Fake news? NYT columnist accuses Trump of 'dissing' Jews

New York Times columnist accuses President Trump of 'dissing' Jews. But what about similar 'diss' by Hillary Clinton? Commentary.

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David Rosenberg,

President Donald Trump speaking at the Yad Vashem Holocaust Museum in Jerusalem, May 23, 2
President Donald Trump speaking at the Yad Vashem Holocaust Museum in Jerusalem, May 23, 2
Issac Harari, Flash90

A New York Times columnist has accused President Donald Trump of systematically “dissing” Jews, alleging that Trump, whose daughter and trusted confidant Ivanka converted to Judaism, has displayed a pattern of behavior which is intentionally insulting to the Jewish community at large.

Frank Bruni, a former restaurant critic turned op-ed columnist for the Times, admitted that there is little evidence to suggest the president actually harbors anti-Semitic sentiments, but nevertheless drudged up claims by the president’s opponents that, at the very least, he has shown “insensitivity” towards Jews, citing a handful of examples from the president or his administration.

“When something happens once,” writes Bruni, “it’s a curiosity. Twice, it’s a coincidence. Three times or more, it’s a pattern. And Donald Trump has established a pattern of offending — or at the very least ignoring — Jews.”

The argument is not a new one; critics of the president were quick to accuse him of going soft on anti-Semitism when he did not address a wave of bomb threats against Jewish institutions in the first weeks of his presidency.

Bruni cites that “strange silence” as one example of the president “dissing” Jews. Leaving aside for one moment the fact that the majority of those bomb threats were made by just two people – one of them a troubled Jewish teenager in Israel, the other a left-wing journalist – it remains unclear how the president’s “silence” is so out of place.

Anti-Semitism, as measured by specific incidents, ebbs and flows, cresting in some years before falling again. According to the ADL, there was one such peak shortly after President Obama took office, stretching from 2009 through 2010, with a nearly 50% increase in the number of threats, assaults, and acts of harassment in 2010 over 2008.

In fact, more than 7,000 acts of anti-Semitism were recorded during Obama’s presidency. Yet his administration held no special press conference on the subject, as Trump’s critics expect him to do.

But if this “evidence” appears unconvincing, the other examples of habitual “disses” of Jews Bruni furnishes seem even weaker.

Bruni notes, for instance, that President Trump “declined to pay his respects at a Holocaust memorial in Warsaw” during his trip to Warsaw this weekend.

Ivanka, however, did visit the memorial, as Bruni acknowledges, and Trump mentioned the Nazi genocide of Poland’s Jewish population during his address in the Polish capital.

Trump did “pay his respects” at another Holocaust memorial this year – two actually – speaking at the Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington on Holocaust Memorial Day, and again at the Yad Vashem Holocaust Museum in Jerusalem during his visit to Israel in May.

But although Trump visited Israel during his first trip abroad as president – becoming the first president to do so – Bruni criticized the length of Trump’s Yad Vashem visit, calling it “much shorter” than those of his predecessors.

Bruni failed to mention another first – that President Trump became the first sitting president to visit the Western Wall in Jerusalem.

Finally, the most important – and perhaps the most often cited – “proof” brought by the president’s critics of his alleged insensitivity towards Jews was a statement by his administration on International Holocaust Remembrance Day which “bizarrely omitted any specific mention of Jews”.

While the critique itself may be a valid one – after all, six million people were killed because they were Jewish – as a partisan criticism of the president it is totally invalid, not to mention transparently hypocritical.

Did Bruni – or other left-wing columnists – take the Obama administration to task for its own International Holocaust Remembrance Day statement?

In 2013, then-Secretary of State Clinton made the statement – one which not only omitted reference to the Jews, but named other groups targeted by the Nazis while avoiding mention of the primary target of their hatred.

Clinton mentioned “Roma, gays, persons with disabilities, and others deemed inferior or undesirable by the Nazis,” – but not a single mention, even in passing, of the Jews.

Of course, such selective outrage is par for the course for the left-leaning Times.