This President and the Jews

It should not be disputable that President Trump has been the best President that the State of Israel has ever come across, even as it is acknowledged that the job of the American president is not to serve Israel’s needs but those of the United States. Clearly, the President sees America’s interests as aligned with those of Israel to a degree unseen since Israel’s creation. No president has been more supportive and it is difficult to conjure how any president could be more supportive.

Thus, President Trump moved the American embassy to Yerushalayim, executing American law and fulfilling a campaign promise that had been made by two other presidents and then abrogated. He recognized Yerushalayim as Israel’s capital. He cut off funding for the PA because of their tireless support for terror and terrorists and kicked out the PLO from Washington DC. He recognized Israeli sovereignty over the Golan Heights, leading to the founding of a new settlement there called “Trump Heights.” He shares the distinction of having an Israeli community named for him with George (Givat) Washington and Harry (Kfar) Truman. JFK only merited a forest.

Most recently he recognized the legality of Israeli communities in Judea and Samaria, reversing a tendentious decision of the Carter administration that had already been rejected by President George W. Bush but reinstated by President Obama. He has provided Israel with steadfast support at the United Nations, in contrast to the shameful denouement of Obama when he gleefully allowed a Security Council resolution to pass declaring Israeli settlements illegal – even denying Israel’s claim over the Kotel (the Western Wall of the Temple Mount).

President Trump has coordinated with Israel over joint approaches to Iran and has facilitated Israel’s burgeoning relationship with the Arab Gulf states. He has given Israel a free hand in dealing with terror in Judea and Samaria and rockets emanating from Gaza; there are no more hollow calls for restraint, no more evenhandedness between terrorist and terror victims.

Every country has a wish list from every other country with which it has diplomatic relations. Trump has done everything for Israel except build the Third Temple, perhaps because that is not on Israel’s wish list. It is impossible to imagine what more he can do.

Domestically, he has loudly denounced Jew hatred and violence against Jews, and multiple times. (Don’t believe the false Charlottesville narrative, repeatedly debunked.) He has consoled Jews in times of grief and rejoiced with Jews in times of joy. He has filled his administration with Jews, especially Orthodox Jews, and has a comfort level with religious Jews rarely seen in the White House. He has been repaid, if that is the right word, with solid majority support in the Orthodox community – and largely been castigated, rebuked, and disparaged by non-traditional Jews, many more agitated by Trump’s pro-life commitment than his pro-Israel actions.

For sure, there are many Jews who think that his pro-Israel bias is a sham, a balloon that will someday pop and unleash his presumably pent-up anti-Jewish animus. Given his support for Jews and Israel, and the contemptible way most Jews perceive him, I could not blame him – even as I seriously doubt that would ever happen. But if it did (and it won’t) we would have only ourselves to blame, and especially the deplorable role Jews have played in assailing this most pro-Jewish president.

Simply put, the impeachment spectacle has become too Jewish for my taste. Consider: the lead inquisitor on the Intelligence Committee was Adam Schiff and his counterpart on the Judiciary is Gerald Nadler. Both are Jews. The Democrats’ lead counsel on Intelligence was Daniel Goldman; on the Judiciary, Norman Eisen. Both are Jews.

The lead witness proffered by the Intelligence Committee (if the great “presumer” can be called a “witness”) was Ambassador Gordon Sondland. He is Jewish. For good measure, Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelensky is Jewish. The law professor who was most strident opining on Trump’s impeachability, Noah Feldman, is also a Jew. The presidential candidate who asserts that Trump is “the most corrupt president in American history” is Bernie Sanders, a Jew, who is also old enough to have served in the Senate with Warren Harding and who should certainly be familiar with LBJ. There are others. Frankly, it is just too much. Too many Jews are too visible, and for the wrong reasons.

Jews number about one-hundredth of one percent of the world’s population and far less than 2% of the United States population. So how is it that we are so prominent – to my taste, too prominent – in these sham proceedings? And how do we ensure that it is does not redound to the detriment of Jews in the United States and in Israel?

The latter question is especially disquieting because Jews run the risk of being tarred with primary responsibility for the coming impeachment, alienating half the country who are diehard supporters of Trump, realize (and even appreciate, much more than do many Jews) his support for Israel and see these Jews as ungrateful at best and malicious at worst. Perhaps it behooves Jewish supporters of Trump to raise their profile not only so that the President knows (he does) but that his faithful devotees know as well.

The former question is enlightening in nature but frightening in its implications. Our forefather Yaakov was blessed with the reality that Jews would never be bystanders to history but that we would be leaders in every nation in which we lived and prime movers of civilization. That is a gift that we should embrace.

Nonetheless, it is a mistake for Jews to be so front and center in the persecution of this (or probably any) president. It is as if we don’t realize the costs of exile and how no exile has ever ended well for Jews. Ever. One can easily project the tide of American life turning in ways that are deleterious to Jewish interests and hostile to Jews. It is apparent in the anti-Jewish (not just anti-Israel) feelings on campuses, in the escalating contempt for the Bible and its moral notions, and in the current assault on free speech and freedom of worship that is gaining currency in elitist circles as well. It is apparent in the rising number of overt Jew haters in the Democrat Party – still not chastised or censured but, instead, celebrated. If sufficient numbers of Trump supporters become enraged over what they perceive as the disproportionate number of Jews who are Trump haters, then only bad things can come from that.

As it stands now, the attacks on Jews in the United States, from both the right and the left, come from outspoken Trump haters. A discredited, widely denounced but unapologetic Jew hater is already calling the impeachment process a “Jew coup.” We would do well to lower our profile and reduce the number of public Jews suffused in impeachment mania. If Democrats are gung ho on impeaching this President because they fear he will get re-elected, and just want to damage him through this endless legal torture, then surely this land contains a sufficient number of Gentiles who can indulge those whims without involving people whose energies could better be devoted to worthy Torah pursuits.

Yes, Torah pursuits. If only…

And if not, then we risk far more than defeat of this president at the polls. Whoever succeeds him will not be as pro-Israel or pro-Jewish and we will rue that day if it comes.


12 responses to “This President and the Jews

  1. Thank G-d you have the courage to say this out loud, Rabbi!

    I have but one question…WHY???? What is wrong with our brethren (you forgot to include Schumer and Professor Karlan) that they hate this great man who loves us, and love those who would see us all dead? It is simply beyond comprehension.

  2. David Albalah

    I just posted this to Facebook. You rock!


  3. Very interesting; I agree!

  4. As always, most eloquently stated my friend. I cannot imagine what more Trump could do to show support of Israel, and I too am afraid of what will come should he be removed.

    – Your gentile Christian Jew-loving brother who resonates very much with your blog

  5. Eric Osserman

    Thank you, Rabbi. Could you send me the reference: Don’t believe the false Charlottesville narrative, repeatedly debunked . I have argued this point and am curious what you have found. The link takes me to a subscription request. Much appreciated, Eric Osserman

    On Thu, Dec 5, 2019 at 11:59 AM Rabbi Pruzansky’s Blog wrote:

    > Rabbi posted: “It should not be disputable that President Trump has been > the best President that the State of Israel has ever come across, even as > it is acknowledged that the job of the American president is not to serve > Israel’s needs but those of the United States. Cl” >

  6. Mark R. Levin (a lawyer and
    author of the best-selling book
    Unfreedom of the Press) said:

    “The media’s Progressive ideology and Democratic
    Party bias are in full bloom as evidenced by their
    frenzied obsession with ‘getting’ President Trump…”

    “…the constant media refrain is trying to convince
    the American people of a demonstrably false narrative…”

    Deconstructing where American media has
    gone wrong
    by Deborah Fineblum, 2019/6/14

    Harry Maryles said:

    “I am so tired of the extreme media bias.
    And yes. It is extreme.

    Never before has it come into such stark focus
    as it has under the Trump administration.

    There is hardly any mention of the name Trump
    without either an overt or disguised negative comment.

    It almost doesn’t matter who is reporting it.

    The attitude is the same. Anything the President
    says or does is bad. No matter what it is.
    Even his accomplishments are spun into the negative.”

    The Truth about Trump and Illegal Aliens
    by Harry Maryles, 2019 July 12

  7. It is the obligation and duty of every Jewish person who cares at all about Israel and Jewish causes to render our appreciation – Hakarat HaTov – to our President. This might help to negate the incalculable damage being done by our fellow Jews who are publicly leading this impeachment effort. A phone call &/or email to the White House might be a good start. Rabbi, any ideas of what else we can do to show our President our gratitude as Jews?

  8. I am distressed that so many Jews turn their backs on the pro-Israel actions by the president and feed into the false narratives against him. I am comforted a bit by the fact that there are also many prominent Jews who support and speak out in Trump’s favor, and I hope that Trump does not make his future decisions based on those who fight him.

  9. Nadler and Schiff are the heads of the judiciary and intelligence committees. If they truly believe Trump committed impeachable crimes, is it your suggestion they should recuse themselves because they agree with Trump’s Israel policy? This doesn’t seem right and brings into question the ability of any Jews to work in Congress.

    I understand you may not think Trump’s actions on Ukraine were wrong or impeachable, but Nadler and Schiff clearly do. When President Elizabeth Warren withholds foreign aid because she wants the foreign country to announce an investigation into Mike Pence or Jared Kushner (or some analogous situation), should Jewish GOP Congressman sit on the sidelines to avoid being to visible in opposition to Warren?

    • Regarding the latter scenario: they certainly would!

    • And what they could have done is exercise judgment and influence their colleagues that the facts here do not constitute an impeachable offense – certainly not under the guidelines that Nadler himself argued for in 1998. His hypocrisy is stunning, as is his fear of an AOC-like primary challenge. And Schiff should have recused himself because he is obviously a material witness to the hatching of the whole “whistleblower “ scheme. Both are exercising poor judgment.