Last Thursday, the American Jewish Committee hosted a debate between Halie Soifer, Executive Director of the Jewish Democratic Council of America and Matt Brooks, Executive Director of the Republican Jewish Coalition.
Soifer’s organization recently had the sickening audacity to call Trump the greatest danger to Jews while comparing him to Hitler. It was instantly denounced by Jewish organizations including Rabbi Abraham Cooper of the Simon Wiesenthal Center who called it “beneath contempt.” Honesty and rationality are not the JDCA’s strong point so it was no surprise that Soifer’s main talking point was that Trump has embraced white supremacists, is a danger to Jews, and is responsible for rampant anti-Semitism. That lie must be addressed.
As Brooks made clear, Trump has continually denounced white supremacists and neo-Nazis and in fact, his administration is seeking to label the KKK and Antifa as domestic terrorists. In a column in Hadassah Magazine, I wrote:
Despite media distortions, Trump has never supported white supremacists. Indeed, in the aftermath of the 2017 Charlottesville rallies, he stated that “the KKK, neo-Nazis, white supremacists, and other hate groups…are repugnant to everything we hold dear as Americans.” And in conjunction with his executive order addressing anti-Semitism on campus, he said, “The vile, hate-filled poison of anti-Semitism must be condemned and confronted everywhere and anywhere it appears.”
On the other hand, Biden refuses to denounce Antifa, claiming it was only an “idea” despite the fact that one of the hateful “ideas” at its core is anti-Semitism. It’s no wonder why Democrats continually ignore anti-Semitism on the left including from within their own party.
For instance, I recently addressed Biden’s support and endorsement of Muslim anti-Semites including Farrakhan-supporter Linda Sarsour who Biden invited to speak at the DNC and with whom he appeared on radio. Harris, who refused to denounce Ilhan Omar’s anti-Semitism, supports Hamas-linked, Muslim Brotherhood affiliate, Council on American Islamic Relations, an unindicted co-conspirator in the Holy Land Foundation terror-financing case. The Washington Free Beacon reported, “As California’s attorney general and then as U.S. senator, Harris forged a relationship with the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), one of the nation’s top anti-Israel groups and advocates for boycotts of the Jewish state.” In 2018, Harris wrote a letter in which she expressed her “gratitude and admiration for [CAIR’s] tireless work to promote peace, justice, and mutual understanding.”
The Democrat Party, including Biden and Harris, have also embraced the Black Lives Matter movement (as well as Jew-hater Al Sharpton) which at its core is flagrantly anti-Semitic. In fact, Americans for Peace and Tolerance just produced a must-see video addressing how pervasive Jew-hatred is within that movement.
Anti-Semitism is a human scourge that has existed for millennia and sadly, may continue to ebb and wane for a very long time. To fight it requires significant efforts on the international stage as well as in national, state and local arenas. Democrats have a horrific record on support (or lack thereof) for Israel and fighting anti-Semitism which is growing within its midst. Republicans under Trump’s leadership are fighting the battle head on.
The Obama/Biden administration’s official policy in the Middle East involved putting daylight between the U.S. and Israel and building an Iranian hegemon to replace the U.S. pax Americana notwithstanding Iran’s promises of annihilating Israel. For obvious reasons, the Israeli government did not support the Iran nuclear deal and when Netanyahu accepted an invitation to speak before Congress on the dangers of the deal, 58 Democrats boycotted his speech including Sanders, Warren, Castro and others expected to be part of a Biden administration.
To be clear, Biden was as complicit as Obama with the Israel-bashing. At a J St conference, an organization known for its constant condemnation of Israel, Biden criticized Israeli policy claiming “we have to push them as hard as we can….because the present course that Israel’s on is not one that’s most likely to secure its long-term existence as a Jewish democratic state.” UAE, Bahrain and Sudan would disagree but there he goes again further buttressing Obama Defense Secretary Gates’ claim that Biden has been wrong on every foreign policy decision of his four decades’-long political career.
While Trump’s first term is winding down with no less than three Arab countries normalizing relations with Israel, Obama/Biden’s two terms of Iran-enabling, Israel-bashing culminated in UN Resolution 2334 which was the first time in UN history that an anti-Israel resolution passed the Security Council without a U.S. veto. Biden played a significant role in helping the passage of this Obama-led, anti-Israel vendetta by personally phoning the Ukrainian President to pressure him to support the resolution.
On the other hand, Trump has not just been the most pro-Israel president we have ever had, he has also taken more steps to stop the spread of anti-Semitism than any of his predecessors. The appointment of Elan Carr as the State Department’s Special Envoy for Monitoring and Combatting anti-Semitism has resulted in international achievements including recently adding Albania and Bahrain to the growing list of countries that have adopted the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance’s definition of anti-Semitism which encompasses anti-Zionism. In fact, the U.S. and Bahrain just signed a Memorandum of Understanding in which they agreed to fight “all forms of anti-Semitism, including anti-Zionism and the delegitimization of the State of Israel.”
When Trump realized that the Democrats would not pass the Antisemitism Awareness Act which has been languishing in the House and would have enshrined the IHRA definition into law, he signed his Executive Order that extended Title VI civil rights protections to Jewish students on college campuses who face anti-Semitic attacks in frightening numbers. The first case that the Education Department addressed under the EO resulted in NYU agreeing to address anti-Semitism on its campuses including the adoption of the IHRA definition. And Trump signed into law the Never Again Education Act which provides federal funds for Holocaust education throughout the country.
Last year I attended the first ever Summit on Combatting Anti-Semitism at the Justice Department sponsored by Attorney General Barr and just last week the State Department held a two-day conference on “Ancient Hatred, Modern Medium: A Conference on Internet Anti-Semitism.” At that event, Deputy AG Jefferey Rosen stated, “the key thing I want to make clear today is that the Department of Justice will not tolerate anti-Semitic acts that violate federal law, whether they occur on the Internet or elsewhere.” And Secretary Pompeo is considering declaring certain anti-Israel NGO’s as anti-Semitic. Contrast all of these measures with the Democrat-controlled House which could not even pass a simple resolution condemning anti-Semitism among its members.
While the left insanely finds ways to diminish the significance of the Abraham Accords and now normalization with Sudan, peace between Israel and her Arab neighbors is becoming a reality. Additional countries from Morocco to Saudi Arabia are expected to follow in the coming months. It is no wonder that Israelis overwhelmingly support Trump and wish to see him spend another four years taking further steps to advance peace and security for Jewish people the world over.
American Jews unfortunately have a disappointing habit of voting in everyone else’s interests but their own. They prioritize progressive issues like abortion and gun control while obsessing over social justice causes and groups that promote anti-Semitism and anti-Israel sentiment. They worship at the Torah of Liberalism while thumbing their noses at the GOP and its leaders who nonetheless seek to protect them. Seventy percent or more of American Jews will vote for a man who has no record of accomplishment on any issue let alone promoting their survival or that of their homeland and who in fact has a record of doing just the opposite. Will history look back kindly on American Jews in 2020?
Lauri B. Regan is the New York chapter president and board member of the Endowment for Middle East Truth and treasurer and board member of Scholars for Peace in the Middle East.