Donald Trump habitually spews out clouds of arrant nonsense, thoughtless, ill-informed and cringe-worthy comments that render him unsuitable to be president of a great republic. One often wishes he had never entered national politics and continued to wheel-and-deal in real estate and perform on reality TV, where his talents were far better deployed.
In the latest embarrassing incident, Trump waded into the controversy set off recently by Ilhan Omar, a Democratic Party Congresswoman who implied that American Jews supportive of Israel are guilty of dual loyalty. Omar’s antisemitic trope caused a nation-wide furor and prompted the Democrats to push through a resolution in the House of Representatives condemning all forms of religious and ethnic hatred, including antisemitism.
Speaking to Republican Party fund-raisers at his Mar-a-Lago resort in Palm Beach, Florida, Trump said he could not “understand how any Jew could vote for a Democrat these days.” Venturing one step further, Trump claimed that “the Democrats hate Jewish people.”
A few days earlier, he contended that the Democratic Party had become anti-Israel.
Such blustery and baseless allegations.
Omar, one of two Muslim women elected to Congress last November, is something of a wild card in the Democrat caucus, but her anti-Israel views are not representative of the party itself. The Democrats, like the Republicans, support Israel and oppose one of Omar’s pet causes, the boycott, divestment and sanctions movement.
The progressive wing of the Democrats, to which she is affiliated, has a measured view of Israel, but opposes Israel’s occupation of the West Bank and its aggressive and counter-productive settlement program there. The vast majority of progressives support a two-state solution, reflecting the thinking of both mainstream Democrats and Republicans.
Trump, though well aware of the Democratic’ position on Israel, nonetheless branded it as antisemitic. This was a crude and extremely inaccurate portrayal of a party that prides itself on being all-inclusive, tolerant and supportive of America’s diversity as a nation.
As Trump must surely know, virtually every Jewish member of the House of Representatives and the Senate, the two components of Congress, hails from the Democratic Party. Included in that group is the Senate minority leader, Charles Schumer.
Trump is also aware that about three-quarters of Jewish voters usually cast their ballots for the Democrats in congressional and presidential elections. Is he suggesting that Jews are unknowingly voting for an antisemitic party? The very thought of it is beyond absurd and ridiculous.
Trump’s modus operandi is transparent. He is cynically trying to wean Jews away from the Democratic Party. It’s a shallow tactic that has no chance of success now and in the foreseeable future.
If Trump believes he can sway Jews with this kind of cheap rhetoric, he should think again.
Besides, Trump’s track record since 2016 — the year he declared his candidacy for the presidency — has been neither inspiring nor encouraging as far as many Jews are concerned.
During the heat of the campaign, he released attack ads that reeked of antisemitism. He tweeted a photograph of his Democratic rival, Hillary Clinton, superimposed on a Star of David and U.S. dollar bills. Then he released an ad warning darkly of a “global power structure.” The ad featured images of three prominent Jews: George Soros, the billionaire liberal philanthropist; Janet Yellen, the former chair of the Federal Reserve, and Lloyd Blankfein, the former chairman of a major American bank.
To cap it all off, Trump blamed “both sides,” neo-Nazis and anti-fascists, for the violence that erupted in Charlottesville, Virginia, in the summer of 2017 during a white supremacist rally. And then he had the temerity to claim that “very fine people” marched alongside rank racists like David Duke and Richard Spencer, two of the most disgusting antisemites in the United States.
Trump’s credibility tumbled as a result of these inane remarks. His most recent observations on the Democratic Party, Jews and Israel have further tarnished his already battered image.