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Trump could be bumpy for Jews

US Politics
on 23 Comments

Two headlines have contrasting messages about Donald Trump and Jews.

Clinton Leads Trump by 43 Points Among Jewish Voters in Florida” – Jewish Insider

“Trump’s image among [US] Jewish voters is underwater by 50 percent…A whopping 71 percent have an unfavorable view of him.”

Third Israeli Trump campaign office opens in Tel Aviv’s Diamond District” – Jerusalem Post

“A fourth office is scheduled to be opened in the West Bank, and a fifth may be added later, according to the report.” (Approximately 200,000 American citizens live in Israel,  60,000 of them in occupied Palestinian territories.)

Reports say Israeli Jews have an unusual taste for The Donald, compared to American Jews. Jews in Israel may more easily support Trump because they will not be exposed to danger from a radicalized Christian majority.

The ancestors of most Jews experienced the worst of being outsiders, “vermin,” “parasites,” and Jews have a learned aversion to governments that persecute, and to proud majoritarian mobs. For better and worse, our mythology is of a wanderer people, reviled, homeless — what Esther Benbassa calls “Suffering as Identity.”

The experience of fear, experience of being a suspect stranger no matter the length of sojourn, is credited for an ennobling of the Jewish character in Jewish self-talk.  For you were strangers in the land of Egypt…

In a sort of perverse Johnny Appleseed law of Jews, Theodor Herzl proposed that “We naturally move to those places where we are not persecuted, and there our presence produces persecution.”

(This summarizes the Jewish national territorial imperative of his 1896 Zionist manifesto Der Judenstaat.)

A descendant of a Lipschitz or Slutzky from Romania or Moldova has been able to make a life in the United States, with no limits except those internalized, but reawakened Christian hostility has always been a consideration.

Trump’s manner may not be as shocking to the Israeli ear. Current Israeli Justice minister Ayelet Shaked posted an article with the idea that Palestinian Arabs are “snakes” who need to be killed.

Trump repeatedly likens refugees to snakes and, notoriously, opened his campaign slandering Mexican immigrants. (The one thing that candidate Trump consistently models is brutality.)
Was his talk to the Republican Jewish coalition on Dec. 3, 2015 antisemitic?

“Is there anyone in this room who doesn’t renegotiate deals? Probably 99% of you. Probably more than any room I’ve ever spoken in…. I’m a negotiator, like you folks.”

And later, the shiv:  “But you’re not going to support me because I don’t want your money… You want to control your own politicians.”  Trump spoke with an abandon about Jews not seen since Warren Beatty’s Bulworth. (In the 1998 movie, Beatty’s character, a California senator, says, “They always put the big Jews on my schedule. You’re mostly Jews, right? Three out of four of you? I bet Murphy put something bad about Farrakhan in here [in my speech] for you!”)

Reviewing Trump’s Republican Jewish Coalition speech and other behavior, scholar Deborah Lipstadt wrote in an article in the Forward, in June, “He may be what I call ‘the inadvertent anti-Semite’ — the person who, while not a hater of Jews, has internalized some of the most pernicious stereotypes about Jews.”

Whether Trump “turns on” Jews formally may be unimportant. Lipstadt sees the Trump campaign leaving a legacy of “enabling and legitimizing Jew hatred.”

Lipstadt sums the public American consensus since the Holocaust: “When confronting racism and anti-Semitism, there is only one acceptable response. It’s not ‘no comment’ or ‘I don’t know anything about David Duke.’ It’s unequivocal condemnation.”

There was an unprecedented breach of the consensus when Breitbart.com called William Kristol a “renegade Jew” in a headline. (Breitbart executive Stephen Bannon is now Trump campaign CEO.)

It’s not unreasonable to think that the collapse of the consensus that we speak of each other with at least the pretense of respect will impact the Jewish community. It brings to mind the jokes with the punchline, What does it mean for the Jews?

It’s a rare American Jewish artist — from Mel Brooks to Edward Lewis Wallant to Bruce Jay Friedman — who does not have fear as a boon companion. Transmuted, dressed as a harlequin, but a partner.

American Jews have been holders of a particular combination of privilege — “white” in America, and with Moses at Mount Sinai when the Torah was received — and memories of talks at the kitchen table of family lost in Europe, what industries were hostile to Jews, and slurs or beatings.

American Jews, a group that prides itself, justly, with working for the public good in many ways, and in organizing social welfare institutions that serve the communities in which it lives, may have to confront how other work it has done is perceived.

Bigots are coming out of the woodwork, exposing American Jews to treatment that unprotected minorities have experienced but which Jews have only sporadically been exposed.

Jewish journalists have reported messages and threats unknown previously in their careers, from Trump supporters.

Historical maltreatment of Jews in America has been more than country club exclusions or university quotas.

Lynching of Leo Frank, Marietta, Georgia, August 17, 1915. Postcard, gelatin silver print. Prints and Photographs Division, Library of Congress

Lynching of Leo Frank, Marietta, Georgia, August 17, 1915. Postcard, gelatin silver print. Prints and Photographs Division, Library of Congress

The lynch death of Leo Frank is an example of the worst treatment. Pictures of Frank’s death, Aug. 17, 1915, in Marietta, Georgia, became part of the American commercial art form of lynching photo postcards — proud, organized action of “lynch law” — distinct from “mob violence.”

American Jews may not be braced for the changes happening. George Washington University’s Program on Extremism has published a report reporting on a 600% increase in White Nationalist tweets since 2012:  “White nationalist movement growing much faster than Isis on Twitter, study finds

That White Nationalism/Christian Identity movement politics is a prominent strain in the Trump cause may signal a season of danger to Jews and other stigmatized “undesirables” in the United States.

If we are worthy of our heritage, we’ll take strength from the example of Chaney, Schwerner and Goodman, and fight for our home.

At first, this possibility of “Othering” may seem it would an unimaginable break in American existence. Looked at with the experience of those on the receiving end of American power — the indigenous, enslaved, scorned, or foreign — it snaps into focus.

Expulsion from America was near to the mind of Eastern European immigrant Jews in the late 1800s.

“This possibility was discussed dispassionately and without bitterness almost, as if it were a logical proposition and the inevitable fate of diaspora existence,” Shlomo Noble wrote in a survey of proto-Zionism in the early US Yiddish press.

A poem found by Noble supposed:

In America preparations are made to give you

a kick

A blow or a tickle with a knife

You found Ivan’s blow painful

The American blow will be more painful.

About Abba Solomon

Abba A. Solomon is the author of “The Speech, and Its Context: Jacob Blaustein's Speech ‘The Meaning of Palestine Partition to American Jews.’” His website is abbasolomon.com

Other posts by .


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23 Responses

  1. Citizen
    Citizen
    September 14, 2016, 12:56 pm

    “Historical maltreatment of Jews in America has been more than country club exclusions or university quotas.”

    Really? More than which other groups other than WASPs?

    • Mooser
      Mooser
      September 15, 2016, 4:49 pm

      “Really? More than which other groups other than WASPs?”

      “Citizen” haven’t we been over this a bunch of times? The US Government has never even considered making Jews in America anything other than ordinary citizens. The US does not recognize the Jews as “a people” or “a nation”.

      Just ordinary US citizens, from the very beginning of the Republic.
      George Washington, how could you?

  2. Krauss
    Krauss
    September 14, 2016, 2:24 pm

    What’s ironic is that many Jews themselves are prominent in the WN movement. Paul Gottfrid is the grand master of the so-called alt right – he even invented the phrase. Robert Weissberg is another. Unz hosts what can only be called a plethora of alt-right writers like Steve Sailer, A. Karlin and others. Unz is Jewish, FYI.

    So I am a bit puzzled by this author’s assertions. Are those Jews delusional? I doubt it.

    Second, that Jews in America are afraid of Trump(especially those on the left) is not surprising. Many Jews embraced liberalism in America for tribal reasons, not out of principle.

    If liberalism and humanism was inherent in Jewish culture, Israel wouldn’t have been an Apartheid state. Israel is not synonymous with Jewish culture, as much as white-ruled South Africa was not synonymous with Dutch culture (or British culture).

    The point I’m making is that the tone of the author is a bit dated. It implicitly buys into the mythology of Jews as liberals. My contention is that this is very circumstancial. Look at the right-wing turn of British Jews for instance. Just 9% or so of them vote Labour. They are overwhelmingly Zionist(i.e. ethnic nationalists).

    I personally find it somewhat amusing that so many ethnic nationalists seem to think they are liberals, when they are afraid of the very same people who are just like them.

  3. JLewisDickerson
    JLewisDickerson
    September 14, 2016, 6:44 pm

    RE: “Trump’s manner may not be as shocking to the Israeli ear. Current Israeli Justice minister Ayelet Shaked posted an article with the idea that Palestinian Arabs are ‘snakes’ who need to be killed.
    Trump repeatedly likens refugees to snakes and, notoriously, opened his campaign slandering Mexican immigrants. (The one thing that candidate Trump consistently models is brutality.)”
    ~ Soloman

    “ACTION, NOT WORDS!”
    “ACTION, NOT WORDS!”
    “ACTION, NOT WORDS!”

    NSU: German History X
    Mitten in Deutschland: NSU (original title)
    Crime, Drama | TV Mini-Series (2016– )
    After German reunification, the neo-Nazi National Socialist Underground begins a killing spree while cops fight an uphill battle to catch them.
    Internet Movie Database (7.7/10) – http://www.imdb.com/title/tt5765988/
    Netflix Streaming – https://www.netflix.com/title/80104622

    • JLewisDickerson
      JLewisDickerson
      September 14, 2016, 7:42 pm

      P.S.
      ■ WIKIPEDIA:
      • National Socialist Underground – https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/National_Socialist_Underground
      • NSU murders – https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/NSU_murders
      • NSU Trial – https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/NSU_Trial

      ■ National Socialist Underground – SPIEGEL ONLINE
      Der Spiegel
      Feb 27, 2014 – Neo-Nazi Terror Cell. The trial of Beate Zschäpe of the National Socialist Underground neo-Nazi terror cell is currently underway in Munich.
      LINK –

      ■ Four years of Germany’s worst neo-Nazi scandal – The Local
      http://www.thelocal.de/20151104/germanys-biggest-neo-nazi-trail-a-timeline
      The Local
      Nov 4, 2015 – The attackers were the National Socialist Underground, made up of core members Uwe Mundlos, Uwe Böhnhardt and Beate Zschäpe.
      LINK – http://www.thelocal.de/20151104/germanys-biggest-neo-nazi-trail-a-timeline

      ■ Opinion: NSU murders: We can′t look the other way | Film | DW.COM …
      Apr 8, 2016 – … Germany: NSU), a three-part film on a series of murders allegedly committed by the self-styled National Socialist Underground (NSU) over 10 …
      LINK –

      ■ Neo Nazi Killers of Germany (SHOCKING Crime Documentary)

      Published on Mar 9, 2014
      Neo Nazi Killers of Germany (SHOCKING Crime Documentary)

      The Bosphorus serial murders also known as Döner murders, the term often used by the media, were a series of attacks that took place in Germany between 2000 and 2006, leaving ten people dead and one wounded. The attackers called themselves National Socialist Underground (NSU) (German: Nationalsozialistischer Untergrund). The primary targets were ethnic Turks, but one Greek and one German policewoman were also killed.

      The victims were mostly small business owners, including doner kebab vendors and greengrocers. They were murdered in daylight with gunshots to the face at close range with a silenced CZ 83 pistol. According to the parents of a Turkish victim who worked in an internet café, the police originally suspected foreign organised criminals. A German policewoman, Michèle Kiesewetter, was also shot and killed and the police officer on patrol with her was critically wounded. Other crimes, including a bomb attack, may have been committed by the group. German authorities identified three suspects, Uwe Böhnhardt, Uwe Mundlos, and Beate Zschäpe as responsible for the murders. According to the acting Attorney General of Germany, Rainer Greisbaum, the suspects had Neo-Nazi links. Böhnhardt and Mundlos were found dead by police after they robbed a bank on 4 November 2011. Police said they killed themselves. Zschäpe surrendered on 11 November 2011. She will probably face charges of murder, attempted murder, arson, and belonging to a terrorist organization. Zschäpe said she was only willing to testify if she was considered a state witness, with mitigation of sentence. The police discovered an alleged hit-list of 88 names that included “two prominent members of the Bundestag and representatives of Turkish and Islamic groups”.
      Category – Education
      License – Standard YouTube License

  4. Walker
    Walker
    September 14, 2016, 6:52 pm

    Abba, I sympathize with your fears, but I think you have your antennae out way too far. “The lynch death of Leo Frank is an example of the worst treatment”? What’s the other comparable example of mistreatment of Jews in the US? That’s ONE lynching out of 4,733 recorded by the Tuskegee Institute since 1882.

  5. ritzl
    ritzl
    September 14, 2016, 8:39 pm

    “The ancestors of most Jews experienced the worst of being outsiders, “vermin,” “parasites,” and Jews have a learned aversion to governments that persecute, and to proud majoritarian mobs.” – See more at: http://mondoweiss.net/2016/09/israeli-trump-otherd/#sthash.CIOYtxYZ.dpuf

    Come again. Is that a joke?

    If “Jews” (following from the deplorable generalization in the article) keep sending Billions in annual federal aid to the motherland thus quite literally depriving poor people in Alabama of health care, that’s a choice that “Jews” make (and broadcast).

    If “Jews” don’t like being the objects of scorn then stop doing bad/selfish stuff that hurts people. Simple. Or maybe better, if it’s bad for “Jews” to be singled out don’t write an article that singles out “Jews” as particularly vulnerable. If elected, Trump is going to be bad for a lot of people.

    “Bad for Jews” has such a sour privileged taste to it. Who cares? We’re all in this TOGETHER. Or are we? Wait, now I’m not so sure. (See how that works…)

    Trump is only the conduit not the instigator. As this article so perfectly illustrates, this is a self-inflicted concern – if it is a concern at all.

    And for PS sakes, If your worried about how “Jews” are perceived and/or singled out, don’t crow about how Hillary is going to be good for “Jews” when she’s going to be bad for the vast majority of the other people on the planet.

    Cheers.

    • Citizen
      Citizen
      September 15, 2016, 12:04 pm

      Hillary promised in public to take US special relationship with Israel “up to another level.” I guess Obama’s recent $38 billion gift to selllement-crazy Israel isn’t enough for our very own welfare queen, nuclear-armed foreign state. Further, Trump wants another $90 billion to save our deteriorated US military. But he won’t diss more huge charity for the Israeli military, ask to divert it to help our troops, our own nation’s defense.

  6. echinococcus
    echinococcus
    September 15, 2016, 1:31 am

    What a paranoid text. Sounds like the author needs to seek professional help.
    ——-
    Apart from that, what the heck does this mean:

    Jews have a learned aversion to governments that persecute, and to proud majoritarian mobs.

    What kind of a joke is this? Never heard of the Zionist entity in Palestine? The Zionist entity that is the foremost representative in out time of “governments that persecute, and …proud majoritarian mobs”.
    If you think Zionists in the Zionist entity are not Jews in your mind, that doesn’t make them so.

    • Mooser
      Mooser
      September 15, 2016, 4:39 pm

      “Apart from that, what the heck does this mean

      “Echin” why he’s able to say that, I don’t know. The balebatisheh yiden
      are a closed book to me.

      • echinococcus
        echinococcus
        September 16, 2016, 12:55 am

        Mooser,

        I’m sorry the censors let pass precisely this post, which sounds confusing to you and me both. They’re supposed to protect the well-meaning not only from attacks on Zionism but also from this kind of doubts.

      • gamal
        gamal
        September 16, 2016, 12:40 pm

        “The balebatisheh yiden are a closed book to me.”

        what with this “fear Anti-Semiticism” and oppose intervention post Libya but never support any named Arab ( the very thought) and sell melancholy apathy as the proper response to American global slaughter, how many “Jews” will Trump drone?

        Mondoweiss is in danger of becoming the website that time forgot, the landscape is changing fast the ground you are standing on is drifting inexorably to the right all progressives suffer the same fate cynical and drunk and boring someone in some dark cafe……

        “Jews have a learned aversion to governments that persecute, and to proud majoritarian mobs.”

        pretty lies Abba, you just romanticizing some oppression in your head, but don’t get blue, the “Jewish” community in the west have constituted one of the most vociferous mobs calling down fire on all the peoples of the Arab/Muslim world and supporting the repression by the state of their fellow citizens , you haven’t been cowering in ghetto’s in a long long time if ever.

        I had very cordial relationships with Jews College for 2 decades, their students seemed marvelously privileged when compared with those of The Muslim College.

        the crisis is not in the Jewish community but in its official structures, like the wahhabi’s that the west has promoted amongst it’s own immigrant Muslim communities tough times for those bureaucratic ideologues ahead,

        when you learn to resist Zionists as we do Wahhabis, I can only wish you greater success than us, we are usless, Muslims have been so easily co-opted in the West,

        if you have $1300 you can buy one of only two copies available of “The Reformers of Egypt” by M.A. Zaki Badawi I also have part 2 “Revolutionary Islam” the single existent copy in self bound typed manuscript, bids will be high as it is in English, it contains no exoneration though, we suffer because of own actions.

        “signal a season of danger to Jews and other stigmatized “undesirables” in the United States.”

        oh God are you oppressed Abba, because you don’t fucking sound like it.

        we await the Mexican Jewish illegals stranded down in mobile with memphis blues again

        Those jockeys on the lawn aren’t Cossacks, Jewish Lives Matter, its just laughable.

        Am I not supposed to know who Deborah Lipstadt is? High Priestess of “you can not relativize the Holocaust”, you want allies or acolytes?

        Trump is he bad for Jews? i fear for white people the Sun kills them you know and its everywhere.

      • Mooser
        Mooser
        September 16, 2016, 1:35 pm

        “Gamal”, I like your comment so much I would marry it to a figure skater, and buy it a dishwasher and a coffee percolator, so it’ll drink at home now most nights with the TV on and all the house lights left up bright.

      • Mooser
        Mooser
        September 16, 2016, 1:45 pm

        “Mondoweiss is in danger of becoming the website that time forgot, the landscape is changing fast the ground

        Don’t worry, “Gamal”. Mondo will stay out in front the only way possible, by endorsing direct action against Zionism. Where else can they go?

      • Mooser
        Mooser
        September 17, 2016, 7:02 pm

        ” i fear for white people the Sun kills them you know and its everywhere.”

        Ah! All too true, “Gamal”, all too true. While I would be the last person to endorse “white identity”, on two occasions my sunburn has turned into a medical issue. When it comes to sunburn, I’m a whiter shade of frail. I need a sun-blocker with an ax-handle. (Serves me right for not wearing my spine pad and solar topee.)

      • gamal
        gamal
        September 24, 2016, 7:06 pm

        ” I would marry………….. it to a figure skater”

        ah you got my hopes up, i can see both sides now i may mingus a hejira ( yeah that third bottle of red was a dog eat dog, i want an adjournment there is only whisky left and the ladies of the canyon are a turbulent indigo chalk mark in a storm,

        ok i am no I will win in one relying on my deep knowledge of Jews, Reinnette, you have no answer, Joni ok, but Reinette to king 4.

        Reinette L’oranaise, nhabek nhabek, don’t get the wrong idea, but Reinnette always wins in these kind of things, you can’t deny her. you can’t tame this tiger. Jewish too. I once saw her autograph, every man in the room started sweating, fear its Mummy but scary Mummy. Nhabek?

        https://youtu.be/sGtevtVQqQg

      • Mooser
        Mooser
        September 25, 2016, 1:14 pm

        They knew Canada couldn’t hold her. As one of her own songs said: “Californy is the place you oughta be!”

  7. silamcuz
    silamcuz
    September 15, 2016, 7:30 am

    White racism will eventually only serve to critically harm those who engage in it. White male suicide rates are at the highest levels today, and there is no sign of the rate dropping anytime soon. People who kill themselves rarely do so to mark the end of a happy life.

  8. Atlantaiconoclast
    Atlantaiconoclast
    September 15, 2016, 3:10 pm

    How are right wing Christians dangerous for Jews? If anything, right wing Christians literally worship Jews, considering them God’s chosen. Many churches have Israel’s flag behind the pulpit.

    I am not a Christian any longer. But I grew up Christian and find it bizarre that people think Christians hate Jews. Even the ones who are not Christian Zionist, don’t “hate” Jews. White nationalists are a small fraction of the American population. And many of them do not hate other races, they just want to have freedom of association.

    And as for Leo Frank, there is another side to that story. The evidence indicates he tried to pin his vicious crime on an innocent Black man.

    • Mooser
      Mooser
      September 16, 2016, 1:41 pm

      “How are right wing Christians dangerous for Jews?”

      You have to ask? Don’t you know about the out-marriage statistics?

  9. MHughes976
    MHughes976
    September 15, 2016, 5:54 pm

    If anyone is to experience a Trump bump then everything suggests it will be Muslims. Some Jewish people will defend them.

  10. Eva Smagacz
    Eva Smagacz
    September 18, 2016, 4:23 am

    There is no magic forcefield that would protect Jews and other minorities from racism. Once you unleash racism against Muslims, there is predictable contagion from “these” minority to “those” minorities and the other minorities will be snared up in it.
    Just like McCarthy went after powerful and influential, it is given that the minorities that have in their ranks powerful and influential will be attacked with extra glee. Never underestimate racism reinforced with envy. I am concerned about the political climate that is developing.

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