Saturday, July 20, 2019

Trump Didn't Invent This - How Non-Jewish Politicians Exploit "Anti-Semitism" for Political Purposes


Talia Lavin writes that American Jews are tired of being used by non-Jewish politicians whenever it suits them to smear others as 'anti-Semitic'.
This week, Donald Trump banged out a series of twisted tweets demanding that four congresswomen of color “go back” to the countries from which they came, utilizing a classic schoolyard racist trope that still rings in the ears of every nonwhite person in this country. When the backlash came, he raised Jews up like a shield with a Star of David daubed on it in thin, flaking paint to defend him. The four Democrats he targeted, he tweeted later, “hate Israel with a true and unbridled passion” and “have made Israel feel abandoned by the U.S.” They are, he continued, “Anti-Semitic...Anti-America,” and “anti-Israel, pro Al-Qaeda,” among other salvos, all in the past forty-eight hours.

Other Republicans took their cues from their president. Among them was Steve Daines, senator from Montana, who wrote: “Montanans are sick and tired of listening to anti-American, anti-Semite, radical Democrats trash our country and our ideals. This is America. We’re the greatest country in the world. I stand with @realdonaldtrump.” 
According to the Jewish Virtual Library, the Jewish population of Montana stands at a scant 1,395. Daines has never made mention on his Twitter account of the anti-Semitic people and events in his home state—including Richard Spencer, whose hometown is Whitefish, Montana, nor Andrew Anglin, who released a troll storm so vile on a Jewish woman living in Whitefish that a court awarded her $14 million in damages this week. Daines declined to tweet out a statement of solidarity after a white nationalist gunned down eleven Jews in a synagogue in Pittsburgh; Daines was silent after another white nationalist attack on a synagogue in Poway, just outside San Diego, earlier this year. But when an issue was made of the President’s naked racism, Daines rode up with a cargo of Jews—imaginary Jews, silent Jews, the easiest kind of Jews to employ—to defend him. Daines isn’t the only example of right-wing politicians who wish to wield anti-Semitism as a convenient cudgel against their political enemies, with scant if any evidence. But Montana’s vanishingly small Jewish population makes it particularly clear that this strategy has little to do with flesh-and-blood Jews at all.
...Jews and Israel are not synonymous; nor is support for Palestine synonymous with anti-Semitism; nor is questioning the orthodoxy of the Republican party, which the majority of us do with relish, an insult to Jewry.

...At a White House Hanukkah party, Trump told a gathering of American Jews that Israel was “your country.” More strikingly, when blood ran on the streets of Pittsburgh after the pogrom at the Tree of Life Synagogue in 2018, Trump did not meet with community leaders of the Pittsburgh Jewish community, nor the family members of the dead, nor even the city’s mayor. He spoke with Ron Dermer, Israel’s ambassador to the United States. The city’s Jews led a massive protest against his visit. The message, though politely veiled, was as stark as his message to congresswomen of color: you may live here, but this is not your country. You are not from here; you are not of this country. If you don’t like it, leave.
Meeting with the ambassador of Israel to offer comfort to American Jews affected by white nationalist violence underscores exactly for whom these comments—about “anti-Semitic,” about “anti-Israel” sentiment—are being made. The strongest supporters of an uncritical, anti-Palestinian foreign policy are white evangelical Christians—the most politically mobilized segment of the president’s base, and his audience for these remarks, and these actions. Their support for Israel is grounded in an apocalyptic vision in which Palestine is “restored” to the Jews—the Palestinians expelled or slaughtered, it makes no matter—and the Jews subsequently convert en masse, disappearing into the flock of the righteous. In this Revelations-tinted vision, Jews are pawns, too, a populace to be maneuvered into the correct conditions for a welcomed end of days, and to vanish, with all our particularities, into the fold of believers in Christ. Erasure is the condition of their allegiance.
...Jews are not trees, not animals, not mute props to use as cudgels in a war of escalating rhetoric. We do not need to be spoken for, we who have been here since before this country was a country, and want to remain, and know no other home; we are not waiting for your apocalypse. As if to prove a counterpoint, on Tuesday, July 15, one thousand “Jews and allies” led by a group called #NeverAgainAction and the immigrant justice group Movimiento Cosecha enacted a protest in Washington, D.C.,blockading the entrances and exits to the Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency’s headquarters and the approaching street. Their chief slogan defied those who would use Jews’ bloody history to deny present atrocities; those who would utilize Jews as weapons to silence anti-racists; those who want us to wait, meekly, to be cozened by Christ in the end of days. What they chanted, holding hands, were four simple words: “Never Again is Now.”

h/t The Salamander

13 comments:

Trailblazer said...

The GOP's embrace of Zionism has little to do with Israel and it's antics but much to do with Trumps Christian evangelists lust for the rapture.
When you have such fervor on your side why waste it on honesty?
TB

Stu said...

Evangelist support for the GOP goes back decades, I believe Goldwater warned about their danger.

Zionism is a multi-partisan thing, and just hyperbolic to the extreme. There are two positions, Israel can do whatever it wants, and is fully justified no matter what. The second position is that you want Israel to be destroyed. This seems to be the extent of dialog from Serious People.

the salamander said...

.. we wonder what the jews of America.. or any country
think of Donald Trump's triumphant, brutal conquest on the Texas border

Anonymous said...

American Goys are tired of fighting Jewish wars in the Middle East.

Northern PoV said...

"Jews and Israel are not synonymous; nor is support for Palestine synonymous with anti-Semitism; "

Canadians are no better on this thorny issue.
None of the political parties in Canada (ie those with MPs) get this.

in any case it brings to mind this old homily of mine....

The effect of critical-comment-on-Israel in Canadian politics on the speaker here
is inversely proportional to the effect it has on the situation in the middle east.

The Mound of Sound said...

TB, what of our own embrace of Zionism by the Liberals and the Conservatives. Few Canadians have any idea of Canada's voting record at the UN General Assembly on anything pertaining to Israel and Bibi. There's seemingly nothing Canada won't countenance and defend.

This is the same Canada, the same federal government that smears anyone criticizing Israel as anti-Semitic. This is the government of Justin Trudeau as it was during the government of Stephen Harper,.

The Mound of Sound said...


I'm not sure that the world that criticizes Israel, pretty much all of the world save for the US, Canada, and a gaggle of 'bought and paid for' island states in the central and South Pacific, wants Israel destroyed. The suggestion is not new but it's unfounded to suggest that the Europeans, for example, want Israel destroyed or would tolerate anyone attempting such a thing. Besides, with the American backing, those who might see Israel wiped from the map are ably deterred.

The Mound of Sound said...

Sal, I think the final paragraph I excerpted answers your question. It tells of American Jews blockading the headquarters of the Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agency, chanting "Never Again is Now."

The Mound of Sound said...


Anon, American "goys" as you describe them aren't fighting Middle Eastern wars for Israel as much as they are for control of the region's oil. Did you learn nothing from the conquest of Iraq? You come across as another American loon or perhaps a Red Square troll.

The Mound of Sound said...


NPoV, you're right. Our federal government is and has been for some time thoroughly steeped in this same nonsense.

Anonymous said...

Yes I learnt that the government makes up BS lies to invade other countries. They never had WMD. 9/11 was used to attack Afghanistan even though most of the party involved were Saudi's and the whole thing had Mossad's fingerprints all over it. Libya has been destroyed and they would have done the same to Syria if Russia didn't intervene.

You know as well as I do that the NeoCons and Zionists would love nothing more than a war with Iran.

You come across as an old Boomer who knows about AIPAC and the huge role Jews play in American politics and foreign policy but is too cowardly to admit it and blames it all on oil.

The Mound of Sound said...


Holy Shit, Anon, you're a genuine, hard-on racist. I agree that the neo-cons and some zionists may want war with Iran but "the huge role Jews play in American politics" is pathetic. The American government didn't succumb to "Jews" but to corporate influence and money. It's not AIPAC you need worry about but ALEC, the American Legislative Exchange Council. That's how America got a "bought and paid for" Congress. That was how your oligarchs captured first, the legislative branch, then the regulatory agencies, then the executive branch and, through it, the highest court in America. Trump promised tax reform and he did just that - for corporations and those about as wealthy as himself - all the while adding TWO TRILLION dollars to the national debt is a breathtakingly brief two years. This is the guy who couldn't make money from owning a casino and now he's doing the same job on the United States. You poor sap. They love people as ignorant as you. You're their base.

Hunter Thompson put it this way. "The main problem in any democracy is that crowd-pleasers are generally brainless swine who can go out on a stage and whup their supporters into an orgiastic frenzy - then go back to the office and sell every one of the poor bastards down the tube for a nickel apiece."

If they had a Nobel Prize for Stupidity I would nominate you and every 'poor bastard' just like you.

Anonymous said...

I'm not a Trump supporter whatsoever so half your comment is irrelevant. I'm a national socialist from Quebec.

If you don't think Jews play a large role though I'm going to have to agree to disagree with you. Hillary Clinton's group of donor's looked like a bar mitzvah guest list.