TO THE BOTTOM OF A TRAGIC “DISLOYALTY”
Jewish National Syndicate
There appears to be no limit to the sheer stupidity and
reflexive malice with which people misrepresent what US President Donald Trump
has just said.
On Tuesday, he said: “I think Jewish people that vote for
a Democrat — I think it shows either a total lack of knowledge or great
Cue an instant storm of outrage by Jewish groups and
commentators claiming that he had accused Jews of dual loyalty — one of the
trademark libels of classical antisemitism.
“This is yet another example of Donald Trump continuing
to weaponize and politicize antisemitism,” said Halie Soifer, executive
director of the Jewish Democratic Council of America.
David Harris, chief executive of the American Jewish
Committee, called Trump’s comment “outrageous.” Ann Lewis and Mark Mellman
of the Democratic Majority for Israel called it “one of the most dangerous,
deadly accusations Jews have faced over the years. False charges of disloyalty
over the centuries have led to Jews being murdered, jailed and tortured.”
A moment’s pause to consider the logic of this reaction
reveals it to be totally ridiculous. “Dual loyalty” means Jews have greater
loyalty to Israel than to America. Trump was accused of claiming this of Jews
who voted Democrat.
But the Democratic Party is hardly Israel’s friend. As
the party has become more radical, its hostility to Israel has grown.
Last year, large numbers of both the House and Senate
Democratic caucuses supported an end to the blockade of Hamas-run Gaza and
suggested a more “even-handed” attitude to the conflict. The Pew Research
center has shown that while 79 percent of Republicans say they back Israel
against the Palestinians, only 27 percent of Democrats share that view.
And now the party is embracing outright anti-Zionists and
Jew-bashers such as congresswomen Ilhan Omar and Rashida Tlaib, whose proposed
visit to Israel this month was aborted after the Israeli government decided that
their itinerary was designed solely to incite hatred and do Israel harm. So the
very last party that any supposedly “Israel-first” Jew
would vote for would be the Democrats.
The full context of what President Trump said made it
abundantly clear that this “dual loyalty” interpretation of his words simply
didn’t stack up. Commenting on Omar’s call to cut aid to Israel, Trump said:
“Five years, the concept of even talking about this, even
three years ago, of 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. Where has the Democratic Party gone? Where have they gone where
they are defending these two people over the State of Israel? I think any Jewish
people that vote for a Democrat, I think it shows either a total lack of
knowledge or great disloyalty.”
Trump was thus criticizing Democrat-voting Jews not for
their overriding loyalty to Israel but, on the contrary, for supporting a party
that has become an enemy of Israel.
Indeed, the logical meaning of his words was that Jews who
vote Democrat are being disloyal to the Jewish people. The following day, Trump
himself confirmed this when he told Bloomberg: “If you vote for a Democrat,
you’re being disloyal to Jewish people and you’re being very disloyal to
The only Jewish group that got this straightaway was the
Jewish Republican Coalition which, while other Jews were noisily losing their
heads, coolly observed: “President Trump is right; it shows a great deal of
disloyalty to oneself to defend a party that protects/emboldens people that hate
you for your religion.”
Precisely. The astonishing fact is that Trump is sticking
up for Israel against the enemies of the Jews within the Democratic Party, while
that party, along with its Jewish supporters, is sticking up for the enemies of
the Jews within its ranks.
The real scandal is the Democratic Party’s refusal to
take any action against Omar and Tlaib, despite their support for BDS (and thus
the destruction of Israel) and their anti-Jewish remarks.
Tlaib likened Israel to the Nazis when she compared BDS to
a boycott against Nazi Germany, while Omar has made several antisemitic
comments, including claims that Jewish money controls American foreign policy.
And it was Omar who accused American Jews of dual loyalty when she questioned
the “allegiance” of American supporters of Israel.
In addition, their proposed tour of what they called
“Palestine” was being partly organized by Miftah, a virulently antisemitic
outfit founded by the veteran PLO activist Hanan Ashrawi. Reports on Miftah’s
website have praised Palestinian suicide bombers, repeated the blood libel that
Jews kill gentile children and use their blood in religious rituals (for which
it later apologized), and claimed equally repulsively that Israel steals
The malign nature of the congresswomen’s proposed visit
was exposed when Israel agreed to Tlaib’s request to visit her 90-year-old
grandmother provided Tlaib didn’t make trouble — only for Tlaib then to turn
the trip down.
Yet despite all this, the Democratic Party refuses to
censure these two. Instead, it has reportedly discussed censuring the Israeli
envoy to the United States and the American ambassador to Israel. And Jewish
groups in America have expressed outrage against Israel over blocking the trip.
Jewish Democrats are thus supporting a party that is
tacitly enabling the expression of potentially murderous antisemitism. Yet they
have the gall to attack as an antisemite the man who is calling out the party
for way it is progressively throwing Israel and the Jews under the bus — and
who is all too correctly slamming those Jews who support it nevertheless.
There are many reasons why the Democrats and their Jewish
supporters refuse to call out the anti-Jewish bigots on their own side and
instead accuse President Trump, the most pro-Israel president in American
history, of antisemitism.
As has also been demonstrated in Britain over the epidemic
Jew-hatred within the Labour Party, there is an iron conviction on the left that
they cannot be guilty of antisemitism because they are “anti-racists.” Their
political identity is rooted in their belief that they are always on the side of
virtue against evil-doers.
If they were ever to admit evil attitudes on their own
side, their political and moral identity would collapse. So they turn reality
inside out to defend the indefensible. And to protect themselves, they project
their own evil onto their opponents. Thus, they falsely accuse President Trump
of having the odious views of which their own side is guilty.
Nor can they admit that the Palestinian cause they support
may be vile. The journalist Peter Beinart tweeted in defense of Miftah:
“Frustrating to hear people who’d never heard of Miftah until today use its
alleged sins to distract from deep injustice [Omar and Tlaib] were going to
witness. As if an anti-white comment by SNCC (the Student Non-Violent
Coordinating Committee which fought for black civil rights) justified
Genocidal attitudes and attacks by Palestinians most
certainly do justify the security measures Israel uses against them. Through
this tweet, Beinart has not only supported a virulently antisemitic outfit, but
also whitewashed the Jew-hatred and Israel-bashing of those it promotes — and
promoted his own.
Such moral bankruptcy has become a pathology that is steady
poisoning the Democratic Party against the Jewish people, towards which those
American Jews who still support the Democrats are indeed displaying a most