What Donald Trump Doesn’t Understand about the Jews

Aug. 23 2019

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.

Read more at Jerusalem Post

More about: American Jewry, Donald Trump, Ilhan Omar, Norman Podhoretz, Rashida Tlaib, US-Israel relations

Israel Is Courting Saudi Arabia by Confronting Iran

Most likely, it was the Israeli Air Force that attacked eastern Syria Monday night, apparently destroying a convoy carrying Iranian weapons. Yoav Limor comments:

Israel reportedly carried out 32 attacks in Syria in 2022, and since early 2023 it has already struck 25 times in the country—at the very least. . . . The Iranian-Israeli clash stands out in the wake of the dramatic events in the region, chiefly among them is the effort to strike a normalization deal between Israel and Saudi Arabia, and later on with various other Muslim-Sunni states. Iran is trying to torpedo this process and has even publicly warned Saudi Arabia not to “gamble on a losing horse” because Israel’s demise is near. Riyadh is unlikely to heed that demand, for its own reasons.

Despite the thaw in relations between the kingdom and the Islamic Republic—including the exchange of ambassadors—the Saudis remain very suspicious of the Iranians. A strategic manifestation of that is that Riyadh is trying to forge a defense pact with the U.S.; a tactical manifestation took place this week when Saudi soccer players refused to play a match in Iran because of a bust of the former Revolutionary Guard commander Qassem Suleimani, [a master terrorist whose militias have wreaked havoc throughout the Middle East, including within Saudi borders].

Of course, Israel is trying to bring Saudi Arabia into its orbit and to create a strong common front against Iran. The attack in Syria is ostensibly unrelated to the normalization process and is meant to prevent the terrorists on Israel’s northern border from laying their hands on sophisticated arms, but it nevertheless serves as a clear reminder for Riyadh that it must not scale back its fight against the constant danger posed by Iran.

Read more at Israel Hayom

More about: Iran, Israeli Security, Saudi Arabia, Syria