The president’s statement on Tuesday, when asked about a press conference given the day before by Rashida Tlaib and Ilhan Omar, has caused some strong reactions in the press and on social media. Perhaps it should be quoted in full:
Five years ago, the concept of even talking about this, even three years ago, of cutting off aid to Israel because of two people that hate Israel and hate Jewish people—I can’t even believe we’re having this conversation. Where has the Democratic party gone? Where have they gone that they’re defending these two people over the state of Israel? And I think any Jewish people that vote for a Democrat, I think it shows either a great lack of knowledge or a great disloyalty.
Ruthie Blum comments:
Contrary to the outcry on the part of his critics, Trump was not accusing Jews of being disloyal to America, but rather to themselves. . . . In other words, he was expressing shock and disappointment that Jews would willingly betray their own interests. In his eyes, this means that they must be ignorant of the direction in which the party they overwhelmingly support has been going. If not, they appear to be purposely sabotaging U.S. relations with the single state established in their ancestral homeland to protect their people, which serves as America’s buffer against hostile, anti-democratic forces in the volatile, strategically important region.
Here is what he doesn’t grasp: only a handful of non-Orthodox Jews vote Republican; the rest pray at the altar of the Democratic party, no matter what, even when the party turns against Israel. This apparent oddity spurred my father, Norman Podhoretz—a lifelong liberal Democrat who became a conservative Republican—to write an entire book examining the phenomenon.
And since most Jews didn’t vote for Trump last time, nor will they next year, the hysteria about his “disloyalty” comments—which were aimed as a wake-up call to an electoral sector that wants to stay asleep—will have little effect.