Do You Still Believe Donald Trump is an Antisemite?
Or is he "The First Zionist President of the United States"?
In my most ardent anti-Trump days, I still did not believe he was an antisemite. Yet others have continued to label him as such to this day. After his “Deal of the Century” peace plan, will anyone still charge him with Jew hatred?
Last December, the Washington Post ran an op-ed piece by Jennifer Rubin titled, “Trump’s anti-Semitic attacks on American Jews keep coming.”
Rubin — a virulent anti-Trumper — wrote on December 9, 2019:
President Trump spoke Saturday night at the national summit of the ultraconservative Israeli American Council. You may recall in August Trump declared that Jews who support Democrats show “either a total lack of knowledge or great disloyalty.” The next day he said Jewish Democrats were “disloyal to Jewish people and … very disloyal to Israel.” He was excoriated at the time for perpetuating the anti-Semitic stereotype that Jews are guilty of dual loyalty. Trump’s comments on Saturday demonstrates, no surprise, that he has learned nothing from his prior incidents, or perhaps he simply does not care.”
In his long, rambling discourse on the U.S. Embassy move to Jerusalem, Iran, the economy and more, he declared, “You have people — Jewish people — and they are great people and they don’t love Israel enough.” Trump is still using American Jews, as he uses all critics, as whipping boys for insufficient loyalty to him and his policies. To love Israel is to love what Trump does for or to Israel in his mind.
So, in Rubin’s mind — and in the minds of many other American Jews — while reaching out to Israel and claiming to stand with American Jews, Trump is repeating antisemitic tropes. That’s because he is, in fact, an antisemite.
A Vanity Fair article the same day written by Bess Levin carried an even more inflammatory headline: “TRUMP GOES FULL ANTI-SEMITE IN ROOM FULL OF JEWISH PEOPLE.”
Speaking as an Insider, Fighting Antisemitism
Looking at the transcript of his remarks that night, there’s no question his humor could be taken as insensitive, to say the least. And, to those who already held him in suspicion, his remarks could easily be taken as downright antisemitic. Did he not repeat some of the oldest, anti-Jewish tropes?
On the other hand, you could understand his comments as coming from someone who felt he was among family and friends, speaking as an insider. This is like someone of a certain ethnicity telling an ethnic joke about their own people. It’s fine for them but inappropriate for others.
Could it be that Trump, a New York businessman with a Jewish daughter, son-in-law, and grandchildren, felt he could take these liberties?
Of course, I hear the critics saying, “There you go again, putting a positive spin on something negative. Why can’t you face the fact that the man is an antisemite?”
It’s because of headlines like this, which ran just two days after Rubin and Levin articles: “Rights groups slam Trump’s anti-Semitism executive order. Critics say executive order violates free speech rights on college campuses and unfairly targets the BDS movement.”
Yes, this is how anti-Israel news outlets like Al-Jazeera viewed Trump’s executive order. A line in the sand was being drawn.
In the president’s own words: “The vile, hate-filled poison of anti-Semitism must be condemned and confronted everywhere and anywhere it appears.”
I’m sorry, but those are not the words of antisemite.
And, despite liberal Jewish protests to the executive order, since it equated Jewishness with a nationality, as if American Jews were not American, there is no question that the president’s executive order was a strong, pro-Jewish, pro-Israel statement.
The Deal of the Century
The executive order, however, was child’s play compared to the “Deal of the Century.”
Listen to Caroline Glick, who has been a vocal opponent of a two-state solution:
Tuesday, Trump said that Israel is a light to the nations, that the land of Israel is the promised land, and the historic homeland of the Jewish people. He said that Jerusalem cannot be liberated because it’s already been liberated. He said that no one will be removed from their home for peace. Among other things, he conditioned Palestinians statehood on full Palestinian recognition of the Jewish people’s rights to their historic homeland in the land of Israel.
Trump is a true friend of the Jewish people. He didn’t offer us a perfect plan. But he offered us a plan that we can live with. That alone sets it apart from all the American plans that preceded it. It would be a sin for us not to support it. Netanyahu pledged to apply Israeli law to the Jordan Valley and the Israeli communities in Judea and Samaria on Sunday. Every Jew in Israel and worldwide should expect that he and his ministers fulfill this pledge. And every Jew in Israel and worldwide should feel thankful to Trump for his friendship and for his courage to embrace the truth.
Antisemites do not do this. And Trump’s peace plan is not just about Israel. It is about Jewish people worldwide.
That’s why Glick stated that Trump was the first Zionist President of the United States.
Dr. Michael Brown (www.askdrbrown.org) is the host of the nationally syndicated Line of Fire radio program. His latest book is Jezebel’s War With America: The Plot to Destroy Our Country and What We Can Do to Turn the Tide. Connect with him on Facebook, Twitter or YouTube.