The JTA and Times of Israel are screaming bloody murder over US President Donald Trump’s latest faux pas at a White House Hanukkah party:
US President Donald Trump told American Jews that his vice president had great affection for “your country,” insinuating a dual loyalty to Israel.
“I want to thank Vice President Mike Pence,” Trump said Thursday at one of two White House Hanukkah parties. “A tremendous supporter — a tremendous supporter of yours. And Karen. And they go there and they love your country. They love your country. And they love this country. That’s a good combination, right?”
Others not at the event were not so enthused about the insinuation, however unintentional, of dual loyalties.
Some have even gone so far as to suggest there were antisemitic “dog whistles” in his speech.
Watch the clip here, starting a bit before the supposedly “offensive” words. This does not seem to be a person who hates Jews. Au contraire.
So maybe you are a US Jew who does not think there was antisemitism here, but President Trump’s words still offended you because you still feel that the US is your country.
If you feel that way, then please remember what you are singing next time you sing Hatikvah.
As long as in the heart within,
The Jewish soul yearns,
And toward the eastern edges, onward,
An eye gazes toward Zion.
Our hope is not yet lost,
The hope that is two-thousand years old,
To be a free nation in our land,
The Land of Zion, Jerusalem.
And if you are a religious Jew offended by his words, remember the words you pray every day.
As for me, I am not a Donald Trump cheerleader but believe in looking at things as objectively as possible, and judging him on specific actions and words (favorably or not). Here I think he was recognizing the fact that Israel is the indigenous homeland of the Jewish people, nothing more. You could argue his wording may have been a little imprecise, but I don’t think there was any bad intent behind it.
Personally, I think my US Jewish friends should be more concerned about those who deny the Jewish connection to their ancestral homeland.