Rabid Zionist Donald Trump has proved once again that you can stand up in a room full of Jewish supporters and spew out anti-Semitic tropes with complete immunity as long as you give unconditional support to Israel. The US President, who earlier this year embraced the title “King of Israel”, has now accused American Jews of not “loving Israel enough.”
Addressing the Israeli American Council national conference in Florida, Trump first launched a blistering attack on the Democrat Congresswoman Ilhan Omar for what he called her “despicable rhetoric” about Israel, before unleashing a series of turbo-charged anti-Semitic tropes at his largely Jewish audience.
American Jews were questioned over their loyalty towards the Zionist State as Trump said: “We have to get the people of our country, of this country, to love Israel more, I have to tell you that. We have to do it. We have to get them to love Israel more because you have Jewish people that are great people – they don’t love Israel enough.”
Imagine the furore by the largely pro-israel media and rival political parties in Britain if such words had been spoken by Labour’s Jeremy Corbyn, whose party has been embroiled by accusations of anti-Semitism ever since he became leader in 2015. Such accusations, it must be said, originate largely because of Corbyn’s pro-Palestine stance. However, the US President’s use of anti-Semitic tropes continues to go more or less unchallenged by Republicans and Zionists alike, as well as the mainstream media.
As I wrote earlier this month in MEMO, there is a great deal of hypocrisy at play when it comes to anti-Semitism and political support for Israel. In Coventry South constituency, for example, the Labour parliamentary candidate Zarah Sultana has apologised for several Facebook posts deemed to be anti-Semitic, including one in which she backed the Palestinian right to “violent resistance” against Israel’s military occupation. As far as international law is concerned, that is a perfectly legitimate right, a fact conveniently overlooked by the anti-Palestine lobby in Europe and America.
While all unprovoked violence should be condemned, though, I rarely see or hear any Western leaders condemn Israel’s brutal occupation of Palestine, or the proliferation of illegal settlements built on stolen Palestinian land in the occupied West Bank. In all honesty, the Palestinians living in the West Bank and Gaza Strip are facing much more of an existential threat than most of the world’s Jews. In saying this, I have no doubt that I will be called an anti-Semite yet again, but I can’t hide behind the Zionist shield as Trump and his supporters can and do.
Before he was elected to the White House, Trump casually told a room full of Jews that they bribed politicians; he even tweeted an image of Hillary Clinton’s face on top of a pile of cash next to the Star of David under the caption “Most Corrupt Candidate Ever”. He also commissioned an advert featuring the faces of influential Jews with a voiceover saying that they are part of a “global power structure” that has “robbed our working class” and “stripped our country of its wealth.”
During the summer, he accused American Jews of being “disloyal” to Israel by voting for Democrats. And he did it all over again a few days ago by resurrecting his favourite anti-Semitic trope about dual loyalty. Furthermore, he pushed out the stereotypical connection between Jews, power and money, telling the group: “A lot of you are in the real estate business, because I know you very well. You’re brutal killers; not nice people at all. But you have to vote for me – you have no choice.”
It’s just as well that Trump is running for office in America and not the Scottish constituency of Kirkcaldy and Cowdenbeath, where parlaimentary candidate Neale Hanvey was suspended by the Scottish National Party for using anti-Semitic language on social media. Hanvey, who is now standing as an independent in the key marginal seat, won by just 259 votes at the last General Election. He had, apparently, posted on Facebook a link which included a cartoon of billionaire George Soros as a puppet master controlling world leaders, and another which drew parallels between the contemporary treatment of Palestinians and that of the Jews during World War Two. He has since apologised and is appealing against his suspension by the SNP.
The funeral pyres of a number of political careers are still burning in Britain after this latest General Election campaign, and few aspiring young politicians who’ve deliberately or inadvertently expressed anti-Semitic views have survived. Some decisions may have been harsh and others justified, because anything which promotes hatred of anyone on the basis of religion, skin colour, gender and ethnicity should be condemned.
Nevertheless, there are clear double standards at play; if you are still in denial about this, then check out this Trump end-of-campaign political advert from November 2016. The four “villains” portrayed are Hillary Clinton, George Soros (Jewish financier), Janet Yellen (Jewish Federation Chair) and Lloyd Blankfein (Jewish Goldman Sachs CEO). It is packed with anti-Semitic dog whistles, anti-Semitic tropes and anti-Semitic vocabulary, and all from a man who some call the King of Israel. Trump gets away with it because he has delivered the goods to Benjamin Netanyahu by recognising Jerusalem as Israel’s capital and other anti-Palestinian moves.
Personally, I know very little about Judaism, but insulting American Jews for being disloyal to the Zionist State seems a distasteful, bizarre and frankly illegal way to try to win a second term in the White House. Given that 50 million or so Christian evangelicals are among his supporters and they want to encourage the “ingathering” of the [Jewish] exiles in Israel to prompt the Second Coming and Armageddon, it could well be that in the crazy world of Donald Trump, he really does believe that he is the King of Israel. Sadly for the rest of us, too many other people believe it as well.
The views expressed in this article belong to the author and do not necessarily reflect the editorial policy of Middle East Monitor.