(November 18, 2018 / JNS)
American Jews, who in the past would have united to face a common threat, are now laying the foundations for an unprecedented eruption of violent anti-Semitism.
The U.S. midterm elections took place in an unparalleled atmosphere of hysteria. As in virtually all midterm elections, the ruling party experienced some losses. But despite predictions of defeat, President Donald Trump came out the overall winner.
In this divided nation, the larger cities lean Democratic and middle America is overwhelmingly pro-Trump. Broad respect for the office of the presidency no longer exists. Most voters are either ardent lovers or zealous haters of Trump—with Jews at the forefront of the latter group.
The Republicans lost control of the House of Representatives, but they lost fewer seats than the Democrats did when losing the House in 1994 and 2010. More importantly, the Republicans held their majority in the Senate, giving Trump a free hand in directing foreign policy and appointing conservative judges.
The clear majority of Jewish Americans continued the tradition of voting for the Democrats and have emerged as leaders of the anti-Trump brigade. That many Jews with a liberal tradition oppose Trump’s conservative policies and dislike his aggressive tone is not surprising.
But it is incomprehensible that they shower abuse on him in a Jewish context. The attacks by a wide section of the community, including progressive rabbis, lay organizations such as the Anti-Defamation League and women’s groups, are unprecedented.
Some Jewish leaders even blamed Trump for the Pittsburgh synagogue massacre, claiming that his aggressive political style was responsible for the actions of the lone neo-Nazi anti-Semite who actually did the shooting. Buttressed by the ADL and other Jewish groups, the media claimed that there had been a surge of white nationalist anti-Semitism since Trump was elected, including in their fake figures internet hoaxes not motivated by Jew-hatred.
One thing is clear: American Jews, like every Diaspora community, now need to employ security services at synagogues, schools and community centers.
It is noteworthy that the ever-growing influence of anti-Israel and anti-Semitic elements seeking to radicalize the Democratic Party is rarely mentioned by the liberal press or the ADL. In the midterm elections, a number of Democratic candidates hostile to Israel and Jews won their races, some in districts with significant Jewish populations.
There have been no serious efforts to restrain burgeoning anti-Semitism from anti-Israel groups on college campuses.
There were few complaints when then-President Barack Obama related to Israeli self-defense and Palestinian terrorism as morally equivalent. And there are few complaints now, after it was recently revealed that in 2005, Obama met the radical anti-Semite Louis Farrakhan, head of the Nation of Islam, for a photo op.
The allegations that Trump has contributed to the current polarization of society with his aggressive rhetoric may be true, but that is more than matched by the hysteria from the Democrats.
All this is intensified by the revolution in social media, which provides a platform for promoting racism, violence, and, above all, anti-Semitism. It may be time to review Anerica’s sacred credo of freedom of expression.
The most obscene aspect of anti-Trump mudslinging is the concerted attempt to portray him as an anti-Semite. This lie, frequently reiterated by progressive rabbis and Jewish lay leaders, has become embedded in the minds of many Democratic supporters.
But this reflects the madness in the air. Trump has a daughter who converted to Judaism and is religiously observant, he has always had Jewish friends and has appointed several Jewish key executives, and after the tragedy in Pittsburgh, he condemned anti-Semitism in a statement that Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu could not have expressed better.
Above all, Trump has proved to be the most pro-Israel president ever. He is the first to have reduced funds to the Palestinians that were being used inappropriately. He stopped funding UNESCO when that organization admitted Palestine as a full member, and he told the Palestinians to forget about their claimed right of return to Israel. He warned them that financially rewarding murderers and their families was unacceptable. He moved the U.S. embassy to Jerusalem, despite enormous pressures. And he was the first to stand up, virtually alone, to promote Israel’s case to the world.
American Jews may hate Trump, but to describe him as pro-Nazi qualifies them as collectively crazy.
If accusations that Trump harbors Nazi sympathies are not quashed, middle America, which enthusiastically supports his Israel policies, could unleash their frustrations against the “ungrateful” Jews and then the ADL predictions about anti-Semitism would be realized.
We live in troubled times. Throughout the Diaspora, anti-Semitism is rising dramatically, and now many American Jews seem to be acting like lemmings on a suicide march.
The tragedy is that Israel, which formerly helped maintain Jewish identity for those with limited Jewish education, has now drifted into irrelevancy for large swathes of U.S. Jewry. Unless a massive effort is invested into overcoming Jewish illiteracy, the future seems bleak.
Those concerned with having Jewish grandchildren should now seriously evaluate making aliyah or at least encouraging their children to do so.
Isi Leibler’s website can be viewed at www.wordfromjerusalem.com. Email: email@example.com.