Sunday, August 20, 2017

Is Señor Trumpanzee An Anti-Semite?


I went to PS 197 and then James Madison High School in a very Jewish part of Brooklyn. And politically, a very liberal part of Brooklyn. Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Bernie Sanders grew up in the same neighborhood and went to the same schools. It's still a very Jewish neighborhood... but not as liberal. Russian Jewish immigrants went heavily for Trump in this area and, in fact, Trump beat Hillary in precinct after precinct all over this part of Brooklyn. In an analysis right after the election, the Pew Research Center concluded that, nationally, 71% of Jews backed Hillary-- significantly less than the 78% who turned out for Obama in 2008, the 74% who voted for Kerry in 2004, or the 79% who voted for Gore in 2000, but 71% isn't bad. However, just before the election, the American Jewish Committee published a poll that found around half the Orthodox Jewish registered voters planned to back Trump and just 21% planned to vote for Clinton-- with 15% saying they would abstain.

Thursday, a prominent Jewish author, Pulitzer Prize and Hugo Award winner, Michael Chabon (The Yiddish Policemen's Union), who, 2 months ago enraged conservatives when he was interviewed on the radio and said "Every morning I wake up and in the seconds before I turn my phone on to see what the latest news is, I have this boundless sense of optimism and hope that this is the day that he’s going to have a massive stroke, and, you know, be carted out of the White House on a gurney and every day so far, I have been disappointed in that hope, but, you know, hope springs eternal; he’s an old guy, he doesn’t eat well, he’s overweight, he has terrible nutrition, he doesn’t exercise and it’s not that hard to imagine," penned an open letter to our fellow Jews.
To our fellow Jews, in the United States, in Israel, and around the world:

We know that, up to now, some of you have made an effort to reserve judgment on the question of whether or not President Donald Trump is an anti-Semite, and to give him the benefit of the doubt. Some of you voted for him last November. Some of you have found employment in his service, or have involved yourself with him in private business deals, or in diplomatic ties.

You have counted carefully as each appointment to his administration of a white supremacist, anti-Semite, neo-Nazi or crypto-fascist appeared to be counterbalanced by the appointment of a fellow Jew, and reassured yourself that the most troubling of those hires would be cumulatively outweighed by the presence, in his own family and circle of closest advisors, of a Jewish son-in-law and daughter.

You have given your support to the President’s long and appalling record of racist statements, at worst assenting to them, at best dismissing them as the empty blandishments of a huckster at work, and have chosen to see the warm reception that his rhetoric found among the hood-wearers, weekend stormtroopers, and militias of hate as proof of the gullibility of a bunch of patsies, however distasteful.

You have viewed him as a potential friend to Israel, or a reliable enemy of Israel’s enemies.

You have tried to allay or dismiss your fears with the knowledge that most of the President’s hateful words and actions, along with those of his appointees, have targeted other people--  immigrants, Black people, and Muslims--  taking hollow consolation in how open and shameless his hate has been, as if that openness and shamelessness guaranteed the absence, in his heart and in his administration, of any hidden hatred for us.

The President has no filter, no self-control, you have told yourself. If he were an anti-Semite--  a Nazi sympathizer, a friend of the Jew-hating Klan--  we would know about it, by now. By now, he would surely have told us.

Yesterday, in a long and ragged off-the-cuff address to the press corps, President Trump told us. During a moment that white supremacist godfather Steve Bannon has apparently described as a “defining” one for this Administration, the President expressed admiration and sympathy for a group of white supremacist demonstrators who marched through the streets of Charlottesville, flaunting Swastikas and openly chanting, along with vile racist slogans, “Jews will not replace us!” Among those demonstrators, according to Trump, were “a lot” of “innocent” and “very fine people.”

So, now you know. First he went after immigrants, the poor, Muslims, trans people and people of color, and you did nothing. You contributed to his campaign, you voted for him. You accepted positions on his staff and his councils. You entered into negotiations, cut deals, made contracts with him and his government.

Now he’s coming after you. The question is: what are you going to do about it? If you don’t feel, or can’t show, any concern, pain or understanding for the persecution and demonization of others, at least show a little self-interest. At least show a little sechel. At the very least, show a little self-respect.

To Steven Mnuchin, Gary Cohn, and our other fellow Jews currently serving under this odious regime: We call upon you to resign; and to the President’s lawyer, Michael D. Cohen: Fire your client.

To Sheldon Adelson and our other fellow Jews still engaged in making the repugnant calculation that a hater of Arabs must be a lover of Jews, or that money trumps hate, or that a million dollars’ worth of access can protect you from one boot heel at the door: Wise up.

To the government of Israel, and our fellow Jews living there: Wise up.

To Jared Kushner: You have one minute to do whatever it takes to keep the history of your people from looking back on you as among its greatest traitors, and greatest fools; that minute is nearly past. To Ivanka Trump: Allow us to teach you an ancient and venerable phrase, long employed by Jewish parents and children to one another at such moments of family crisis: I’ll sit shiva for you. Try it out on your father; see how it goes.

Among all the bleak and violent truths that found confirmation or came slouching into view amid the torchlight of Charlottesville is this: Any Jew, anywhere, who does not act to oppose President Donald Trump and his administration acts in favor of anti-Semitism; any Jew who does not condemn the President, directly and by name, for his racism, white supremacism, intolerance and Jew hatred, condones all of those things.

To our fellow Jews, in North America, in Israel, and around the world: What side are you on?

Meanwhile, Ayoub Kara, the crackpot Druze right-wing Israeli Communications Minister, told the Jerusalem Post and his Jewish countrymen to ignore Trump's flirtation with Nazis because Trump allows Netanyahu to dictate America's Middle East policies. "Due to the terrific relations with the US, we need to put the declarations about the Nazis in the proper proportion... Trump is the best U.S. leader Israel has ever had. His relations with the prime minister of Israel are wonderful, and after enduring the terrible years of Obama, Trump is the unquestioned leader of the free world, and we must not accept anyone harming him."

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At 10:39 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Jews or Jews? If it's the Jews epitomized by the likes of Einstein and Brandeis, you know Trump hates us. If it's the other kind, including the black hats and bathrobe crowd, they are his kind of people.

At 1:10 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Nazis do NOT recognize such theological is our blood they hate, all of it, everywhere.
Don't forget the dominionists like pence waiting for us to bring on the rapture, too.

At 3:41 PM, Anonymous Hone said...

The last paragraph is crazy. Jews everywhere must reject anti Semitism in any form any where, especially in Trump's current form, which is so dangerous for the USA and the world. As Chabon says, all Israel's Jews should "wise up" - even the right wingers - and fight against Trump and his horrific support for white supremacists and fascists. There is no middle ground here. There is no "Trump is good for Israel so we must support him" mentality. That is totally nuts.

The same should be said for Republicans, who have been putting party over country for way too long. The country must come first. Anything else is traitorous.

At 4:53 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

1:10 gets the point here.

Someone like trump hates absolutely. He hates blacks and latinos. This is on record for 50 years, and is his hateful father's legacy.
He hates everyone with white or mostly white skin unless they make him money or kiss his ass or get him elected.
He doesn't hate those who hate as he does, but you still have to kiss his ass or he hates you.
He hates even his own children who do not help him in his quest for all the money and all power.

The likes of pence also hate, but their hate starts with LGBTQs and women. The rest are shared but maybe in a different order is all.

The dominionists headed by pence also hate jews but need them to help usher in the rapture so they can stand by their god as he incinerates the earth and nearly all the rest of humankind who were not the 1200 white men that were raptured.

As in the '30s, it would appear that jews have their heads up their asses wrt who is and is not their enemy. fucking AMERICA is their enemy. The dominionist rapture lusting American Christianity is their enemy. Will they wait meekly to be slaughtered again?

I remind everyone of Rev. Neimoller again. look it up.


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