February 24, 2020

The Bad Faith "Debate" About Israel

“The Jews of America are exhausted. The past three years under Trump have been a perplexing and somber reminder that antisemitism and racism are alive and well. Since Trump’s election we’ve witnessed white supremacists march in the streets of Charlottesville, threats and vandalism on synagogues and Jewish community centers, assassination attempts on multiple high-profile Jewish Democrats, and in Pittsburg, the deadliest mass shooting of Jews in American history.

The GOP and an increasingly irritable Donald Trump have weaponized cries of antisemitism for right wing causes, almost never on behalf of the majority of diaspora Jews, but instead co-opting extremist Israeli views (such as withholding civilian aid to Gaza and the West Bank) as their own and dangerously casting them representative of the American Jewish community at large. The beloved GOP red herring of labeling any and all criticism of Israel or its occupation of Palestinians as antisemitic only detracts from the very real instances of antisemitism occurring across the globe.

The vast majority of these vapid statements on antisemitism have been largely ignored due to the tumultuous, toxic, and perplexing daily communications transmitting from Trump on 1600 Pennsylvania Ave. That was the norm until last week, when the President of the United States dared to accuse American Jews of being disloyal and uninformed for voting Democratic, saying “I think any Jewish people that vote for a Democrat, I think it shows either a total lack of knowledge or great disloyalty.” Given an opportunity to revise or retract, Trump doubled-down on these comments, ignoring the fact that in 2016 and 2018 Jewish voters cast their ballots for Democrats at 71% and 79%, respectively. “

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