I Pledge Allegiance to the…Wait, What?
President Trump has never been known for his subtlety, and today showed that won’t be changing anytime soon. Over the past 48 hours, he has suggested Jewish Americans are ill informed on policy for siding overwhelmingly with Democrats and “disloyal” to Israel for opposing his presidency.
“In my opinion, if you vote for a Democrat you’re being very disloyal to Jewish people and you’re being very disloyal to Israel,” he said Wednesdayat the White House. “And only weak people would say anything other than that.”
Love him or hate him, no one can dispute that PDT has been a very strong supporter of the Jewish state. Unfortunately, he seems to have a poor understanding of how this issue relates to American Jews, who are overwhelmingly liberal and mostly apathetic to Israel.
According to the latest data, about half of American Jews are “solidly secular” or “religious resistors,” the latter being openly hostile to religion. About 1/5 of American Jews practice Judaism and an even smaller percentage consider themselves devout.
It’s fair to say that PDT hasn’t brought much of the Jewish vote over to our side in the last couple days. If anything, he’s ginned up a bunch of liberals, which is a rich-get-richer situation for Dims. Trump and Roughly 71% of Jewish voters sided with Hillary Clinton over Trump in 2016, and the Democrats’ advantage among that bloc jumped to 79% in last year’s midterms.
The language of “disloyalty” is of course problematic. Americans owe no allegiance to any foreign country, even ones that were created specifically for themselves. Though I must confess, I’m jealous that Jews get to have their own homeland. It’s considered a racist concept if anyone else attempts to claim one for themselves.
But while Trump’s remarks may have missed the mark, the media are using them to conceal the real story on the Hill, which is the emergence of an overt anti-Semitism within the Democrat party, led of course by Reps. Ilhan Omar and Rashida Tlaib.
They support the movement to Boycott, Divest and Sanction Israel, aka BDS. The BDS movement wants Israel to stop occupying the West Bank, East Jerusalem, Gaza, and Golan Heights. It was encouraged, naturally, by the unanimous United Nations Security Council Resolution 242, which includes the United States, from 1967 calling for Israel to withdraw from “territories occupied in the recent conflict.”
Supporters claim that this movement is a non-violent approach to protesting Israel’s military rule over occupied territories, while Israel believes the goal of the campaign is to delegitimize the state and eventually eliminate it altogether.
Israel is right.
The BDS movement isn’t satisfied to see an end to settlements, which actually happened not long ago, by the way. They don’t believe in Israel’s right to exist, period. They view the entire area as “Palestine,” a made up country that has never and will never exist. BDS co-founder Omar Barghouti has said in the past that, “Most definitely, we oppose a Jewish state in any part of Palestine.”
It doesn’t get more cut and dried and that.
There’s also the selective moral outrage practiced by BDS supporters. Every sin Israel has ever committed is placed under a microscope and magnified for the world to see. Meanwhile, countries in the region who commit far more egregious offenses (stoning women to death for the crime of being raped, throwing gays off rooftops, state-sponsored terrorism) are never condemned. This singling out of Israel for eradication suggests that the movement has nothing to do with morality and everything to do with eliminating a Jewish state in the heart of the Middle East. They hate Israel, period. They hate Jews, period. And now they have representation in Congress.
Demanding loyalty to Israel may be bad, but wanting to wipe it off the map is far worse. This is a pretty elementary point, but one that unfortunately won’t win the day anytime soon.
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