The Jews are Donald Trump‘s latest target of bullying — anything for a new distraction, right? At a gathering of the Israeli American Council, Trump said that American Jews must vote for him, or else they’d lose all their money.
At that same meeting, he accused American Jews of “not loving Israel enough.”
Trump, speaking to the Israeli American Council: "We have to get the people of our country, of this country, to love Israel more … because you have people that are Jewish people, that are great people — they don't love Israel enough. You know that." pic.twitter.com/sruLxwC5vY
— Aaron Rupar (@atrupar) December 8, 2019
We have to get the people of our country, of this country, to love Israel more … because you have people that are Jewish people, that are great people — they don’t love Israel enough. You know that.
This kind of rhetoric is directly responsible for fueling anti-Semitism, which has seen a resurgence in this country since the 2016 election. Synagogues have been vandalized and targeted with gun violence. Never mind that Trump’s own daughter converted to Judaism — this doesn’t make Trump any less bigoted than the racist white person who says “I have black friends.”
Evangelicals don’t seem to realize that there is more to Judaism, and Jewish culture, than Israel. There is no universal Jewish response to Israel as a nation, and there is plenty of room for disagreement about the country’s politics. By elevating Israel as the pinnacle of Jewish concerns, Trump raises the question of whether Jews can be fully American, or otherwise fully devoted to American ideals, unless they agree with his party’s take on Israel, Israel’s government, and the treatment of Palestinians.
The notion of the “disloyal Jew” is what makes this rhetoric so concerning.
The fact is, if you love a country, or care about its future at all, then it’s irresponsible not to call attention when you see its leaders making morally questionable decisions. That applies to both Israel and the United States.