life in and around NYC is insane

Thursday, May 18, 2017

political rant

I am at a loss to explain it.

The American Jewish community is not a homogeneous group. Most American Jews lead a secular lifestyle, affiliate with religious organizations that are part of the Reform, Conservative or Reconstructionist movements, and tend to be liberal in their politics and vote Democratic.

About 10%  of the Jewish population identifies as Orthodox or ultra Orthodox.  They tend to lead a more insular lifestyle.  Politically they tend to be conservative, aligning with white Christian evangelicals on issues such as school vouchers, gay marriage, etc.

One of the key questions American Jews ask every time they head into the voting booth is "which candidate would be better for Israel?"

There are as many answers to that question as there are American Jewish voters...

Though to be honest, American foreign policy, as it relates to Israel, has been consistent no matter which party has held the White House.  When Obama, as a lame duck president, ordered that the US abstain from a disastrous anti-Israel vote in the UN Security Counsel, it was a departure from decades-old American foreign policy.  Until then, Obama's policies were always supportive of Israel (though not necessarily of the Israeli Prime Minister).

The majority of American Jews voted Democratic in the 2016 presidential election.  The majority of Orthodox Jews voted for Donald Trump.   One of the justifications for supporting Trump?  Obama's policies were "bad for Israel" and Hillary's would be just as bad, or even worse.

So what happened?

Obama's deal with Iran over nuclear capabilities, so strongly objected to by Bibi Netanyahu...Trump promised to undo that deal, but has not.

Trump promised to move the American Embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem "on day one", but now he's saying that the move is merely "under consideration".  He's even said that Bibi asked him not to move the embassy, which Bibi denies.

And he openly criticized Israeli settlements in the West Bank (strongly supported by Bibi and Israel's right wing) as "not good for peace".

And then there's the fiasco with the Western Wall.  No sitting US President has ever visited the Wall, Judaism's holiest site.  Clinton, Obama and both Bushes visited the site as private citizens, either before or after their tenure as President, but not while in office.  The Wall, and all of East Jerusalem, were under Jordanian rule prior to the Six Day War, the Palestinians have asserted that East Jeruslaem is part of a Palestinian state, and every sitting president since the Johnson administration has recognized that an official visit to the Wall would be very controversial.  Trump is planning to visit the Wall when he's in Israel next week, but refused to have Bibi tag along.  Trump's people told Bibi "the Wall isn't in your territory."  Poor Nikki Haley had to mend some fences there.

And an Israeli spy, embedded with ISIS, is in danger of exposure and may lose his life, because Trump shared with the Russians classified information he received from Israeli intelligence.

Trump's Jewish son-in-law, Jared Kushner, is nowhere to be found.  Sheldon Adelson, who poured millions into Trump's campaign, is growing increasingly frustrated with Trump.

It's a nightmare.

And yet they continue to support him.


Liz A. said...

It's like people think it can't get any worse, or in for a penny in for a pound, or something. I can't understand why anyone still thinks we're safe with this person inhabiting the White House.

bookworm said...

Let me join you in that sigh. Let's see. My ultra Orthodox friend (his late mother was my best friend growing up) is 100% conservative/Trump. My relatives, who range from secular (me) to Orthodox, voted both ways. And those who voted for Trump did it because of Israel. Every last one of them. Alana

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