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Donald Trump could be Israel’s worst nightmare

  • Letter2
"I am the least anti-Semitic person that you've ever seen in your entire life." A disturbing response from President Donald Trump to a question at a recent media conference from Jake Turx, a journalist from the ultra-Orthodox Jewish publication, Ami Magazine. A disquieting response because Turx's question wasn't about the president, but rather what was being done about "an uptick in anti-Semitism [in the US] and how the government is planning to take care of it".
by Errol Horwitz, Cap Town | Mar 03, 2017

It was alarming when Trump chose to respond:  I am the least anti-Semitic person... " If he had said: "I am not an anti-Semite," it would not have raised a red flag. Instead he couched his statement by using the word "least"; which simply means he is an anti-Semite, but at the lower rung of the anti-Semitic scale. 

To put it differently: Trump is a little prejudiced and hostile to Jews, but nevertheless an anti-Semite. His emphasis on "little" is akin to the fallacy of being a "little bit" pregnant.

Trump's obfuscation is consistent with the permissive populist-ridden anti-Semitic sentiment evident in his campaign. In the last days prior to the election, the Trump campaign published an ad using standard anti-Semitic themes - readily identifiable Jewish figures, and established anti-Semitic vocabulary - money, power and "global special interests". 

It was an ad intended to appeal to anti-Semites and spread anti-Semitic ideas. It was intentional inasmuch as Trump's campaign manager, Steve Bannon, orchestrated it - a die-hard anti-Semite, and currently Trump's top adviser in the White House.

There are those who would argue that Trump is blind to anti-Semitism inasmuch as his son-in-law, Jared Kushner, is a Jew, and his wife Ivanka - Trump's daughter - converted to Judaism. Unpersuasive at best, as Kushner appears to lack an inner sense of what is right or wrong and in the eyes of anti-Semites distinguishable between good Jews and bad Jews? 

When the issue of anti-Semitism was raised by journalists at Trump's media conference, he was clearly uncomfortable with their questions.

He had the opportunity to put matters right in his message on Holocaust Remembrance Day, but failed to do so, even failing to mention Jewish victims. Many believe it was premeditated. 

There are those who would argue that Trump is a friend of Israel. During the election campaign he sided with Israel on the expansion of West Bank settlements and relocating the US embassy to Jerusalem. He has since backtracked on both, as well as declaring that the US will no longer insist on the creation of a Palestinian state as part of a peace accord with Israel.  

This raises a key question: Can Israel trust Trump whose positions on fundamental US-Israeli relations have swung so wildly in a few weeks? Can Israel feel secure with someone who shoots and tweets from the hip, spreading chaos, confusion and craziness?

Israel must not be swayed by an impetuous and seemingly psychopathic untested president who has no knowledge of the region and a history of breaking campaign promises. 

Israel must step back before jumping into bed with Trump, because he could turn out to be Israel's worst nightmare.  

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