Here are some friendly words of advice to my Republican friends eager to regurgitate Donald Trump’s talking point about the Democratic Party being “anti-Jewish.”
Before you hold up Minnesota Democratic Rep. Ilhan Omar as the poster child for anti-Semitic tropes, note that Trump himself already occupies that space. After all, he told those “good negotiator” Jewish Republicans “I don’t want your money” during a 2015 campaign event, essentially plagiarized The Protocols of the Elders of Zion by declaring “Hillary Clinton meets in secret with international banks to plot the destruction of US sovereignty into order to enrich” her donors, and informed Jewish Americans at a 2018 White House Hanukah event that Israel is “your country.” And after the white supremacist violence in Charlottesville, Virginia, in 2017, Trump assured the nation that some of the “blood and soil” crowd were “good people.”
But there is a much bigger challenge for Republicans hoping to flip enough people from the Democratic Party’s second-most loyal voting bloc to keep Florida and Ohio red. That quandary is far more severe than the GOP’s leading lights comparing Obamacare to the Holocaust, along with the IRS, the national debt, abortion, gun reform, limits on for-profit colleges, and even the FBI raid on Michael Cohen’s office. And the problem is worse than the Republicans’ posture toward Israel being largely set by evangelical Christians for whom Jews serve as Biblically mandated End Times cannon fodder for the Second Coming of Christ. No, the greatest obscenity is that the Republican pitch to Jewish Americans assumes—even demands—their dual loyalty. For the GOP, the only issue that should matter to American members of the Tribe is their fealty to Israel, and more precisely, Benjamin Netanyahu’s Likudnik version of it.