According to a deep dive in the New York Times into how the American Jewish community feels about Donald Trump’s close relationship with Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin “Bibi” Netanyahu, some rabbis expressed extreme misgivings about the country being linked to the increasingly unpopular president.
News that Trump and Netanyahu appear to have combined forces to block Reps. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) and Rashida Tlaib (D -MI) from visiting the West Bank — although Netanyahu relented on Tlaib so she could visit her grandmother — has dismayed many American Jews and opened a divide over how to deal with it.
As St. Louis Park, MN. Rabbi Avi S. Olitzky put it, “There was very much an attitude of, ‘oh, here we go again.’ The pendulum keeps swinging left and right, left and right. It’s dizzying and exhausting and distracting. Emotions are raw.”
As the Times notes, “For months, American Jews in Ms. Omar’s district and beyond have found themselves enmeshed in a deeply uncomfortable debate over the growing distance between traditional liberal American Jewish values and the political realities of an Israeli government that’s embraced hard-line policies and a deep alliance with President Donald Trump.”
Of concern is the fact that many Jews feel Trump is using them as human shields to not only allay concerns about his connections to anti-semitic white supremacists but also to appeal to evangelicals who are obsessed with the Holy Land — and Israel in particular.
“To some Jews, the president’s attacks on the congresswomen are a fierce renunciation of anti-Semitism and a defense of Israel,” the Times reports. “But many others see their identity being used as a pawn for the political ambitions of Mr. Trump and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, a dynamic they fear could undermine the historically strong alliance between the United States and Israel and increase the security risks for their community at home.”
Rabbi Shmuel Herzfeld, who oversees the Ohev Sholom congregation in Washington, D.C., got right to the point in an interview.
“If Israel equals Trump, then there is a concern that opposition to Trump will transition, God forbid, into opposition to Israel. It is very dangerous,” he explained.
Sheila Katz, who heads the National Council of Jewish Women, also expressed a desire for Trump to stay out of Israel’s business when it comes to the two banned lawmakers.
“I don’t think any of us want to be in this position and we don’t think it is actually helpful for Israel either,” she stated. “We’d ask the president to not influence and pressure the prime minister of Israel to be carrying out what feels like bullying because of issues he has with congresswomen here in the U.S.”
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Trump attacks 2 GOP governors on flight to Georgia rally: ‘Republicans will NEVER forget this’
Republicans have been "working frantically behind the scenes" to keep President Donald Trump on message during his Saturday campaign rally in Georgia, but the efforts do not seem to be working.
GOP strategists hoped Trump would make the case for the two GOP senators in the January runoff elections that will decide control of the U.S. Senate, but Trump has continued to fixate on his delusions that he won the presidential election.
Aboard Air Force One on the flight to the rally, Trump attacked two GOP governors: Brian Kemp of Georgia and Doug Ducey of Arizona -- and seemed to threaten political retribution for the pair not going along with the president's debunked conspiracy theories about the election.
Panicked Republicans ‘working frantically behind the scenes’ — but Trump just keeps attacking GOP Gov Brian Kemp
Republicans are worried that President Donald Trump will pour gasoline on the intraparty inferno burning in Georgia.
Trump is officially traveling to the Peach State for a rally in support of the two Republican senators in January runoff elections that will decide control of the U.S. Senate.
Republicans worry Trump will continue to attack Republican Gov. Brian Kemp as he has on Twitter.
"Trump is to headline a campaign rally for Sens. David Perdue and Kelly Loeffler in the state Saturday night — his first major political event since before the Nov. 3 election. GOP officials are working frantically behind the scenes to try to keep the president on script at the rally, worried that he will use the forum to attack Kemp and other state GOP officials who have resisted his pressure, according to a person familiar with the discussions," The Washington Post reported Saturday.
Trump ‘facing a rapid decline’ as he wallows in ‘rage and denial’ over election loss: report
President Donald Trump's mental health since losing the 2020 presidential election was the focus of a new analysis by New York Times chief White House correspondent Peter Baker that was published online Saturday.
"Over the past week, President Trump posted or reposted more than 130 messages on Twitter lashing out at the results of an election he lost. He mentioned the coronavirus pandemic now reaching its darkest hours four times — and even then just to assert that he was right about the outbreak and the experts were wrong," Baker reported under the headline, "Trump’s Final Days of Rage and Denial."