There were conflicting articles this week in the New York Times pertaining to the relationship of Donald Trump and Jews.
Paul Krugman, op-ed columnist for the Times, dredged up a distasteful, public comment made by Trump in his piece on Tuesday. Krugman believes it substantiates that the president is anti-Semitic. Specifically, in a speech to the Israeli American Counsel, Trump said, “that many in his audience were not nice people at all, but that [they] have to vote for him because Democrats would raise taxes.”
Krugman indicated that the president was “peddling an anti-Semitic stereotype, portraying Jews as money-grubbing types who only care about their wealth.” Actually, the observation that some Americans (including Jews) will vote for Trump because he is committed to decreasing taxes is factual. The money-grubbing reference is typical Krugam left wing rhetoric.
It’s undeniable that the president frequently makes stupid, inane and untrue statements, especially on social media. He’s not a role model for aspiring statesmen; that’s for sure. But he appears to be very sympathetic to the plight of Jews as they continue their never-ending fight against bigotry.
In fact, the Times reported on Thursday that Trump plans to issue an executive order that addresses anti-Semitism on college campuses. Federal money will be withheld from educational institutions that “fail to combat discrimination.”
Judaism will be defined as a race or nationality, not just a religion, so that colleges and universities will be sanctioned if they don’t meet their responsibility “to foster an open climate for minority students [such as Jews]”
Opponents of this policy say it could be used to “stifle free speech and legitimate protest of Israel’s policies toward Palestinians in the name of fighting anti-Semitism.” Of course, this is an overstatement by those unhappy with Israel’s righteous obsession with security.
This action by Trump hardly portrays a person who is biased against Jews. And, Trump has taken other actions that further solidify his efforts to protect Jews and the Israeli state. He moved the US Embassy to Jerusalem, supported settlements in the West Bank and recognized seizure of the Golan Heights. Trump even attacked Rep. Ilhan Omar when she said support for Israel was “all about the Benjamins,” a reference to money.
Anti-Semitism continues to flourish around the world and in the US. America must stand behind Israel as we have done since the birth of the Jewish nation after World War II. To justify our efforts overseas for the benefit of Israel, we must ensure that bigotry directed at Jews in the US is an illegal act.