Our unfit 'ally' Trump is no friend

The JC Leader - December 13, 2019

December 12, 2019 12:03

There could be no better illustration of the fundamental problem with President Trump than his actions over the past week.

For some, his readiness to deliver on issues such as recognition of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, and the subsequent move of the US Embassy, make him “the most pro-Jewish President in history”, in the words of the Republican Jewish Coalition. For others — this newspaper included — his evocation of antisemitic stereotypes, dog-whistle racism and defence of white supremacists and the far right demonstrate a deeply troubling figure who cannot be considered an ally.

On Wednesday, President Trump signed an executive order which allows the US government to sanction universities for antisemitism or anti-Israeli boycotts.  There was a storm in advance of the signing that he would be redefining Jews as a nationality —  and thus conceding an argument to antisemites who argue that Jews are not properly American. The executive order, however, contains no such provision.

But welcome as this move was, it followed another example of the kind of casual, deep-seated antisemitism that President Trump regularly demonstrates. Addressing a Jewish audience at the weekend, he said: “You’re brutal killers, not nice people at all” who have “no choice” but to support his re-election because “you’re not going to vote for the wealth tax”.  This is straightforward antisemitism.

Indeed President Trump seems incapable of speaking about Jews without using these and other antisemitic tropes. How can such a man possibly be deemed a genuine ally?

Those who suggest that we should somehow defend him for actions for which we are grateful are not so much deluded as plain wrong. President

Trump is a racist and should be treated as such.

December 12, 2019 12:03

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