February 24, 2017
By Rabbi Dov Fischer
They are my great protectors — leftist Jews, professional Democrat Jews, Jews in Hollywood and on Broadway, Jews in the liberal mainstream media. For a year and more, they have been in the forefront protecting me from the “anti-Semitism” of candidate — now President — Donald Trump, from Steve Bannon and Breitbart, from the Republican Party. There they are, yelling “anti-Semitism!” and worrying about me. And oh how they care for Israel!
They are phony baloney. They are as false as the Fake News they spread about the President of the United States. I know. I am a Jew all day every day. I wear a yarmulka at home, at work, indoors, outdoors. I walk an hour to and from synagogue on my Sabbath, replete with yarmulka, engaging society around me.
My clerical colleagues and friends among the Catholic Diocese where I live, among the Protestant pastors and ministers whom I count dearly, among the non-Jews in all walks of my life, all know I am a Jew.
I am not the kind of Jew whose kitchen observes Judaism, while I eat lobster and pork outside. And I am sick and tired of seeing and hearing these professional leftists — liberals and radical left activists who often are employed and paid well for their left-driven agenda activism — manipulating the happenstance of their Jewish birth to justify hurling vile and baseless accusations of “anti-Semitism” against those in the Trump Administration who actually are philo-Semitic.
If these leftists are so concerned about anti-Semitism, why is it that so many among them never once sought to protect me or Israel from Barack Obama or John Kerry? When Obama and Kerry combined to imperil Israel by entering into a horrific deal with Iran, they were quiet.
When Obama insulted the Prime Minister of Israel, Benjamin Netanyahu, treating him like a beggar from Jerusalem, forcing Bibi to wait outside while the Obamas dined, they did not complain.
As Keith Ellison, whose anti-Semitic record of back-biting against Israel and Jews has been exposed, rises within Democrat ranks they do not object.
They do not condemn the anti-Semitism of an Al Sharpton, nor challenge why an Obama began his second Presidential campaign by meeting with Sharpton’s organization. Where were they when Kerry and Obama ambushed Israel at the very end of Obama’s term, refusing to veto an anti-Semitic United Nations Security Council resolution that declared an outright lie: that Jews have no connection to East Jerusalem?
They are not playing with a full deck. This President of the United States, Donald Trump, is the most philo-Semitic President of my lifetime, perhaps in American history. That is why he carried the vote of the Orthodox Jewish community of America in overwhelming numbers.
We Orthodox Jews know what anti-Semitism really is, what it sounds and feels like, at work and at play. We are not cardiac Jews who speak of having a “Jewish heart,” as though Mother Teresa or Father Damian had any less compassion, nor do we manifest our Jewishness solely by using Yiddish words like “chutzpah” and giggling over embarrassments like Lena Dunham and Sarah Silverman.
Rather, we live Torah tradition and adhere to Torah commandments, and we synthesize our American and Judaic cultures effortlessly.
Donald Trump — unlike a great many of his liberal Democrat critics among the Jewish “leaders” in the United States and the liberal Democrat Jews in Hollywood, on Broadway, and in journalism — actually has Jewish grandchildren.
By contrast, many of their Jewish lines have been self-severed. His daughter is an Orthodox Jew. His son-in-law, Jared Kushner, is an Orthodox Jew. Jared and Ivanka do not hide their Judaism; they revel in it proudly, though quietly.
Unlike Hillary Clinton’s Jewish son-in-law, they did not have a Protestant pastor co-conducting their marriage. Donald Trump did not distance from them; rather, he remains connected with them.
Donald Trump has associated with Orthodox Jews all his life. He has named an extraordinary attorney, David Friedman, to be America’s Ambassador to Israel. The Executive Vice President and Chief Legal Officer of the Trump Organization, Jason Dov Greenblatt, is an Orthodox Jew. In January 2017, President Trump appointed him to be United States Special Representative for International Negotiations.
Donald Trump has been a lifelong supporter of Israel. His father, Fred Trump, donated land for the construction of an Orthodox synagogue — and then donated the money to build it.
When Prime Minster Netanyahu announced, partly in response to the anti-Semitic UN Security Council Resolution that the Obama-Kerry ambush allowed, that Israel now will build more than 6,000 new homes in Jewish communities Judea and Samaria, the Trump Administration broke with fifty years of American policy and did not speak a single word of condemnation.
Days later, President Trump, standing alongside Netanyahu, abandoned the failed and unworkable mantra of the “Two-State Solution,” a formula that never has been realized in fifty years of negotiations because it is fundamentally flawed, and the President instead said America will support any solution — “One State, Two State” — no particular prescribed formula other than what the parties to the situation themselves directly agree to pursue.
Is President Trump perfect? Hardly. Does he sometimes cause even his strongest supporters to close their eyes, take a deep breath, count to ten, then count to a thousand, all while taking more deep breaths? Absolutely. That is President Trump.
But that same man is a great supporter of Israel with a lifelong record of great philo-Semitism. And how dare any one, particularly a quasi-Jew on some liberal organization’s payroll, call this man soft on anti-Semitism!
So who are these defenders of mine, these “defenders of the Jews,” who regularly and falsely accuse the man of a vile hatred that is outside his very persona?
The newspaper and television “news” programs and reports somehow find them. They craft Fake News by quoting the Jews they want.
There is a Steven Goldstein, the director of something called the “Anne Frank Center.” As an American Orthodox Rabbi of more than 35 years, a former Vice President of the Zionist Organization of America, a member of the Rabbinical Council of America’s executive committee during most of the past decade, and a host of other Jewish organizational affiliations and leadership posts,
I can say unequivocally that this fellow who ranted against President Trump on the same day that the President forcefully condemned anti-Semitism merely is one more professional liberal.
Even as the President said that, “The anti-Semitic threats targeting our Jewish community and community centers are horrible and are painful and a very sad reminder of the work that still must be done to root out hate and prejudice and evil,” this Goldstein was attacking Trump.
The “Anne Frank Center” that Goldstein heads arrogates the name of a tragic Holocaust victim to advance a leftist agenda. It is akin to someone forming a “Martin Luther King Center” to sell discount tickets to baseball games and ski resorts.
Goldstein himself comes there straight from a stint as director of a gay rights activist group in New Jersey.
The Anti-Defamation League, founded in 1913 amid the horrific era of the Leo Frank lynching in 1915 Georgia, now has been taken over by Democratic Party activists. With the retirement of its venerable leader, Abraham Foxman, the ADL now is run by Jonathan Greenblatt, who arrived straight from serving in the Obama White House as Special Assistant to President Obama and Director of his Office of Social Innovation and Civic Participation.
The Union for Reform Judaism, another regular critic of President Trump, now is run by a hierarchy of liberal reform rabbis marked by their almost-universal fealty to the Democrat Party.
And there is no shortage of liberal Jews at the Huffington Post, Slate, Vox, CNN, the New York Times, the Washington Post, and other mainstream media who are quick to condemn every imaginable manifestation of Trump “anti-Semitism” that their minds can conjure. If Trump were to say, “I don’t like juice,” they would be yelling: “Trump said he doesn’t like Jews!”
When a Trump campaign banner attacked Hillary Clinton and used a depiction that included a six-pointed star, a sheriff’s badge, these sorts saw a “Star of David.” “Anti-Semite!” some yelled.
When a sensitive White House statement memorializing the Holocaust, written for the President by a Jewish aide who himself had lost family during the Shoah, failed to use exactly the right wording, some yelled “Anti-Semite!”
In seeing anti-Semitism emanating from every corner, they even saw a friendly welcoming wave by radio talk show host Laura Ingraham to the crowd at the Republican National Convention as being a Hitler salute. And yet, after Keith Ellison was exposed for mocking Jews and Israel to a small Muslim group in Minnesota, these “defenders” remained silent.
It is enough already. I do not need the Jewish professional liberal Democrats to protect me from President Trump. I need him to protect me from them.
Rabbi Dov Fischer, an attorney and adjunct professor of law, is rabbi of Young Israel of Orange County, California and holds prominent leadership roles in several national rabbinic and other Jewish organizations. He has been Chief Articles Editor of UCLA Law Review, clerked for the Honorable Danny J. Boggs in the United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit, and served for most of the past decade on the National Executive Committee of the Rabbinical Council of America. His writings appear at www.rabbidov.com