Needless to say my last column on this subject caused a significant controversy as the orthodoxy on Trump and particularly on his statement that Jews were being ignorant and disloyal was anti-Semitic. There is quite a division on this subject. There of course is the effort to use this as an example that Trump is anti-Semitic in the minds of some on the Jewish Left.
The people who knee-jerk want to attack Trump on this act as if his statement existed in a vacuum. Not one person I queried knew to which question Trump was actually replying when he made his statement. Many did not even care to find out. The question was about the two actual anti-Semites, Tliab and Omar, suggesting they were propose cutting off funding for Israel.
Since the question was solely about Israel, one would question why people would write anything about Trump questioning people’s loyalty to America. They went off in legions saying, “whether Trump was questioning Jews’ loyalty to the U.S. or Israel does not matter.” Of course, don’t let facts get in the way.
And then there were people taking the position Trump was questioning loyalty to himself. In a summary from The Hill edited by Alexis Simendinger, it stated that Trump had questioned Jews loyalty to him. In fact, in her own publication they shared a quote from President Trump stating, “In my opinion, if you vote for a Democrat, you’re being very disloyal to Jewish people and you’re being very disloyal to Israel.” Yet when I wrote her she refused to correct the statement in her summary newsletter and replied “I did not write the original article that was summarized in the newsletter, and relied on the summary provided to me by the reporters who wrote it, and before it was edited or published.“
She went on to further commentary, but basically saying “Thanks, kid, but no correction.” If there were not constant misstatements like this and if it weren’t such an egregious misstatement and twisting of the facts, I would not have called her on it. They don’t get it. They sit in a circle and tell each other that in the end it is justified because we are good people and our cause is righteous.
I was really surprised no one on the Left attacked me for saying that of course I have dual loyalty — to America and to Israel. I guess no one questions that. Many people are devoted to this country and still have a loyalty to the country of their heritage. They love this country and fight for this country, but they still are loyal to Israel, Australia, Ireland, Italy, Mexico, Denmark, you name it.
One person (not a Leftist) told me that in a war between the US and Israel, he would be fighting for America. I replied that I agree; that war will happen right after the wars with Great Britain, Australia, New Zealand and Canada.
The fascinating thing is Trump was clearly stating that some Jews were ignorant for not voting for their own interests and the interests of Israel in the face of a continuing assault by anti-Semites. He never questioned anybody’s loyalty to our country. A less honorable person might say that the charge of anti-Semitism against Trump by people on the Left is to cover for their own lack of calling out the actual anti-Semites amongst them.
I had a torrid back and forth with a member of that part of the community. It always remained civil, but from the outset I asked why they were unwilling to take on these anti-Semites. I was forwarded a column where Rep. Gerry Nadler (D-NY) called them out for posting a guttural anti-Semitic cartoon. Yes, like the kind that if someone had done such about Mohammed they would be shot, stabbed or bombed.
There were two problems with this defense. First, Mr. Nadler did not say enough is enough — we need to rid our Congress of these people. After all, how many incidents just since they entered Congress have clearly stated they hate Jews and Israel and would not miss us. Second, where is everybody or anybody in their caucus denouncing them? Is there a Republican remaining who has not called for the departure of Steve King (R-IA) from Congress? Called for his defeat in the primary, stripped him of any power in this Congress. Why not the anti-Semites? Those who don’t call them out can only be branded as enablers.
After repeated calls for one group to denounce the anti-Semites after attacking Trump I received this response, “I will not defend their trip itinerary or their BDS support. We will continue to support Israel vigorously. The email was about the President’s comment which was anti-Semitic. It was called out broadly in the Jewish community as well it should have been.”
My response: “Isn’t that the way it always goes, the establishment Left of the Jewish Community minimizes the negative effects of their political side and focuses on the right of center policies and then circles the wagons by saying – see, everybody else is doing what we are doing.”