Michael Brull is an Australian Jewish far-Leftist who is anti-Israel and who is a regular contributor to Australian Leftist media. Below he is desperately scratching around to find something in The Donald's words that he can construe as antisemitic. And in the typical Leftist way there is no attempt to present a balanced account of the matter.
Trump's typically provocative words when he told a Jewish group that he did not want their money is about the best he can find. And his forthright declaration that they were not going to support him was simply an accurate depiction of American Jewish politics: Jews are heavily Left-leaning. And saying that Jews tend to be good at deals is pure realism, though not, of course, politically correct. The Donald rejoices in not being correct.
So if Brull's evdence for Trump's antisemitism is feeble, what is the evidence the other way? What is Brull omitting? With Leftists, what they DON'T say is usually crucial to an accurate assessment of their claims. How about this?
“When Donald opened his club in Palm Beach called Mar-a-Lago, he insisted on accepting Jews and blacks even though other clubs in Palm Beach to this day discriminate against blacks and Jews. The old guard in Palm Beach was outraged that Donald would accept blacks and Jews so that’s the real Donald Trump that I know.”
Brull is pure slime
Donald Trump’s overtly racist comments – about Muslims, Mexicans and so on – have gotten plenty of attention. But what about Trump and the Jews?
Trump’s recent reaction to supportive comments by David Duke, formerly Grand Wizard of the Ku Klux Klan will likely have many Jews feeling anxious. As American Jews tend to be liberal and vote Democrat, plenty already had reason to not like Trump’s overt bigotry.
Yet Duke’s racism isn’t just directed at other groups. Duke and the KKK both have long records of vicious anti-Semitism.
That isn’t just racism directed at others. Jews are reasonably well assimilated into American cultural and political life. Whilst the “Southern Strategy” and race-baiting towards other minorities may be a familiar form of modern American politics, Jews are traditionally insulated from those types of campaigns. This is partly because of the deep pockets of some Jewish organisations and businessman.
For example, many observers expected Jewish billionaires Haim Saban and Sheldon Adelson to have enormous influence over the nomination process and presidential candidates from both the Republicans and the Democrats.
Hillary Clinton made her pitch to Saban and Jewish organisation leaders with a letter promising support for Israel and opposition to BDS, and has continued to promise to bring Israel and America closer.
Donald Trump has made a point of stressing that he doesn’t need to take other people’s money to run for president, because he’s already so rich. So when he appeared before the Republican Jewish Coalition, he said “You’re not going to support me because I don’t want your money”.
According to Zaid Jilani, Trump said that Jeb Bush did what he was told by his donors: “That’s why you don’t want to give me money, OK, but that’s OK, you want to control your own politician. That’s fine, good”.
To some, this may sound a bit like what Bernie Sanders says all the time: that he is concerned that “a handful of very wealthy people and special interests will determine who gets elected or who does not get elected.”
Yet Trump’s comments made some Jews uneasy. Claiming that Jews want to “control” politicians echoes ugly stereotypes from earlier eras.
Trump also said to the Jewish crowd: “I’m a negotiator like you folks were negotiators… is there anyone in this room who doesn’t negotiate deals? Probably more than any room I’ve ever spoken.”
The Times of Israel headline was: “Trump courts Republican Jews with offensive stereotypes”.
It may be the tone, delivery, or the additional stereotypes that made Jews suspicious of Trump. It seems there’s a fine line in discussing the influence of wealthy Jews in American politics.
For example, New York Magazine had a lengthy story headlined: “Sheldon Adelson Is Ready to Buy the Presidency”.
I am not aware of a backlash against the story. It may sound like an ugly stereotype, but the fact is, the super-rich do have enormous political influence in America.
Not all of the super-rich are Jews, of course, but some are. And those with means and political inclination use their money to influence politics, just like non-Jews do.
The concern about Trump is that he singled out Jews, speaking as though he had an insider knowledge about us, about our nature and about how we think.
It wasn’t enough for Trump to get any major denunciations. But it was noticed by some. For example, Louis Farrakhan, leader of the Nation of Islam, said that when he sees Trump, “I like what I’m looking at”.
Farrakhan explained that Trump “is the only member who has stood in front of [the]Jewish community and said, ‘I don’t want your money… Anytime a man can say to those who control the politics of America, ‘I don’t want your money,’ that means you can’t control me. And they cannot afford to give up control of the presidents of the United States.”
Farrakhan has made his opinions about Jews very clear. His comments about the “Synagogue of Satan” are equal parts hateful and nuts. Yet the way he picked up on Trump’s comments about Jews wasn’t insane. And while it’s hard to know if this kind of appeal was Trump’s goal, it is hard not to notice that that is the effect of standing before Jews and telling them that they can’t buy you.
Nathan Guttman in the Forward reported that Jewish Republicans are feeling nervous about Trump. Guttman observed that they hadn’t united against Trump, despite his “failure to condemn dedicated anti-Semites and racists and his declaration that he would be ‘neutral’ on Israel.”
Some still back Trump – and imagine he would be a strong supporter of Israel. Others are worried about making an enemy of Trump, given the possibility of him ending up President.
Another worry might be that denouncing Trump for politically incorrect comments about Jews won’t necessarily get them very far. Conservatives have been saying how awful Trump is for a while, and it has zero negative effect on his campaign.
Since Trump has shown the effectiveness of saying the outrageous, Republicans have competed in political incorrectness, relishing the ensuing controversies. Trump’s unpredictability means that if he got into a fight with Jewish organisations, who knows what he might say next?
Some may remember Trump’s fight with American comedian and former Daily Show host Jon Stewart in 2013. Trump tweeted that he didn’t like “Jonathan Leibowitz – I mean Jon Stewart”. Trump then continued his criticisms after Jon Stewart called him “Fuckface Von Clownstick”.
Trump queried that if Stewart was “so legit”, then “why did he change his name from Jonathan Leibowitz?” He explained that Stewart “is a total phony – he should cherish his past – not run away from it”.
Trump constantly stressing Stewart’s very Jewish and long-discarded birth name seemed to suggest that there was something suspicious about a public figure not being totally upfront about his Jewishness.