Why Trump's comment really troubles Jewish Democrats
President Trump said out loud what others are wondering: how can American Jews still vote for Democrats? The New York Times and Washington Post are purposely distorting President Trump's point when he said Jews voting Democratic in the coming election showed either gross misinformation or disloyalty. It was very clear that the "disloyalty" of Jews supporting the party of Tlaib and Omar was to other Jews, not the United States. The president's comments were not invoking the "dual loyalty" canard, as his critics well know.
By attacking the President, Trump's detractors are trying to divert attention from the Democrats' disturbing support for the antisemitic representatives Tlaib and Omar. Rather than condemning the offensive and defamatory tirades of these two antisemites, Democratic congressman Ted Lieu (D-Calif.) accused Ambassador Friedman of dual loyalty for supporting Israel's position of banning these two agents provocateurs. Senator Bernie Sanders rushed to the defense of Tlaib and Omar and put in question U.S. foreign aid to Israel if Israel stands by its ban. Not to be left behind, Senator Elizabeth Warren joined the pummeling of Israel. Democratic congressman Mark Pocan (D-Wis.),co-chair of the Congressional Progressive Caucus, threatened that foreign aid to Israel would have to be re-examined by the Congress.
And of course, Rep. Omar questioned whether foreign aid should be continued for Israel. No Democrat came forward to oppose the suggestion. Not Pelosi, not Biden, not one Democratic candidate for president.
The vaunted bipartisan support for Israel was suddenly shown to be a mirage. Democrats hastened to attack Israel rather than the antisemites who support Israel's destruction. Speaker Pelosi joined the fray of attacking Israel rather than the antisemitic stances of the Democratic congresswomen, thus tying the Democratic Party into their nefarious web of undermining support for Israel in the U.S. Not even Joe Biden, who likes to claim he is a stalwart friend of Israel, could bring himself to defend Israel's decision and criticize the two antisemites.
Not one Democrat pointed out that many nations bar enemies from entering their countries. The U.S. for many years denied entry to members of the Communist Party, and the Obama administration denied entry to a Jewish member of the Knesset because of his political views. Not one Democrat or any of the mainstream media pointed out that these two congresswomen refused to participate in the trip with other members of Congress in order to take one planned by a virulently antisemitic group, Miftah. Miftah claimed Jews have murdered Christian children to use their blood for baking matzos at Passover. The organization also published neo-Nazis and calls for the destruction of Israel. Somehow the media managed to omit these details of the sponsoring group.
It was in the context of this whirlwind of Democratic denunciations of Israel that Trump reacted with anger and amazement at a reporter's question about cutting foreign aid to Israel. President Trump exploded: "Five years ago, the concept of even talking about this ... cutting off aid to Israel because of two people that hate Israel and hate Jewish people — I can't believe we're even having this conversation," he said. He condemned Democrats for defending Tlaib and Omar and their comments against Israel and the Jewish people.
"I think any Jewish people that vote for a Democrat, I think it shows either a total lack of knowledge or great disloyalty," he said.
President Trump was simply being honest. Recent polls quoted by the Washington Post show that Democrats are equally split in their support for Israel and the Palestinians. This contrasts with Republican support for Israel, which is 76% for Israel vs. the Palestinians. As the two Muslim Democratic congresswomen defame Israel and lie about its history, the other Democratic members of Congress cower in silence. Can Jewish Democrats visualize what U.S.-Israel relations will be like with a Democratic president from the current crop of candidates, egged on by a Democratic Congress?
Trump was just reminding American Jews of Hillel's dictum: if I'm not for myself, who will be for me?
Carol Greenwald is chairman, JewsChooseTrump.org.
Photo credit: YouTube screen grab (cropped).