After an obligatory assertion of their pro-Israel bona fides, the two men proceeded to lay at Israel’s doorstep the charge of betrayal: betraying American Jews and American democracy. How? By failing “to spot emerging Fascism.” And of course the progenitor of such Fascism is, well, you guessed it.
The piece details instances of Trump’s alleged trampling of democracy and castigates, nay, condemns Israelis for “siding with Trump..”
It is hard to know where to begin in assessing this diatribe. But the overall tone of the article both gives Israelis way too much credit for inside-the-Beltway awareness of what is happening in the US, and is hypocritical in criticizing Israeli non-empathy with American Jews, while turning a blind eye to the reasons why Israelis might have actually liked Trump.
To the first point, it is simply self-obsession that presumes that people in another country are following the news in your own country as closely as you, and have the same interests and priorities as you do. For all the overwrought tone of the article, all the authors point to is the now mythical rally in Charlottesville as proof positive that Trump is a fascist. The fact that Trump never defended white supremacists but only said that there were good people on both sides of the issue, is hardly the stuff of Der Sturmer.
On the second point, the authors do in fact acknowledge why moving the US Embassy to Jerusalem and seeing the “encouraging cracks in the “Three Nos’” would make Israelis feel “vindicated,” sensing that “Trump gets us.”
But how stupid we Israelis are! Trump is just waiting to turn on us, which is what he does with everyone. It's just a matter of time before Trump, like Stalin who after the vote for partition in 1948 turned on Israel (their analogy, not mine), would throw Israel under the bus.
But wait, Trump lost the election. He’s leaving office, although the authors believe that he will do whatever is humanly possible not to leave (Picture the villain in a horror film who has to be killed three times: that’s Trump to the authors). In fact, in the short time he has left in office, Trump is doing even more to help Israel by orchestrating peace deals with Morocco and Bhutan.
Being thrown under the bus never felt so good.
Of course, our “boorish” Prime Minister (they actually used the adjective) is castigated for the sin of not congratulating Joe Biden in timely fashion, thus, provoking anti-Semitism and harm to American Jews.
The reactions to the article in the comments section ranged from hostile to vicious. No one sided with the authors, and no one really tried to parse through their arguments.
Frankly, as out of place as it was, I think the editors did Arutz Sheva readers a service by running the piece.
It is not often that one gets to encounter true Trump Derangement Syndrome. But this piece was the real deal.
Trump is the anti-Christ, the great threat to American democracy, world peace, global sanity.
How dare anyone not see this? To not see this is to be complicit with it. That is the real charge being levelled against us here in Israel. How dare we show gratitude to a man who more than any US President empathized with and supported Israel, and took groundbreaking steps to support it!
To the authors, it doesn’t matter what Trump did here. He’s evil, he’s a fascist and he’s threatening me, a once smug and secure American Jew. I am being threatened! Where is my safe space? Why aren’t Israeli Jews defending me?.
By not defending me, agreeing with me, they are in effect attacking me. In the name of “your parochial needs” Israeli Jews “showed yourselves willing to ignore the very real threat to our democracy, to our way of life, and safety.”
This is a rant, pure and simple. The fact that one of the authors is a Professor of Psychiatry makes the rant that much more revealing.
If the authors read the comments to their piece,, this would be my message to them: get some perspective. Understand that there is a reality beyond the four walls of your own sensibilities.
Be intellectually honest. If you are so concerned about threats to democracy, why are you not calling out Antifa? The Democrat mayors who let the looters run wild? Worried about anti-Semitism? How about Black Lives Matter and the Squad?
Please understand that it would have been beyond ungrateful for Israelis not to applaud and embrace Trump’s policies and initiatives regarding Israel. It would have been shameful.
Such an embrace does not mean that Israelis supported everything that Trump did domestically. Again, I strongly doubt they had more than a passing sense of what he did within the United States, although they might have agreed with that as well.
As to our feelings for American Jews, there is certainly no desire to endanger you. You are our brethren.
However, just as repeated surveys of American Jews show that Israel is an increasingly low priority, American Jews should not be surprised that their own sensibilities are not our highest priority. To paraphrase Barack Obama, we’re each supporting the other from behind.
This reality of misplaced grievance, embodied by Profs. Morris and Jett, is the real issue, not the hovering bogeyman of a departing President. How we can find common ground is the challenge before us.
The authors have in no way helped to find that common ground.
Douglas Altabef is the Chairman of the Board of Im Tirtzu, Israel’s largest grassroots Zionist organization, and a Director of the Israel Independence Fund.