After the election of perhaps the most pro-Israel U.S. administration in history, American Jews seem to have lost the plot. When Donald Trump was elected president of the U.S., many Jews sat shiva to mourn Hillary Clinton’s defeat as if it was a death in the family, making religion out of politics. A number of Conservative and Reform synagogues held special mourning services to bewail the advent of fascism in America. One prominent Conservative rabbi in New York compared the Trump victory to the rise of Nazism prior to the Holocaust. The essence of politics is persuasion; not hysterics.
Trump repeatedly praises Israel and refers to Israel as America’s greatest ally. He has been closely associated with Jews in business and politics. His daughter observes an Orthodox religious lifestyle, after converting to Judaism. Apart from his family, his senior appointments include many Jews and staunch friends of Israel. He endorsed Israel’s position on defensible borders and stated that he has no objection to construction in the major settlement blocs and Jerusalem. He called on the Palestinians to recognize Israel as a Jewish state and stated that the only way to peace is by direct negotiations between both parties. He repudiated Obama’s criticism of Israel for failing to make progress in peace talks, and Obama’s application of moral equivalence between Israelis and Palestinians. He has begun to pressure the Iranians to adhere to their commitments to the treaty of catastrophe, and would terminate it for any violation by the Iranian terrorist regime.
One of the negative repercussions of the Trump victory is the growing influence of the radical anti-Israel wing of the Democratic Party. The anti-Israel Muslim Congressman Keith Ellison, who was initially funded by the Hamas-linked Council on American-Islamic Relations, is the deputy chairman of the Democratic National Committee; supported by leading Jewish Senator Chuck Schumer. While, anti-Israel Jewish Senator Bernie Sanders emerged as a powerful force in the defeated radicalized Democratic Party.
The Jewish establishment ignored and pretended away the Democratic anti-Semites, even when they were burning Israeli flags at the Democratic convention. They condemned legitimate criticisms of anti-Israel financier George Soros as anti-Semitic while leaving unaddressed truly anti-Semitic assaults by Hillary backers on Trump donor Sheldon Adelson. Moreover, significant sectors of the Jewish community are falsely accusing the Trump administration of promoting anti-Semitism. It is noteworthy that the Zionist Organization of America protested against this partisan defamatory campaign.
The Anti-Defamation League (ADL) launched a scornful assault against Trump’s chief strategist, former Breitbart CEO Steve Bannon accusing him of being an anti-Semite, while ignoring Ellison’s record of anti-Semitism and support for Israel’s enemies, as well as Ellison’s ties to unindicted co-conspirators in funding Hamas. The accusation that Bannon is anti-Semitic is appalling on its face. Bannon is surrounded by Jews in his media company, Breitbart News, and is known for his fervent support for Israel, opposition to anti-Semitism, disapproval of anti-Israel activism on campuses, and condemnations of the boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) movement. Jonathan Greenblatt, the CEO of ADL, accused Bannon of being an anti-Semite who would pave the way for a return to anti-Semitism and white supremacy. In alleging that a friend of the Jews is a Jew hater while ignoring the actual anti-Semitism of another man, the ADL appears to be giving cover to the rising forces of anti-Semitism in the Democratic Party.
Greenblatt did not call for Jews to boycott the Black Lives Matter (BLM) movement despite its anti-Semitism and promotion of BDS against Israel, and he referred approvingly to the “positive” aspects of its work. The use of the ADL, created to combat anti-Semitism, to promote Greenblatt’s partisan political agenda is scandalous.
Greenblatt had earlier used the ADL to condemn Republicans as “anti-Zionist” because they excluded a two-state solution in their Middle East policy platform. When Trump declined to dignify David Duke and the Ku Klux Klan by responding to their expressions of support for him, Greenblatt condemned him for “tolerating” anti-Semites. This contrasted with the muted response by Jewish liberals to Barack Obama’s relationship with various radical anti-Semites.
Obama has long-held close alliances with Bill Ayers, Jeremiah Wright, Louis Farrakhan, Rashid Khalidi, etc. Obama’s political career was launched in the house of the anti-Semite Ayers, a former leader of the Weather Underground, a left-wing terrorist organization that issued a “Declaration of a State of War” against the U.S. government. Obama attended Wright’s sermons with his family, and he officiated at Obama’s wedding and was appointed by him in 2007 to the African American Religious Leadership Committee. He only dissociated himself from Wright’s views after media exposure but refused to disown him personally, relating to him as “an old uncle.” No critic of Trump could suggest any comparable relationship with any identifiable anti-Semite.
Establishment anger over Trump’s weeks-old administration is growing. The mainstream global media, progressive activists, Democratic Party leaders, and many Republicans are essentially at war with him. New York Times columnist Thomas Friedman recently compared his victory to disasters in American history that killed and wounded thousands like the Pearl Harbor bombing and the 9/11 terrorist attacks. Some op-ed writers and pundits have openly hoped for his violent death. The progressive “Resistance” talks of removing the new president through impeachment, or even military coup. About one-third of House Democrats boycotted the Inauguration. Congressional Republicans ignore the Constitution, ignore the balance of powers, and ignore written law, while relinquishing their own constitutional authority allowing the courts to run American foreign policy, just to be a part of the establishment’s ‘Stop Trump’ movement.
After Trump had secured the Republican nomination, prominent Jewish conservative editors, like Bill Kristol and Jonah Goldberg, led the “Never Trump” movement. They betrayed the Republican Party, the American people, and Jews when they set out to undermine Trump, which could have elected the criminally challenged Hillary.
The sympathies of Hillary and Obama lie with the Muslim Brotherhood, the organization that launched the Arab drive to destroy Israel and push its Jews into the sea. If Hillary and Obama had their way, Egypt’s leader al-Sisi would be overthrown, the Brotherhood would be back in power, and Israel could be facing a threat from the biggest military power in the Middle East and war with Islamic terrorists who openly call for the extermination of the Jews.
Elements of the U.S. government have been actively opposing the duly elected U.S. president. Employees of the Environmental Protection Agency have been disrupting Trump administration reforms. U.S. government employees recorded Trump’s private calls to the president of Mexico and the Australian prime minister, and leaked selected segments to suggest that Trump was either a buffoon or trigger-happy. The Wall Street Journal reported in February 2017 that career intelligence officers have decided to withhold information from Trump, because in their view he is unfit to receive it. Kristol suggested in a tweet that if he faced a choice between the constitutionally, democratically elected president and career government officials’ efforts to thwart or remove him, he would come down on the side of the revolutionary, anti-democratic “deep state.”
After Israel, the U.S. has the largest Jewish population in the world. Despite credible evidence that Islamic terrorists infiltrate migrants from Muslim conflict zones, American Jews have been at the forefront of the opposition to the Trump administration’s plan to pause immigration for a few months from six Muslim countries with vetting challenges. In America, anti-Semitic attacks are generally by Muslims or radical liberals; however, American Jews supported the presidential candidacy of Hillary Clinton that promised significant increase in immigration from Muslim conflict zones. During the recent migration crisis in Europe, British Jews repeatedly clamored for massive immigration from Muslim conflict zones; however, in March 2017, the British Home Secretary issued a warning of ‘significant’ radical Islamic terrorist threat to British Jews. From Bombay to Toulouse and beyond, Jews suffer disproportionately from Muslim attackers.
Some Democratic Party Muslim Americans with records of anti-Semitism condemned the recent anti-Semitic attacks against Jewish cemeteries. The Democratic Party is becoming more open in its embrace of anti-Semitism. Terrorist murderers of Jews (Ramsea Odeh, etc.) and supporters of terrorist murderers of Jews (Keith Ellison, Linda Sarsour, etc.) have prominent positions in the party. Odeh is a terrorist that participated in a PLO attack at a Jerusalem supermarket in 1970 that murdered two Jews. Ellison is an anti-Semite that also defends cop killers. He was a long standing member of the anti-Semitic Nation of Islam. Sarsour calls for Israel’s destruction and she supports Palestinian mass murderers of Jews. Malcolm Hoenlein, the head of the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations, pretends that even anti-Semites oppose anti-Semitism, stating that “we can’t afford a split” on Israel among the Democrats and the Republicans. The fight against anti-Semitism is compromised if Jew hating Democrats are viewed as legitimate partners in fighting anti-Semitism, when they aid and abet anti-Semitism.
There are no Christian states striving to wipe Israel off the map, and there no groups in Hinduism or Buddhism seeking to push Jews into the sea; however, Iran repeatedly states its desire to wipe Israel off the map, and large sections of the Muslim world have become a cesspit of Jewish hatred. Polls of Muslims from various countries indicate significant percentages of Muslims have rabid hatred of Jews.
American Jews undermining Trump because of hurt feelings, irrational fear or lust for power will do more to put Israel and Jews in jeopardy than any Trump administration official or travel ban on foreign nationals from hostile regions ever could. Whatever tensions exist between Trump and both Republican-controlled houses of Congress, they share one thing in common: support of Israel. This should not be interpreted that the Trump administration will favor annexation or a one-state policy. Trump has made it clear that he endorses a two-state policy but, in contrast to Obama, he stipulates that it cannot be imposed without providing Israel with defensible borders and all of the security guarantees it requires. Presently, this objective is unattainable.
During the Obama administration, leaders of the American Jewish community demanded increased Muslim immigration, and supported the lawlessness promoted by BLM. Now, like Captain Renault in Casablanca, they are shocked, shocked that there are increased anti-Semitic attacks and increasing bomb threats to Jewish Centers in the U.S. Unfettered immigration from many Muslim countries pose a problem for Jews more than most.
If Jews cannot remove leaders that put their party before their community, they should form new organizations to defend their interests. Moreover, American Jews should wish President Trump well. May his triumphs be many.
Dr. Sheyin-Stevens is a Registered Patent Attorney based in Florida, USA. He earned his Doctorate in Law from the University of Miami.