poway synagogue shootings in the last year, many American Jews remain afraid. The specter of white-supremacist hate that fueled those and other mass shootings has become the primary focus of those tasked with fighting and monitoring anti-Semitism.
If the use of Nazi symbolism in fashion was manifested in isolated cases, there would be only slight cause for concern. But when this trend is backed or glossed over by giants such as Amazon, the biggest online sales platform in the world, we cannot remain indifferent. From home decor to clothing and accessories, the popular website is infested with products depicting Holocaust victims heading to the gas chambers and images glorifying the Third Reich.
When the Second Intifada broke out in 2000, Hamas founder Sheikh Ahmed Yassin boasted that the desire of his people for death in the service of Hamas was greater than the Israelis’ desire to live. Yassin, of course, was not referring to himself; happy to send his people off to die, he himself clung to life and even believed that his advanced age and status would protect him. But nothing lasts forever, and in March 2004, he was killed in an Israeli airstrike.
Egypt’s leading authorities have reinstated a notoriously “radical” cleric and hate preacher to the pulpit (minbar), despite strong opposition.
According to Arab Weekly, “The Egyptian Ministry of Religious Endowments, which controls the mosques, gave Yasser Burhami, the deputy head of the Salafist Call, the umbrella organisation of Salafi movements, approval to deliver sermons before Friday prayers at the Wise Caliphs Mosque in Alexandria.”
This week’s Torah reading Shoftim, maps out for us, the ideal national structure, of the Jewish people in their homeland, the Land of Israel. It describes the policies that Jews should be striving to implement today: Malchut/Kingdom, Sanhedrin/Torah, Nevuah/Prophecy, and Kehunah/Temple.