Disloyal Jews

The ugly beauty of Trump’s words is that they take a historically effective anti-Semitic trope and improve on its effectiveness.

Previously, we Jews were suspect because we were presumed to feel a greater loyalty to Israel than to the U.S. (or whatever country we weren’t full citizens of). Just as Catholics’ were presumed to be loyal to the Pope, and thus, not to their country.

With Trump’s “improvement” on the trope, we Jews are fully trapped: if we are loyal Americans, we also must be loyal to Israel, and, therefore, not (really) loyal Americans. And if we aren’t loyal to Israel, which we only can deliberate by our support of him, we not only aren’t loyal to the U.S., but we also are disloyal, bad Jews.

Well. For the record. I’m loyal to the U.S., flawed, antidemocratic, and misled though we may be. And my loyalty to my Judaism requires me often to speak out against Israel, which purports to be a Jewish state (if such a thing were possible, or desirable) but which looks less and less like my understanding of what such a thing might be every day.

Count me as another disloyal Jew against Trump.

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