Defenders of a Racist President Use Jews as Human Shields

  
Via:  john-russell  •  one month ago  •  23 comments

Defenders of a Racist President Use Jews as Human Shields
 Jews have thrived here as they have in few other places in the world because America at least aspires to be a multi ethnic democracy, not an ethno state. If Trump succeeds in making citizenship racialized and contingent, that’s an existential threat to American Jews.

S E E D E D   C O N T E N T


Sebastian Gorka, a onetime adviser to Donald Trump, wore a medal from the Vitezi Rend, a Hungarian group historically aligned with Nazism, to one of Trump’s inaugural balls. Gorka was reportedly a member of the group, whose founder, the Hungarian autocrat Miklos Horthy, once said, “For all my life, I have been an anti-Semite.”

Max Berger is a Jewish social justice activist who has long been deeply involved in Jewish communal life. He’s the co-founder of If Not Now, a group of American Jews devoted to ending Israel’s occupation of Palestinian territory, and recently joined Elizabeth Warren’s presidential campaign.

In a tweet this month, one of these men tarred the other as an anti-Semite. If you’ve been following the increasingly bizarre turn that American discussion of anti-Semitism has taken, you can probably guess which one.

That’s right, it was Gorka who called Berger an anti-Semite, for having once joined in an internet in-joke about a nonexistent group called “Friends of Hamas.” (Gorka’s tweet appears to have since been deleted.) It wasn’t the only time this month that Gorka accused a Jew of Jew-hating; he’s also charged the anti-Trump conservative writer Anne Applebaum with “standing with the anti-Semites,” demanding that she explain “how you justify this to the community.”

If this were just Gorka, you could dismiss it as trolling. But his tweets were only a particularly brazen example of how right-wing gentiles are wrapping themselves in a smarmy philo-Semitism to attack the left, even when that means attacking either individual Jews or the political interests of most Jewish Americans.

Such Christian appropriation of the fight against anti-Semitism reached its grim nadir this week. As Trump’s racist invective against Ilhan Omar and three other freshman Democratic congresswomen has dominated the news, the president’s defenders have used Jews as human shields, pretending that hatred of the quartet is rooted in abhorrence of anti-Semitism. On Tuesday, an evangelical outfit called Proclaiming Justice to the Nations accused the Anti-Defamation League — the Anti-Defamation League! — of siding with anti-Semites after the ADL called out Trump’s racism. The group even had the audacity to hurl a Hebrew denunciation — “lashon hara,” or “evil tongue” — at the Jewish civil rights organization.

Republicans are only a short step away from such shamelessness when they try to deflect from the president’s racism by accusing his foes of anti-Semitism. “Montanans are sick and tired of listening to anti-American, anti-Semite, radical Democrats trash our country and our ideals,” Senator Steve Daines of Montana tweeted on Monday, proclaiming his solidarity with Trump.

It’s true that Omar has said things that were freighted with anti-Semitism, for which she has expressed regret. But it is grotesque to argue that that excuses racism against her, or that Trump’s taunts have anything to do with protecting Jews. This is a president who regularly deploys anti-Semitic tropes and whose ex-wife said that he slept with a volume of Hitler’s speeches by his bed. When speaking to American Jews, he’s called Israel “your country” and Benjamin Netanyahu “your prime minister,” suggesting that in his mind, we don’t fully belong here any more than Omar does.

When the right presents Trump as an enemy of anti-Semitism, it goes beyond hypocrisy. Jews have thrived here as they have in few other places in the world because America at least aspires to be a multi ethnic democracy, not an ethno state. If Trump succeeds in making citizenship racialized and contingent, that’s an existential threat to American Jews.

Trump and his accomplices are simultaneously assaulting the political foundation of Jewish life in America and claiming they’re doing it on the Jews’ behalf. As the Montana Association of Rabbis wrote in an open letter to Daines on Wednesday, “We refuse to allow the real threat of anti-Semitism to be weaponized and exploited by those who themselves share a large part of the responsibility for the rise of white nationalist and anti-Semitic violence in this country.”

It’s worth thinking about how we got to a point where anti-Semitism can be exploited as it has been this week. What we’re seeing is the absurd but logical endpoint of efforts to conflate anti-Semitism with anti-Zionism, and anti-Zionism with opposition to Israel’s right-wing government. Only if these concepts are interchangeable can Jewish critics of Israel be the perpetrators of anti-Semitism and gentiles who play footsie with fascism be allies of the Jewish people. Only if these concepts are the same can an evangelical group claim that Jews are being anti-Jewish when they protest Trump, because Trump loves Israel.

Jeremy Ben-Ami, the president of the liberal Zionist group J Street, puts part of the blame for this rhetorical derangement at the feet of the American Jewish establishment. Its leaders made an alliance of convenience with right-wing Christian Zionists, who support the state of Israel as the fulfillment of biblical prophecy and a bulwark of Western values in the Middle East, but care little about pluralism in the United States.

The Jewish leaders, said Ben-Ami, “made a deal with the devil. And what they’ve done is they’ve laid down in bed with white nationalists and racists and bigots.” Now white nationalists and racists and bigots — and those politically aligned with them — feel entitled to use their backing of Israel as an alibi when their leader indulges in racist incitement.

“When they start asking people to go back where they came from, that’s the first line of attack on the Jewish people over centuries,” said Ben-Ami. It’s terrifying enough to have a president who says such things. It’s an almost incalculable insult for Trump and his enablers to act as if he’s helping the Jews when he adopts the language of the pogrom.

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JohnRussell
1  seeder  JohnRussell    one month ago

Please don't wonder why Trump and his media lackeys and surrogates are attacking "anti-semitism" by Democrats. Trump doesn't care about Jewish people or even Israel, he cares about his evangelical Christian base which has Israel at the center of its apocalyptic fantasies of biblical prophecy fulfillment. 

Anti-semitism matters to Trump's base not because they have a humanitarian concern for Jewish people, but because Jews are major players in their bible stories.  

 
 
 
XDm9mm
1.1  XDm9mm  replied to  JohnRussell @1    one month ago
Trump doesn't care about Jewish people or even Israel,

Maybe you should tell that to Ivanka and Jared.   You DO know don't you that they are Orthodox Jews.  

So, what's your next hate Trump screed going to be about John?  

 
 
 
Tessylo
1.1.1  Tessylo  replied to  XDm9mm @1.1    one month ago
Maybe you should tell that to Ivanka and Jared.   You DO know don't you that they are Orthodox Jews. 

So what?

 
 
 
FLYNAVY1
1.1.2  FLYNAVY1  replied to  XDm9mm @1.1    one month ago

And there are so called "Christians" that haven't gone to a service in decades...... What's your point? 

Trump could give a shit about Jews or the State of Israel......

WASPS have never given shit about Jews or the State of Israel......

Trump cares about himself and himself only......

 
 
 
Sparty On
2  Sparty On    one month ago

Thats almost a funny accusation considering all the "human shields" the left and the majority of the mass media clings to.

You folks have the market already cornered on sanctimonious use of "human shields."

Hands down!

 
 
 
Dismayed Patriot
2.1  Dismayed Patriot  replied to  Sparty On @2    one month ago

Way to go with the first "No, you are!" comment of the day.

 
 
 
Tessylo
2.1.1  Tessylo  replied to  Dismayed Patriot @2.1    one month ago

The Pee Wee Herman defense seems to be all they have.  

 
 
 
Sparty On
2.1.2  Sparty On  replied to  Dismayed Patriot @2.1    one month ago

Yeah well, the truth is a bitch sometimes for those who can't handle it.

Learn to deal with it ..... you'll live longer.

 
 
 
JohnRussell
2.1.3  seeder  JohnRussell  replied to  Dismayed Patriot @2.1    one month ago

The writer of the article is, as you might assume, Jewish. She is also anti-Trump, as the majority of American Jews are. 

Trumpism depends on gas lighting and fake news and lying in order to succeed. 

The "conservatives" who have replied to this seed so far have done what these individuals always do. They don't have content, they have contrariness based on "grievance" about Trump's opposition. 

 
 
 
JohnRussell
2.1.4  seeder  JohnRussell  replied to  Sparty On @2.1.2    one month ago

When Trump talks about anti-Semitism, he is not speaking on behalf of or in the best interest of Jews, he is speaking on behalf of and in the interest of evangelical Christians who treat Israel and Jews as a prop in their end of the world fantasies. 

 
 
 
XDm9mm
2.1.5  XDm9mm  replied to  JohnRussell @2.1.4    one month ago
When Trump talks about anti-Semitism, he is not speaking on behalf of or in the best interest of Jews, he is speaking on behalf of and in the interest of evangelical Christians who treat Israel and Jews as a prop in their end of the world fantasies. 

Obviously that seems logical to you, but I'll submit not to anyone else.

 
 
 
JohnRussell
2.1.6  seeder  JohnRussell  replied to  XDm9mm @2.1.5    one month ago
that seems logical to you, but I'll submit not to anyone else.

The New York Times columnist who wrote the article brought it up. 

 Its leaders made an alliance of convenience with right-wing Christian Zionists, who support the state of Israel as the fulfillment of biblical prophecy 

 
 
 
Sparty On
2.1.7  Sparty On  replied to  JohnRussell @2.1.4    one month ago
When Trump talks about anti-Semitism

You shouldn't be concerned about Trump in that regard.   You should be concerned about congresspeople like Omar.    And yet, you are not.

Not very smart John, not very smart at all.

 
 
 
JohnRussell
2.1.8  seeder  JohnRussell  replied to  Sparty On @2.1.7    one month ago

I know Omar is anti-Israel, and I know she supports a boycott of Israel, which I dont agree with at all. 

I seriously doubt that anything could persuade me to vote for Omar for congress. If she was my congressperson I would probably just stay home. 

But, I dont think she is anti-American from what I have seen so far. 

I really dont pay much attention to her. She is a minor figure in politics and a big figure in right wing imaginations. 

 
 
 
JohnRussell
2.1.9  seeder  JohnRussell  replied to  Sparty On @2.1.7    one month ago

If Democrats are so anti-semite, why do American Jews overwhelmingly support Democratic candidates? 

 
 
 
Sparty On
2.1.10  Sparty On  replied to  JohnRussell @2.1.8    one month ago
She is a minor figure in politics and a big figure in right wing imaginations. 

With the amount of press she is getting in the "liberal" mass media ..... i think they disagree with you.

But a well thought out answer John.   Thank you.   Not sure i agree with the anti American part but it's true.   I agree we haven't really seen enough of her to really decide that quantitatively.   That said, her and the sanctimony squad are all proven dividers.   Little to anything they've done has encouraged people to work together for a common good.

That my friend, IS NOT good for America.  

 
 
 
Sparty On
2.1.11  Sparty On  replied to  JohnRussell @2.1.9    one month ago

Thats a good question.  

One hopes they don't regret that one day.

It's happened to them before.    It could happen again.

 
 
 
Sean Treacy
2.1.12  Sean Treacy  replied to  JohnRussell @2.1.8    one month ago
think she is anti-American from what I have seen so far. 

Equating the US Army to Al-Queda is not anti- American?  

 
 
 
loki12
2.1.13  loki12  replied to  JohnRussell @2.1.6    one month ago

So you are using another idiots opinion to support your own? And that’s supposed to be convincing? 

Lets just say you are right, not likely, but for arguments sake. If the right is trying to bring on end times, that would mean the return of Jesus. If the left is trying to prevent that, that would mean they are doing the work of the devil........you actually may be on to something here.  If you believe in that stuff.

 
 
 
WallyW
2.2  WallyW  replied to  Sparty On @2    one month ago

We do know that the Palestinians* routinely use women, children, and the elderly and unwell as human shields.

 
 
 
Tessylo
2.2.1  Tessylo  replied to  WallyW @2.2    one month ago

If that's true you'd provide proof of it, right?

 
 
 
XDm9mm
2.2.2  XDm9mm  replied to  Tessylo @2.2.1    one month ago
If that's true you'd provide proof of it, right?

Wow, that was easy!!

Israel demands UN condemn Hamas’s use of children, civilians as human shields

Danny Danon writes to Security Council warning terror group is in breach of international law; vows ‘Israel will take all necessary steps to ensure safety of our citizens’

000_14V899-640x400.jpg

A girl raises a Palestinian flag as another Palestinian boy holds a wooden key symbolizing the return, as they stand with others before the barbed-wire marking the border between the Gaza strip and Israel east of Gaza City on May 13, 2018. (AFP/Mahmud Hams)

Source:  https://www.timesofisrael.com/israel-demands-un-condemn-hamass-use-of-children-civilians-as-human-shields/

 
 
 
JohnRussell
3  seeder  JohnRussell    one month ago
Donald Trump was defending himself against charges of racism, not anti-Semitism. Evidently, declaring one’s admiration for "the Jews" and Israel is the coin that right-wing nationalists believe can purchase the right to use both anti-Semitic and other racist appeals to their supporters.

It used to be that the standard pre-emptive defense before you said something outrageously racist was to say, "I am not a racist, but…" Now, you just have to interject somewhere that you love Jews and Israel.

If Trump had "only" asked the Congresswomen of color to "go back to where you came from," he would no doubt be celebrated by many of his admirers anyway. But adding on how much they "hate Israel" is meant to put a protective coating of respectability on his despicably racist statement, making it more palatable, even admirable, to "moderates" among his supporters.

The argument goes like this: "You say that I’m a racist. But I say that you’re an anti-Semite. Anti-Semitism is the worst form of racism. Therefore you’re a bigger racist than I am, so you can’t complain about my racism."

I have been pretty polite about this and so have other American Jews. But you really have to leave us out of your racist talking points. You are not helping us, you are not helping society, you are not helping Israel. Your racism is your thing and we are not your shield.

— Brian Schatz (@brianschatz) July 15, 2019

The presumption that anti-Semitism is the worst form of hatred is crucial to this line of thinking.

It is in this light that we need to view the storm of outrage on the Right when Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (one of the women attacked by Trump) compared migrant detention centers to concentration camps. The frenzied condemnation of what she said aims to enforce the perceived Jewish copyright on major suffering, a prime rhetorical tool also used to protect Israel from reproach.

But now the insistence on anti-Semitism as the greatest hatred is being employed as well to silence complaints about other forms of racism.

This new anti-anti-Semitism is aimed more against the Left than against real anti-Semitism. "Leftists" and liberals have long been the bane of unapologetic hard right anti-Semites, who see them as Jewish or Jewish-dominated. Now, leftists and liberals are themselves regularly accused of anti-Semitism by the anti-anti-Semitic right, largely for their opposition to the current Israeli government.

Among the accusers are many right-wing Jews, including in Israel. In what was perhaps the most notorious case, Benjamin Netanyahu defended the Hungarian government for its attacks on the American Jewish financier George Soros, the alleged "mastermind" of the anti-nationalist Left.

https://www.haaretz.com/us-news/.premium-netanyahu-set-up-trump-s-but-i-love-israel-defense-for-racism-and-anti-semitism-1.7547762
 
 
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