The Guardian: Trump Is a Nazi and Jews Are His Enablers

To compare Trump to Hitler is an affront to the memory of 1.5 million Jewish children murdered by the Nazis.
April 6, 2020

I have spent the past few weeks doing my utmost to offer hope, faith and fortitude to my family, my readers and my followers around the world as we confront a plague that has caused suffering and claimed the lives of untold innocents.

A rabbi should be allowed to do his job giving comfort to the people. That I should now have to divert my focus and respond to a vile, libelous and anti-Semitic attack against me and the Jewish community by the Israel-hating U.K. Guardian is unfortunate but necessary. We Jews have learned that in moments of global crisis, anti-Semites are most inclined to attack.

The TV series based on Philip Roth’s novel “The Plot Against America” is airing n now on HBO. The story is a disturbing one that envisions Charles Lindbergh defeating Franklin Roosevelt in the presidential election on the platform that he will keep the United States out of war. Anti-Semitism becomes accepted to the point where Jews see frightening parallels with the persecution of Jews in Germany.

Guardian journalist Charles Bramesco’s review of the series attacks Jews in general, and me in particular, as being a source of American anti-Semitism. As Jewish communities around the world are decimated by the coronavirus, Bramesco — who openly and expressly accuses President Donald Trump of being a Nazi — libelously accuses Jews of being pansies for the Hitler-like Trump and fascism.

Bramesco describes Roth’s character Rabbi Lionel Bengelsdorf (played by John Turturro) as a stereotypical court Jew who defends Lindbergh against allegations of anti-Semitism, prompted in part by his flirtations with Hitler, and is rewarded with a position in the administration. Even as persecution of Jews escalates, the rabbi continues to be an enabler of the president. “Bengelsdorf,” Bramesco writes, “typifies a lethal combination of confidence to the point of gullibility and an excessive fondness of power, which breed complicity in wrongdoing.”

Inexplicably, Bramesco then pivots to me — and the object of his loathing —Trump. He compares me to Bengelsdorf and Trump to Lindbergh (and perhaps Hitler?). He also employs a little Yiddish, calling me a worldwide “shandah” (embarrassment), “cozying up to President Trump in the presumptive belief that he’ll be exempt from the hatred now being seeded.”

According to the Guardian, we Jews are culprits, and not victims, of Jew-hatred.

A discerning reader might be tempted to simply dismiss Bramesco’s writings as the blathering of the lunatic fringe and Bramesco as a man filled with an all-consuming hate. But given that his words appear in a publication claiming legitimacy, they are deeply damaging, libelous and demand a response.

Let me start with his comments about the president. Some people love Trump. Some people loath Trump. That’s all part of living in a democracy. The same mixed feelings were true of presidents Barack Obama, George W. Bush and Bill Clinton. But to compare Trump — the father of a Jewish daughter and grandfather to three Jewish grandchildren — to Lindbergh/Hitler is an affront to the memory of 1.5 million Jewish children murdered by the Nazis. That a supposedly respectable publication like The Guardian would compromise its credibility with an unhinged fanatic like Bramesco is deeply disturbing. Comparing Trump to Hitler trivializes the Holocaust on the 75th anniversary of the liberation of so many of the camps where millions were turned into piles of ash.

WASHINGTON, DC – JANUARY 28: U.S. President Donald Trump and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu participate in a joint statement in the East Room of the White House on January 28, 2020 in Washington, DC. The news conference was held to announce the Trump administration’s plan to resolve the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. (Photo by Sarah Silbiger/Getty Images)

I have had my areas of agreement with Trump and I have my areas of disagreement. If there were racists who supported him, I’ve repeatedly condemned them as “disgusting, vile white supremacist nut-jobs.” I strongly criticized the president’s campaign pledge to ban Muslim immigrants, which I labeled “a betrayal of both Jewish and American values.”

But on his unprecedented support for Israel and his strong efforts to combat anti-Semitism, I am unapologetically grateful, as I am for Trump’s decision to fire American missiles at the genocidal leader of Syria — Bashar Assad — for using poison gas against Muslim men, women and children, a move Obama declined to do.

For Bramesco to equate a president widely regarded as the most pro-Israel in American history with Hitler, or with a fictitious president who tells Jews to assimilate “or else” and who puts on his cabinet a vicious anti-Semite (Henry Ford) who manipulates America’s “neutrality” in favor of Nazi Germany, is vile.

As for me, the supposed worldwide embarrassment who cozies up to Trump in hopes I’ll be spared the anti-Semitism he allegedly seeks to unleash, I’ll say this to Bramesco:

1. I’m not embarrassed that the president pulled out of the Iran deal, which presented an existential threat to Israel.

2. I’m not embarrassed that the president moved the American Embassy to its rightful place in Jerusalem.

3. I’m not embarrassed the president recognizes the Golan Heights as part of Israel. Nor am I embarrassed by the efforts his administration has made to promote Middle East peace and provide economic hope and opportunity to our Palestinian brothers and sisters who live under the kleptocracy of Palestinian Authority leader Mahmoud Abbas and the murderous yoke of Hamas.

Sadly, Bramesco typifies the hate circulating in our currently polarized world. Consider his reaction to Trump’s Happy Hanukkah tweet with a photo of a fully lit menorah:

“1. Only the first candle and the shammes should be lit, you stupid motherf***** [he spelled out the word] 2. YOU ARE A LITERAL NAZI FIGUREHEAD HOW DARE YOU.”

Perhaps it’s no coincidence that Bramesco has a position at a publication with a longstanding pattern of anti-Israel bias. After British politician Jeremy Corbyn admitted he laid a wreath in 2014 to honor the terrorists responsible for the 1972 Olympics Munich massacre, the Guardian published an op-ed defending Corbyn and said, “There is nothing immoral about laying a wreath to remember the victims of an attack that even Margaret Thatcher condemned.” Also, on more than one occasion, The Guardian has published false accusations that Ethiopian women in Israel were given contraceptives without their consent.

Last year, a Guardian editorial disputed that Hamas is a terrorist group and accused Israel of killing unarmed Palestinians with “impunity,” including children, medics and journalists, who “posed no danger to anyone.” It ignored the fact that Israel was responding to riots and attempts to infiltrate the country to kill and kidnap Israeli civilians; that Israeli soldiers have strict rules of engagement for firing at violent protestors; and that most of those killed were associated with a terror group.

It is particularly sad that in a time when we need to pull together and support and protect humanity from a deadly virus that The Guardian and Bramesco trade in such extreme hate.

I have spent my life promoting universal Jewish values, advocating for Holocaust memory and education, crusading for genocide awareness and fighting genocidal incitement, facilitating African-American-Jewish relations, supporting LGBTQ rights and defending Israel. I’ve spent my career opposing dictatorships and authoritarian regimes while promoting the freedoms afforded by democracy and working to see they are available as a birthright to everyone.

The unforgettable words of lawyer Joseph Welch to Sen. Joseph McCarthy during the Army-McCarthy hearings in the 1950s apply equally to Bramesco and the editors at The Guardian: “At long last sirs, have you no decency?”

Rabbi Shmuley Boteach is founder of the World Values Network and the author of 33 books, including “Judaism for Everyone.”

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