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Jewish voters drawn into Trump feud with Omar, Tlaib

by Harvest Prude
Posted 8/21/19, 12:35 pm

WASHINGTON—President Donald Trump said Tuesday that Jewish Americans who vote for Democrats show “either a total lack of knowledge or great disloyalty.” He made the remarks in the Oval Office while talking about Democratic U.S. Reps. Ilhan Omar of Minnesota and Rashida Tlaib of Michigan, who have both asked the United States to reconsider foreign aid to Israel. The Muslim congresswomen also criticized how Israel handled their plans to visit the West Bank.

How have Jews responded? Several Jews and Jewish groups on Twitter condemned the president’s remarks using the trending hashtag #DisloyalToTrump. “Charges of disloyalty have long been used to attack Jews,” Anti-Defamation League CEO Jonathan Greenblatt tweeted. “It’s long overdue to stop using Jews as a political football.” Some Republican Jews defended Trump. “President Trump is right, it shows a great deal of disloyalty to oneself to defend a party that protects/emboldens people that hate you for your religion,” the Republican Jewish Coalition tweeted.

Dig deeper: Read my analysis in The Stew about the Democratic Party’s divide over the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and Sophia Lee’s report for WORLD Magazine on growing anti-Semitism in America.

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Harvest Prude

Harvest is a reporter for WORLD based in Washington, D.C.

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    Posted: Thu, 08/22/2019 11:08 am

    How would a Black person who support and votes for Jim Crow laws be described? Might "disloyal" to their race be an appropriate term? How about one of Japanese decent who supported WWII internment? "Disloyal" to their people? I think the point is that Jewish folks who vote for a party that more and more are actively discriminating against Israel and the Jewish people fit into a similar category. Not to say they are not welcome to vote as they see fit, but really??

  •  West Coast Gramma's picture
    West Coast Gramma
    Posted: Thu, 08/22/2019 02:26 pm

    Re Jackie: Unfortunately in our country, disagreeing with the politics of Israel has come to be equated with sinful behavior. I think the fact that there exists such a large proportion of American Jewish people who are able to embrace their own identity and speak to the repressive policies of Israel towards its Left Bank residents puts the lie to your argument. Modern Israel was created in the aftermath of World War II, and we all know that the Germans were not Palestinians. Palestinians are not responsible for the crimes that spurred the modern creation of Israel. They just happen to have lived for generations in the land the Allies carved out to atone for Germany's sins. Haven't the Jewish people made peace with Germany? Yet they won't make peace with the "native peoples" of their own country who happen to be of a different culture and religion. What Israel has done to its Palestinians is what we did to our own Native Americans when we pushed them into small reservations. The analogies you suggest are not the least bit applicable here.

  • not silent
    Posted: Fri, 08/23/2019 05:27 pm

    I agree that it's not fair to make this situation all-or-nothing, meaning that one cannot criticize policies of the Israeli government without being considered "disloyal."  Imagine if we were being told that we would be disloyal to Christ or Christianity if we criticized the US government!

    It is true that modern Palestinians are not responsible for what the Germans did, and it is true that they were displaced; and that displacement has certainly caused suffering.  However, we can't ignore the history that has happened since Israel became a nation.  It's hard to get accounts that are completely objective, but I think it's safe to say that foreign governments have repeatedly attempted to use the suffering and displacement of the Palestinians for their own political goals. With the support of foreign governments, Palestinian groups like Hamas have promoted the use of children as martyrs in their own war against Israel.  Although they have discussed peace terms with Israel, those terms always eventually mean that Israel would cease to exist.  In some polls, a majority of Palenstinians have indicated that they would prefer a two-state solution; but the overall leadership has not been willing to accept that kind of deal.  It has been stated outright that the ultimate goal is to conquer all of Israel.

    The analogy comparing Palestinians to Native Americans is valid in that both groups were displaced by others and suffered tremendously as a result.  Both groups are STILL suffering, and we must acknowledge that and speak out against injustice.  But the analogy breaks down when you consider how foreign governments have helped some Palestinian groups wage war against the rest of Israel with the goal of destroying it.  What would we do as a nation if a group within our borders that was once oppressed by the majority began receiving assitance from some other nation to bomb our cities and kill American citizens?  What if that group were being influenced to commit acts of terror against us and if they wrote a charter stating their intent to conquer Washington, D.C. and rule over the rest of the nation?  What kind of action would we take?  What would fairness and justice look like?

    I'm not suggesting we give Israel a pass because of the Holocaust-just that we take into account the entire situation.  I believe there HAVE been injustices and that they should be addressed, but the stated intent of some groups to destroy Israel can't be ignored if a fair solution is to be reached.  I wish I knew the answers, but it will take someone wiser than me to figure it out.

  • OldMike
    Posted: Sat, 08/24/2019 01:22 am

    I believe most Americans are relatively uninformed about the history of the formation of the Nation of Israel. Understandably, because of the intense opposition to Israel from before its founding until the present, a lot of misinformation is presented as fact. 

    The government of Great Britain, which controlled much of the Middle East during the first half of the Twentieth Century,  proposed a Palestinian Jewish homeland in the Balfour Declaration in 1917. This was during WWI, in which the Ottoman Empire, a member of the Central (Axis) Powers, was in conflict with Great Britain in the Middle East. The Balfour Declaration followed nearly a century of advocacy of a Jewish homeland by some in British government. 

    Except for Jews around the world and some members of the British government, there was little support for a Jewish homeland, until after WW 2 and the horrors of the Holocaust were known. 

    The Holocaust gave impetus to a United Nations   vote on November 29,1947 to establish separate Jewish and Arab sovereign nations in Palestine. In the first decades of the Twentieth Century, the Jewish minority population of the Palestinian territory had been augmented by immigration of small numbers of European and Russian Jews to Palestine, in the belief that a Jewish nation would eventually be formed. 

    Nevertheless, it was still a small Jewish population that faced the Arab nations, all of which immediately opposed the UN resolution, in a so-called civil war that began the day after the UN vote. 

    Initially, Jewish and Palestinian Arab militias faced off in largely guerrilla warfare.  As the Jews gradually gained the upper hand and began to an establish an area that was under their definite control, the British began to withdraw from Palestine. May 14, 1948, the British completed withdrawal of their forces and renounced all claims to territory in Palestine. 

    That same day, Jewish leadership declared an independent nation, Israel. This was followed immediately by invasion by the surrounding Arab states, primarily Egypt, Jordan, Iraq, Syria, and Lebanon in addition to the Palestinian Arab forces that had been pushed out by the Jewish militias in the “civil war.”  The Jewish militias, organized into the Israeli Defense Forces, achieved stunning victories (I regard them as miraculous) over the Egyptians, resulting in Egypt only retaining the Gaza; over the Jordanian-Iraqi Forces, who did manage to retain East Jerusalem and the Old City, plus a portion of the Palestinian highlands—the Golan Heights; and over Jordan who held onto and eventually annexed the West Bank. 

    During the first half of 1949, separate armistices were signed between Israel and Egypt, Lebanon, Jordan, and Syria, although fighting with Palestinian Arab Forces in Israel continued. As these forces were defeated, many Palestinians were expelled or fled to the Gaza and West Bank. 

    During the next three years, the population of Israel was increased by immigration of over 700,000 Jews, mostly Europeans and Jews expelled by Arab states.

    At the same time, and ever since, resettlement of Palestinians into surrounding Arab nations has been discouraged or even barred. It is believed by many that this is intended to keep the Palestinians angry and hostile towards Israel in the constrained spaces the Arab nations have allotted them. 

    At the same time, Arabs who did not flee Israel, nor take part in the hostilities, continue to live in peace and relative prosperity within the State of Israel. There are, as of 2016, 1,450,000 Muslims in Israel, about 10 times as many as there were in 1949. This is about 17% of Israel’s population. There are over 400 mosques in Israel, compared to only 80 as recently as 1988.  

    Claims that Israel has or is persecuting the Palestinians need to be viewed with the ongoing Palestinian attacks on the People of Israel in mind.