Right-wing pundit Ann Coulter is furious at Donald Trump for, in her view, caving in to the Democrats and putting an end (for now) to the US federal government shutdown.
Coulter has long criticised Trump for not being sufficiently right-wing, for being “soft” on immigration, and so on. And now it looks like he’s not going to build the Wall any time soon — a wall that Coulter has craved for so long.
In her latest attack on the President, she adds an element that should cause at least a small measure of alarm among American Jews.
Here’s what she tweeted two days ago:
“Maybe the solution to the border crisis is not deporting 22 million illegals but one Jared Kushner.”
In Coulter’s view, Trump’s not the problem — it’s his son-in-law.
And that son-in-law should be, well, deported. Sent back to where he came from.
That’s what deportation means: according to one dictionary, it’s “the action of deporting a foreigner from a country”.
So in what sense is Jared Kushner a foreigner? He was born in New Jersey and is an American citizen. His parents were Americans too. But go back a couple of generations, and you find that his paternal grandparents were Holocaust survivors who came to America from the Soviet Union four years after the end of the Second World War.
In other words, Kushner is himself the grandchild of refugees. And Coulter’s fear is that he’s exerting undue influence on his father-in-law, Donald Trump.
That influence is, of course, covert, and quite powerful, and serves the interests not of America, but of a small ethnic minority with its own hidden agenda. That’s a classical anti-semitic trope, and it fits perfectly with Coulter’s vision of powerful, influential Jews like Kushner affecting the President’s will to stand up against the “invasion” by foreigners.
It’s not the first time Coulter has come dangerously close to expressing hatred of Jews.
More than a decade ago, she told an interviewer that America is a Christian country and that she wanted “Jews to be perfected, as they say” — in other words, to accept Jesus and convert to Christianity. Her remarks were condemned by many, including the Anti-Defamation League. But some right-wing Jews, including Dennis Prager and David Horowitz defended her. According to Prager, “I am neither offended by her nor frightened by her or her beliefs. She believes that Christianity is better than Judaism. So what?”
More recently, Coulter condemned Republican presidential candidates in 2015 for their many references — all positive — regarding Israel. “How many f—ing Jews do these people think there are in the United States?” she tweeted. According to the Anti-Defamation League this time, Coulter’s comments were “offensive, ugly, spiteful and anti-Semitic. Her tweets give fodder to those who buy into the anti-Semitic notions that Jews ‘control’ the U.S. government, wield disproportionate power in politics, and are more loyal to Israel than to their own country.”
At around the same time as Coulter was bashing Republicans for pandering to the “f–cking Jews”, she announced her support for Donald Trump’s candidacy, one of the first important endorsements the future President received.
Earlier this year, Coulter caused a storm of protest with a series of tweets condemning “globalists” — which she made absolutely clear was a code-word for Jews. One of her tweets read: “Israel must be defended as last redoubt of the Globalists.” Another said “Boy, a lot of Globalists popped up in the #MeToo scandals!”
It’s not clear how many right-wing Jews defended her that time.
A month ago, after Coulter denounced Trump for not following her anti-immigrant agenda, she used the opportunity to bash Ivanka and Jared Kushner for being totally focussed on making money. She said that seemed to be the sole purpose of the presidency – to make money for the president’s Jewish daughter and son-in-law.
Trump was furious.
He decided to punish the conservative writer in the only way he knows how: he unfollowed her on Twitter.
But, strangely enough, that didn’t seem to work.
Now that she’s ramped up her comments, suggesting that Kushner be deported (back to Belarus?), one wonders what Trump will do in response to this.
Or whether anyone on the American right will stand up and say that “enough is enough” and stop giving this vicious person a platform and an audience.