The Perversity of Shaming “Trump’s Jews”

Aug. 28 2017

Last week, a group of leaders of Jewish organizations decided to express their indignation by pulling out of an annual pre-High Holy Days conference call with the president. Meanwhile, a number of Jewish pundits have attacked Jewish members of the Trump administration for not voicing outrage over the president’s remarks following the demonstrations and car-ramming attack in Charlottesville. Seth Mandel responds:

[The] columnist Dana Milbank took aim at a trio of Jews serving Trump: the president’s top economic adviser, his treasury secretary, and his son-in-law. [He claims] they’re playing the role of “court Jews” [in pre-modern Europe]. The court Jew, he explains [somewhat inaccurately], “existed to please the king, to placate the king, to loan money to the king,” and “his loyalty was to the king,” not his co-religionists.

So, to Milbank, Trump’s treasury secretary is a greedy, power-hungry money lender and a traitor to his people. I liked the column better in the original German. In fairness, Milbank wasn’t even the first . . . to use this term about Jews insufficiently [opposed to] Trump. . . .

It should be clear why all this is wrong. First, the rabbis dropping their High Holy Days call with the president: these days are about atonement, forgiveness, humility, grace, and the willingness to talk to those who have wronged you. These rabbis will, during the coming High Holy Days, stand before their congregations and preach those values—clearly with no intent to practice them.

Second, calling Jewish government employees “court Jews” for not quitting their jobs . . . or publicly trashing their boss is silly. . . . During the fight over the Iran nuclear deal, the New York Times editorial board insinuated that opponents of the deal were more loyal to Israel than to the United States, and a month later put up a vote tracker on the Times website that highlighted—in yellow!—how the Jewish members of Congress were planning to vote. How, [by the logic of those calling on high-ranking administration officials to resign or vocally to denounce the president], could [the staff] of the Times have stayed silent, especially given the ugly history of the dual-loyalty charge against Jews?

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Read more at New York Post

More about: Anti-Semitism, Donald Trump, Ivanka Trump, Jared Kushner, New York Times, Politics & Current Affairs

 

How European Fecklessness Encourages the Islamic Republic’s Assassination Campaign

In September, Cypriot police narrowly foiled a plot by an Iranian agent to murder five Jewish businessman. This was but one of roughly a dozen similar operations that Tehran has conducted in Europe since 2015—on both Israeli or Jewish and American targets—which have left three dead. Matthew Karnitschnig traces the use of assassination as a strategic tool to the very beginning of the Islamic Republic, and explains its appeal:

In the West, assassination remains a last resort (think Osama bin Laden); in authoritarian states, it’s the first (who can forget the 2017 assassination by nerve agent of Kim Jong-nam, the playboy half-brother of North Korean dictator Kim Jong-un, upon his arrival in Kuala Lumpur?). For rogue states, even if the murder plots are thwarted, the regimes still win by instilling fear in their enemies’ hearts and minds. That helps explain the recent frequency. Over the course of a few months last year, Iran undertook a flurry of attacks from Latin America to Africa.

Whether such operations succeed or not, the countries behind them can be sure of one thing: they won’t be made to pay for trying. Over the years, the Russian and Iranian regimes have eliminated countless dissidents, traitors, and assorted other enemies (real and perceived) on the streets of Paris, Berlin, and even Washington, often in broad daylight. Others have been quietly abducted and sent home, where they faced sham trials and were then hanged for treason.

While there’s no shortage of criticism in the West in the wake of these crimes, there are rarely real consequences. That’s especially true in Europe, where leaders have looked the other way in the face of a variety of abuses in the hopes of reviving a deal to rein in Tehran’s nuclear-weapons program and renewing business ties.

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Read more at Politico

More about: Europe, Iran, Israeli Security, Terrorism