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Trump saying he is ‘king of Israel’ is not that far off the mark 

Opinion
on 10 Comments

The leader of the freefalling world, Donald Trump, took to Twitter today to quote someone who claimed Trump is considered in Israel to be a king and the second coming of God.

Upon encountering this latest emanation, I first checked I was not being spoofed, and, upon discovering “king of Israel” is trending on Twitter, I raided the alcohol stores. Having severely depleted them, with just a third of a bottle of Arak left in case I’ll have to enter Twitter again, my brain reached a troublesome conclusion:

He’s right, you know.

Well, not literally, no. Israel is technically a republic, and even had Trump wanted to get himself crowned, we already have a local would-be royal family, the Netanyahus. Seeing Trump engaging the local Lady Macbeth, Sara Netanyahu, in a free-for-all for the throne would be something I’d be willing to pay to watch, though.

Also, technically speaking, Trump couldn’t be anointed because, well, Israel is a Jewish-Orthodox country, only male Jews need apply for the crown, and there’s the slight problem that you’ll have to be the messiah to get the job. I think this last clause definitely disqualifies him.

And, of course, Orthodox Judaism does not recognize the concept of the “second coming of God.” To be more pedantic about it, it’s considered to be a heresy, quite likely punishable by death.

But.

But when you combine this latest outburst with his claim that American Jews who vote Democrat are disloyal, you get a pretty accurate mental picture of what many Jews in Israel actually believe.

Israel is the only country in the world, I’m told, whose inhabitants have a positive image of Trump. When you hear our right-wingers speak about Trump, they do tend to call him king; and Netanyahu and other Israeli leaders have compared him to the Persian King of All Kings, Cyrus, who gave permission to rebuild Jerusalem after its destruction in 586 BC.

This is what the Bible has to say about Cyrus:

“Thus says the Lord to His anointed, to Cyrus, whom He has taken by his right hand […] I will go before you shattering the heights, I will shatter the bronze gateways, smash the iron bars; I will give you the hidden treasures, the sacred hoards, that you may know that I am the Lord.” Isaiah 45:1-3.

In Hebrew, “anointed” means “messiah”. So, when Netanyahu and his ilk are speaking of Trump as Cyrus, they are referring to him as someone declared messiah by the Lord. And they do believe he is a sort of messiah: he is the one to stand beside Israel against the nations. He is poking his fingers in the eyes of the enemies of Israel and showing them the Jews are right.

And most Israeli Jews do consider American Jews who vote Democrat to be disloyal – disloyal to their true country (as Israelis see it), which is Israel. American Jews are supposed to be the bulwark of Israel in the US and support it without question. That most American Jews are liberal and progressive (even if often progressive except for Palestine) is a major irritant to right-wing Israelis. Those American Jews are not in sync with the Fox Nation which is Israel.

So, while Trump is much more the Book of Esther’s Ahasuerus than he is Cyrus (I hereby deeply apologize to the real Xerxes and hope he will show me mercy worthy of his greatness), and while he is no king and never will be; and while conceiving him as a second coming of anything but Nero would be unspeakable apostasy – when Trump is speaking of the way he is seen by Israeli Jews, he’s not off the mark by much.

Which, in an unstable self-described genius with solid anti-Semitic credentials, should be very worrying for American Jews. They are now officially designated as “the bad Jews” as compared to the “good” ones, those who live here. And, should Trump act against them and not just wait for his goons to understand the dog whistles, most Israeli Jews will shake their heads and say: They had it coming. Why couldn’t they be more like us?

Yossi Gurvitz

Yossi Gurvitz is a journalist and a blogger, and has covered the occupation extensively.

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10 Responses

  1. eljay on August 21, 2019, 11:43 am

    … When you hear our right-wingers speak about Trump, they do tend to call him king …

    “Then it all crashes down and you break your crown
    and you point your finger but there’s no-one around

    Just want one thing, just to play the king
    but the castle’s crumbled and you’re left with just a name

    Where’s your crown, King Nothing”

    (with sincerest apologies to Metallica)

    • Misterioso on August 22, 2019, 9:38 am

      @eljay, etal

      Read and weep!!

      https://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/americas/us-politics/trump-news-latest-jewish-antisemitism-king-of-israel-twitter-democrats-a9072951.html

      “Trump Promotes Claim Jewish Israelis Love Him Like He is ‘King of Israel and Second Coming of God'”

      The Independent, August 21/19 by Tom Embury-Dennis

      “Donald Trump has promoted a claim that Jewish people in Israel love him like he is the ‘king’ of the country and ‘the second coming of God.’

      “’President Trump is the greatest President for Jews and for Israel in the history of the world, not just America, he is the best President for Israel in the history of the world…and the Jewish people in Israel love him like he’s the King of Israel,’ tweeted Mr. Trump, quoting Wayne Allyn Root, a conservative radio host known for promoting conspiracy theories.

      “’They love him like he is the second coming of God… But American Jews don’t know him or like him. They don’t even know what they’re doing or saying anymore. It makes no sense!’

      “’But that’s OK, if he keeps doing what he’s doing, he’s good for all Jews, Blacks, Gays, everyone. And importantly, he’s good for everyone in America who wants a job.’

      “Mr. Trump added his own comment at the end: ‘Wow!’

      “The extraordinary series of tweets, including the claim American Jews ‘don’t even know what they’re doing,’ came after the US president on Tuesday appeared to use an anti-Semitic trope during an attack on two Democratic congresswomen when he suggested Jews who oppose him are ‘disloyal’ to Israel.

      “Rashida Tlaib and Ilhan Omar, who are both women of colour, were barred by Israel last week from visiting for an official trip over their support for the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement, after urging from Mr. Trump. Israel later agreed to a humanitarian visit for Ms. Tlaib to visit her grandmother, who lives in the occupied West Bank. Ms. Tlaib declined, saying her grandmother had ultimately urged her not to come under what they considered to be humiliating circumstances.

      “’Where has the Democratic Party gone? Where have they gone where they are defending these two people over the state of Israel?’ said Mr. Trump, who had previously urged Israel to keep the Muslim congresswomen out of the country.

      “’I think any Jewish people that vote for a Democrat, I think it shows either a total lack of knowledge or great disloyalty.’

      “On Wednesday, Mr. Trump doubled down on his claim when he sent a follow-up tweet accusing Ms. Tlaib of wanting to ‘cut off aid to Israel.’

      “Ms. Tlaib and Ms. Omar have both said they support the use of boycotts to pressure governments – including Israel’s – over human rights abuses.

      “’This is the new face the of Democrat Party? Read the AOC PLUS 3 statements on their hatred of Jews and Israel,’ Mr. Trump added, in reference to congresswomen Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Ms. Tlaib, Ms. Omar and Ayanna Pressley. ‘Check out Rep. Omar (the great people of Minnesota won’t stand for this).’

      “Mr. Trump called Ms. Omar a ‘disaster’ for Jews and said he didn’t ‘buy’ the tears that Ms. Tlaib shed as she discussed the situation

      “Ms. Omar serves as the representative for Minnesota’s fifth congressional district.

      “A number of Jewish groups noted that accusations of disloyalty have long been made against Jews, including in Europe during the 1930s. Ann Lewis and Mark Mellman of Democratic Majority for Israel called it ‘one of the most dangerous, deadly accusations Jews have faced over the years. False charges of disloyalty over the centuries have led to Jews being murdered, jailed and tortured.’

      “A number of other groups also denounced the remarks. ‘At a time when anti-Semitic incidents have increased – due to the president’s emboldening of white nationalism – Trump is repeating an anti-Semitic trope,’ said Halie Soifer, executive director of the Jewish Democratic Council of America.

      “Logan Bayroff of the liberal J Street pro-Israel group said it was ‘no surprise that the president’s racist, disingenuous attacks on progressive women of colour in congress have now transitioned into smears against Jews.’

      “However, the Republican Jewish Coalition argued that Mr. Trump was speaking about people being disloyal to themselves rather than to Israel. ‘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 group said in a tweet.

      “Earlier this year, Ms. Omar was criticised by members of both parties for saying that she wanted to discuss ‘the political influence in this country that says it is OK for people to push for allegiance to a foreign country.’

      “Mr. Root’s unfounded claim that Mr. Trump is the best president ‘in history’ for Israel was further undermined by his assertion Jews in the country love him ‘like the second coming,’ which has no basis in Judaism, and is in fact a Christian and Islamic belief about the future return of Jesus.

      “The radio host, who has variously described himself as a Jew and an evangelical Christian, has a history of promoting conspiracy theories, including that former president Barack Obama was born outside the US and that all liberals are gay.

      “He even once claimed during a federal investigation into Mr. Trump’s links to Russia that special counsel Robert Mueller led the probe because he was motivated by ‘penis envy’ against the president.”

  2. chris_k on August 21, 2019, 1:52 pm

    DTRI

  3. Keith on August 21, 2019, 6:57 pm

    YOSSI GURVITZ- “Which, in an unstable self-described genius with solid anti-Semitic credentials, should be very worrying for American Jews.”

    What is happening is really rather interesting. Bill Clinton and the New Democrats saved the Democratic party from continued electoral defeat by successfully competing with the Republicans for corporate campaign contributions. The party of Roosevelt was transformed into the party of Clinton, progressives purged by Rahm Emanuel. Clinton also broke new ground in pandering to the Jewish elites.

    Now Trump comes along and is competing with the Democrats for the Jewish campaign contributions. So what you now have is the two corporate parties opening the flood gates of favors to the corporations and the Zionist Jews, trying to outdo each other in subservience to these two groups.

  4. Kay24 on August 22, 2019, 5:51 am

    Israelis who support Trump either have no clue about what he does in the US, or they don’t care, as long as he keeps doing Netanyahu’s bidding, and the country benefits. They are willing to vote for Netanyahu again and again despite his wife and he being investigated for corruption, I would say their standards for a leader are very, very low.

  5. RoHa on August 22, 2019, 5:58 am

    But it looks as though he is not going to be King of Greenland.

    • eljay on August 22, 2019, 8:03 am

      || RoHa: But it looks as though he is not going to be King of Greenland. ||

      Perhaps he’ll just be the King of Wishful Thinking (and pretend his ship’s not sinking).

  6. Ossinev on August 22, 2019, 9:52 am

    “an unstable self-described genius”

    Perhaps this may have something to do with it:

    http://www.buzzsawmag.org/2011/12/07/twenty-something-attempts-self-lobotomy/

    It would also explain the totemic comb over – hiding the scars ?

  7. Vera Gottlieb on August 22, 2019, 10:29 am

    The stench is becoming horrible…Why must every fart Trump lets go be reported??? This guy belongs in a loony bin.

    • Misterioso on August 22, 2019, 11:12 am

      More grist for the mill:

      https://www.haaretz.com/opinion/.premium-trump-has-made-it-official-he-is-the-greatest-anti-semite-of-our-age-1.7729391

      “Trump Has Made It Official: He Is the Greatest anti-Semite of Our Age” By Bradley Burston, August 22/19, Haaretz

      “For years he boogalooed around the issue, dog-whistling Dixie. But he just pulled the pin off the grenade – and for electoral gain.”

      “If you’re a Jew, you know it the nanosecond you hear it. Anti-Semitism. The real deal.

      “You can’t help it. You carry the sensors for Jew-hate around with you – the alarm receptors are built into your every cell, coiled into your mitochondria, twist-tied into your DNA. Trip-wires to alert you to the Nazi-worshipper, the Grand Inquisitor, the Klansman, the Christ-avenger.

      “It all comes down to what you decide to do with the information.

      “One characteristic of the true anti-Semite is the way in which they’ll test their message, to see how clear and public and how harmful – and in too many recent cases, how deadly – they can get before they’re stopped. The uber-anti-Semite, meantime, tests how far he can go, how high he can climb, the sewage-depth of what he can get away with, straight up against the Jews themselves.

      “Which brings us to the man who has now proven himself, well beyond all rivals, as the greatest anti-Semite of our age.

      “For years he’s boogalooed and pirouetted around the issue, dog whistling Dixie at every opportunity. This week though, he made it official, gnawing on and extracting with his very teeth the pin on the fragmentation grenade that went: ‘Any Jewish people that vote for a Democrat, I think it shows either a total lack of knowledge or great disloyalty.’

      “There it is. His test of the Jews, full frontal. Come and get me, he taunts. And just watch me as I mine and inflame and leverage the Jew in you, and turn all of it into votes.

      “In fact, he’s already begun. The first step was to win the mehadrin, ultra-glatt stamp of Jew-loving kosher certification from the Council of Jewish Sages known as the Republican Jewish Coalition. This took only a matter of moments.

      “’President Trump is right,’ the RJC declared in a tweet, adding, in a wholly inadvertent effective condemnation of both itself and, in fact, the some 20 percent of Jews who still, for whatever reason, back Trump: ‘… it shows a great deal of disloyalty to oneself to defend a party that protects/emboldens people that hate you for your religion.’

      “The RJC then dug its pilot hole a ton deeper, calling unwanted attention to the many, many Republican officeholders, Trump in the lead, who employed – without apology or censure – overtly anti-Semitic memes in their election campaigns over the past two years:

      “’The @GOP, when rarely confronted w/anti-Semitism of elected members, always acts swiftly and decisively to punish and remove,’ the RJC tweeted.

      “Tell that to Republican House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy and a host of others whose campaigns have used anti-Semitic memes, and whose political careers sail on, undeterred, unscathed.

      “But wait, it gets better. Now we’re seeing how Trump intends to spin his Jewish Problem into electoral gold.

      “The message is swiftly coming into focus. It’s not Jews he’s talking to at all. He’s talking to Evangelicals, the core reactor of his electoral strength. He’s in a do-or-die offensive to hold them and drive them and to light an inextinguishable blaze beneath their backsides, and what he’s telling them is simple as flat trajectory AK fire:

      “You’re better Zionists than the Jews are, and at this point, you – and especially, I – are even more pro-Israel than that Omar-Tlaib waffler Netanyahu.

      “Not only that, you can lock in your place in scripture, in rapture, in the End of Days, with nothing more than one vote. Donald Trump.

      “On Wednesday, Trump tweeted quotes from an unusually enthusiastic endorsement of his remarks about Jews. The source was Wayne Allyn Root, a conservative radio host and author, an ardent pro-Trump conspiracy theorist who described himself in a religiously Trump-thumping 2016 article as ‘a Jew turned Evangelical Christian.’

      “Decrying the carping and ignorance of American Jews, Root suggested that – following the example of Israelis who adore the American president – Trump should be seen as the ‘King of Israel’ and ‘the second coming of God.’

      “’President Trump is the greatest President for Jews and for Israel in the history of the world, not just America, he is the best President for Israel in the history of the world. … and the Jewish People in Israel love him … like he’s the King of Israel. They love him like he’s the second coming of God …’

      “’But American Jews don’t know him or like him. They don’t even know what they’re doing or saying anymore. It makes no sense!’
      Yes it does.
      I am a proud Democrat.
      I am a proud Jew.
      I see anti-Semitism as an enemy. I see Donald Trump the same way.

      “I am one of the 80 percent of American Jews who have observed Donald Trump foster, wink at, and benefit from Jew-baiting – along with Islamophobia, homophobia, misogyny, and bigotry toward African-Americans, Hispanic Americans, disabled Americans and immigrants as a whole.

      “I just want to say this one thing of Stephen Miller, Steven Mnuchin, the Republican Jewish Coalition, and the other court Jews who stand by, enable, protect and embolden Donald Trump’s innate anti-Semitism:

      “‘These Jews will not replace us.'”

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