Never have I been so happy to not be a registered Republican. I’m even happier that I avoided the Trump mess from the beginning, refusing to buy into the insanity beyond the occasional, “Hey guys, he’s Hillary’s new Ross Perot.” (I’m a believer in starving beasts that feed off goading press of any kind.) But I am also feeling pretty rotten this week for Jewish Republicans who have taken on the Trump monster. They have unwittingly placed themselves on the front lines in the party’s current Operation Human Shield. To be sure, they aren’t alone. They have their gentile counterparts in this battle. But their presence has nevertheless become a talking point in the Jewish community, and some of the dialogue is downright nasty.
Israeli liberal daily Ha’aretz published a piece on the “Republican Jews’ Damning Silence on Trump.” If Fox News has driven a stake into fair and balanced news reporting, Ha’aretz is the publication responsible for crafting and selling said implements to their fellow media outlets. As biased as they come, Ha’aretz took a fairly truthful boilerplate of Republican Jews (a minority within their ethnic clan, strong Rubio supporters and party faithful) and painted a larger-than-life image of sellouts pandering to an evil dictator. Republican Jews are the equivalent of Judenrat in liberal eyes, yeah yeah, we get it. But accusing all right-wing Jews of bowing to Trump for the sake of the party? That’s absurd.
Only a few days prior to the publication of the Ha’aretz piece, the Daily Beast published a tell-all on the evil implications of Breitbart’s radical support of Trump. Bethany Mandel, a Jewish Republican and outspoken anti-Trump activist, obtained a handgun for self defense after receiving a slew of threats from Trump supporters. Ben Shapiro, Breitbart’s editor-at-large, has received his own share of anti-Semitic tweets from Trump activists after writing articles against Trump’s candidacy. They aren’t alone.
Months ago, NRO’s Jonah Goldberg tapped into the anti-Semitic underbelly of the Trump campaign. His criticisms of The Donald triggered a huge backlash from supporters, much of which was nothing less than anti-Jewish jargon ranging from ignorant to perverse. I received my own share of it when I covered the anti-Semitism in an article for PJ Media. (The most comical comment asserted that Goldberg, whom I’ve never even met, and I were obviously related. The not-so-funny stuff, well, there’s a reason I don’t re-tweet comments.) The anti-Semitism has been prevalent from the beginning. But so have Trump’s Republican Jewish critics.
None of this appeared in the Ha’aretz piece, because that would’ve required a liberal Jew to dare to interact with a conservative Jew. G-d forbid. What do you think this is — Passover, when we HAVE to deal with each other across Grandma’s Seder table? Trump is the common enemy that should unite us. Instead, with their socialist-inspired “everything is political” attitude, liberal Jews simply blame conservative Jews for being Republican. Ha’aretz even went so far as to accuse Republican Jews of identifying as “white” and therefore identifying with white supremacy groups that back Trump. Nothing like taking twisted, Marxist-inspired PC logic to newer and even more evil heights of absurdity.
At the same time, Republican Jews should think twice about remaining faithful to the party they hold dear. I dislike both Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders as much as the rest of my politically conservative Jews. That doesn’t mean I’ll vote for Trump. Two evils don’t make a good, no matter how necessary participation is to upholding the process. And the idea that Trump will somehow support Israel and Jewish Americans because he loves his convert daughter is absurd. Based on that logic, we should also vote for Max Blumenthal because his mom is Jewish and I bet he loves her, right?
Whatever the individual Jewish Republican’s opinion may be, the behavior of right-wing Jewish Republican groups deserves criticism. Despite the anti-Semitism prevalent among Trump supporters, AIPAC has welcomed Trump as a speaker at their annual conference. The jury is still out on a Republican Jewish Coalition endorsement, but Trump’s weirdly anti-Semitic performance in front of the Republican Jewish Coalition didn’t seem to faze the organization’s leadership. According to RJC Director Matt Brooks, “It’s a ‘we’re going to have to wait and see’ answer.” Subtext: We’re waiting to hopefully see Trump lose the primary and get out of our lives before he becomes an unavoidable nuisance.
The unavoidable nuisance is the question of whether or not Jewish Americans should be Republicans at all. Ha’aretz wants it to be annoying in an “I told you so” kind of way. But it’s not. If you’re a conservative, and a lover of the Constitution, biblical values and the revolutionary spirit that made this country great, you’re annoyed that your values are being trampled on by a TV star. If the party goes the way of D-lister reality television, you’re going to need to find a new political home. That’s annoying.
Ha’aretz concludes that all Jews, Republican and not, should respond to Trump’s existence with fear. But, as the brave actions of Jewish Republicans like Shapiro and Mandel have proven, the anti-Semitism trumped up by Trump isn’t a reason to be afraid. You’d think a publication rooted in Israel would know better than to assert Jewish fear in the face of an ideological enemy. Then again, when everything is political, you’re always going to be afraid of something. Just ask Hillary.
Exactly what Jewish Republicans will do in the face of a potential Trump candidacy is yet to be seen. But we’re good at waiting and seeing. We’ve been doing it for over 5,000 years and counting, and no Haman has gotten the best of us yet.