Faith in Trump undimmed for some in community

Some Jews remain devoted to the outgoing US president, despite last week's riots


WASHINGTON, DC - JANUARY 06: President Donald Trump arrives at the "Stop The Steal" Rally on January 06, 2021 in Washington, DC. Trump supporters gathered in the nation's capital today to protest the ratification of President-elect Joe Biden's Electoral College victory over President Trump in the 2020 election. (Photo by Tasos Katopodis/Getty Images)

Despite the violence and open displays of antisemitism by Trump supporters that characterised the storming of the Capitol, some members of the Jewish community are happy to stress their continued admiration for the outgoing president.

“There is no doubt Trump comes across as an arrogant and clumsy politically, but you cannot dismiss his achievements,” said Martin Hizer, a leading pro-Israel activist in the UK, who has been outspoken in his support for the US President’s record in office.

“His achievements have been immense. Five peace deals – four of these in the Middle East — along with Serbia and Kosovo. And he is not even going to get a Nobel Peace Prize.”

Mr Hizer, a 54-year-old taxi driver, accepts that the mob attack in Washington had “complicated things massively” but he added that he had not changed his mind over his support for Mr Trump.

Reflecting on Mr Trump’s pre-demonstration speech, Mr Hizer questioned whether the president had meant to insight the crowd. “Was that his intention?” he said. “Were his words that easy to misconstrue?” He also cast doubt on claims that the protest was dominated by pro-Trump supporters exclusively from the far-right.

“There may have been alt-right supporters, there may have been QAnon, there may have been Antifa,” he added.
And in relation to the images of one man sporting a T-shirt with the wording “Camp Auschwitz” and another with the acronym  “6MWE” — “Six Million Wasn’t Enough” — Mr Hizer suggested there was “every possibility it could be a false flag.”

A further staunch defence of Mr Trump’s record in office came from Yochy Davis, another prolific pro-Israel campaigner from Loughton, Essex.

“I watched him live and he never said anything like they are twisting he did,” said Mrs Davis of the president’s speech last Wednesday. “Most patriots are peaceful, unlike Black Lives Matter and Antifa.”

The activist said she was well aware of images of protesters dressed in clothing bearing antisemitic slogans. “There are antisemites in all sorts of groups. Doesn’t mean all his supporters are.”

Esther Chayes, a former US citizen, said her positive view of Mr Trump term in office was not tarnished by last week’s unrest: “I heard President Trump’s speech and there was nothing inciting in it. I still consider him to be a hero who was trying to do something for all of us.”

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