Trump Fails to Denounce Anti-Semitic Trolls

Is Donald Trump an anti-Semite? His supporters scoff that he has a Jewish (by Orthodox conversion) daughter, son-in-law, and three grandchildren, and that he played a major role in the 2004 Salute to Israel Parade.

But The Times of Israel has posted a “timeline” of the Trump anti-Semitism controversies and asked readers to “be the judge.” The timeline leaves this reader -- an expat American observing the Old Country’s affairs from southern Israel -- worried. I am less worried about Trump being an anti-Semite than about his not seeming averse to using others’ anti-Semitism as an electoral asset.

On April 24, 2013, Trump scurrilously highlighted the Jewish background of Daily Show host Jon Stewart. He tweeted:

Last December, he said this in a speech to the Republic Jewish Coalition in Washington:

Trump appear[ed] to traffic in stereotypes about Jews. “You’re not going to support me because I don’t want your money,” he told the Jewish audience. He also sa[id], “Is there anyone in this room who doesn’t negotiate deals? Probably more than any room I’ve ever spoken.”

The fact that Trump’s daughter had converted to Judaism and married a Jew in 2009 didn’t deter Trump from making such statements. Perhaps his statements can be written off as the casual crudity of a person who often insults individuals and groups, but some developments this year are more alarming.