Okay, now I’m starting to take it personally.
Also now I understand why The Bibi so badly wanted The Donald to be elected president.
He may have thought it was because The Donald promised in front of more than 10,000 rabidly pro-Israel types that he would move the American embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. But now it’s clear he has absolutely no intention of doing so.
And he may have thought it was because The Donald seemed to signal The Bibi could do whatever he wanted in terms of settlements. Which is why in the two weeks after The Donald took office, The Bibi announced plans for about 5,000 new apartments in the settlements. But then at a press conference with The Bibi standing right next to him in the White House, The Donald looked The Bibi right in the eye and said he wanted him to “hold off” on any more settlement construction.
And it might have been that The Bibi, who claims to be for a two-state solution but really isn’t, understood that The Donald has absolutely no idea what that means which is why he could make the idiotic statement that a one state solution was okay with him. But then The Donald told by someone what that would mean, reversed himself and said a two state solution would actually be the better way to go. And he then called Palestinian leader Abbas and invited him to meet with him soon at the White House.
And it might have been that during the campaign The Donald engaged in big talk about tearing up the Iran nuclear deal, but now says … well, you get the point. My point being that while The Bibi had big dreams about what The Donald would do for him, so far he’s gotten bupkis.
Well, he has gotten one thing. The Donald has so engaged me, so enraged me that I’ve been devoting most of my recent columns to The Donald and have let The Bibi off the hook. For instance, I didn’t say all that the much when The Bibi government took the outrageous step of passing a law retroactively legalizing the confiscation of Palestinian land.
How outrageous was doing that? No less than the president of Israel strongly condemned it, using very harsh terms about how illegal it was to do that. And for the first time in Israel’s 69 year history, the country’s attorney general refused to argue on behalf of the government in front of the Supreme Court, not wanting to justify the odious law.
And I really haven’t had the energy to slam The Bibi for another new law, this one saying that anyone who is in favor of BDS would not be allowed into Israel. That’s right, the Mideast’s only democracy will punish anyone who expresses a viewpoint the Israel government doesn’t like. So much for free speech, so much for respecting all Jewish perspectives.
But I don’t have time to get into all of The Bibi’s most recent outrages because I have bigger fish to fry, namely The Donald.
And namely that I am beginning to take it, and him, very personally.
First, he proclaimed that the media are “enemies of the American people.” Now that really hits home since I am and have been a member of the media since I was in college. And that was a very long time ago. Even longer when you consider that every year you work in Jewish journalism is like seven actual years, sort of like a dog’s life.
And I can tell you I am not now nor have I ever been an enemy of the American people. I love the American people, I love America, I am indeed a Yankee Chicken Noodle Doodle Dandy.
I love this country because of what it’s done for my people and for my people. My people, the Jewish people, who have been allowed to flourish here, have been able to be both fully Jewish and fully American, to be who they are and to also play a visible and vital role in the society. That has happened here like it has in no other place at no other time in the Diaspora.
And my people, meaning my mother and father, my grandfather and my grandmother on my mother’s side, who were all taken in by this country having survived the horrors of the Holocaust, who came here not knowing the language, not having any possessions, but who were welcomed nonetheless, who were given the opportunity to cling to their Judaism while making their way in America as fully American as anyone else.
And I can tell you the reason I went into journalism is because I believe the media performs an essential, irreplaceable role in American life. There’s a reason freedom of the press is in the very first amendment, the very first of the Bill of Rights.
Make all the stupid jokes you want about the media, delude yourself all you want that the media is out to get Israel, but the facts say very much otherwise. Without the media, you would know nothing about nothing. Without the media, the crooks in government would have reign. No minority group in this country gets a more favorable press than the Jews. No other group. And if the media is so intent on making us look bad why did a recent Pew survey show that Judaism is the most admired religion in America and that Israel enjoys widespread support among the American people.
So continually and constantly idiotically blasting the media, using the pornographic term “enemies of the people” is something I take very personally.
I also take it personally that I have spent my whole adult life writing about how little anti-Semitism there is in this country, how I have not ever, not one day, not for any reason, felt held back by being Jewish in this country, felt endangered by being a Jew in this country.
But thanks to The Donald I, for the first time, feel anti-Semitism in the air. I mean how can you not? Almost every day brings more bomb threats against JCCs and Jewish schools, brings the desecration of Jewish cemeteries. Ugliness and hatred have been given license to be unleashed by Trump who calls people names, launches ugly attacks against anyone he perceives to be an opponent, is obsessed with the delusion that immigrants are out to get us. His tirades and attempts to keep immigrants out, couching it as ‘extreme vetting’ and protecting the country, tell his supporters it’s okay to hate people, it’s okay to be afraid of those different than you, it’s okay to take action against those who seem to be “the other.”
I cannot believe that for the first time in my life, I am worried about anti-Semitism, for the first time in my life it feels like it is a real and growing danger, for the first time in my life it’s something that the president of the United States actually refuses to condemn.
He was asked at his press conference with The Bibi to condemn the recent spate of anti-Semitic attacks in the country and yet, standing next to the prime minister of Israel, he refused to do so, instead lied about how big his electoral college victory was.
And then the very next day he was asked two different times by reporters to condemn anti-Semitism. Again, he refused to do so, then refused again. The second time, having been asked to do so by an obviously Orthodox reporter, he said the reporter’s question was insulting, he cut off the reporter in mid-sentence and he told the reporter to sit down and shut up.
I have always believed that anti-Semitism is not a factor in the lives of American Jews, that it was a rare occurrence and that those in positions of responsibility were the first to speak out against it. I’m finding it hard to believe that anymore and I take my sadness about that very personally.
And then we have The Donald’s ugliness against immigrants. Which tells me that if The Donald had been president in 1947, instead of 2017, I have no doubt my mom and dad and zayde and bubbie would have been kept out of this country. And I take that fact very very personally.
And then we have the proposed health care replacement, better known as PaulRyanNoCare. Ryan, who looks like he’s a little angel, has shown his true colors as the devil. His sick plan, all experts agree, would devastate, among many others, those who are over 50.
I take that very personally. Let me be straight with you. While I do have health insurance, thank G-d, when Obamacare passed, I felt a sense of relief and comfort. I said to myself that if, G-d forbid, for whatever reason, I no longer had my health insurance, I knew I could always get covered via Obamacare. It was there just in case.
But The Donald wants to just get rid of it, depriving 24 million people of health insurance and making health insurance much more expensive, indeed basically unaffordable for people over 50. People like me. I take that personally.
And no, I still cannot get over the fact that on International Holocaust Remembrance Day, the Trump White House put out a statement that did not even once mention the Jews. My mind simply is finding it impossible to believe that. It cannot be, I keep telling myself and yet I know it was.
Six million Jews, six million Jews were murdered during the Holocaust, including my zayde for whom I am named, including my 41-year-old bubbie, including my 21-year-old aunt, and yet none of the six million, including my own flesh and blood, were included in a statement commemorating the Holocaust. Those six million were Jews, my relatives were Jews, and yet the word Jews is not mentioned even one time in the statement.
The Bibi and so many others felt so confident that there would be Jews at Trump’s side, his daughter Ivanka and his son-in-law Jared Kushner, who has an office right next to the Oval Office, and yet we have these Jews there to represent us, look out for us, be a reminder to The Donald of us, and they did nothing about that Holocaust statement, have done nothing about condemning the anti-Semitism.
I look to Jews in positions of influence to advocate for all us other Jews and Ivanka and Jared have not done that at all. I take that very personally.
I hope The Bibi is happy that he got want he wanted. And maybe he is. After all, one benefit of all the Jewish outrages committed by The Donald is that I don’t have the energy to be on The Bibi’s case.