TUCSON, Arizona - Donald Trump's daft assertion - “Democrats hate Jews” - not only reflects an Israel policy that fans smoldering anti-Semitism across the world but also threatens the very survival of a hard-won Jewish homeland in a region armed for Armageddon.
“Democrats have become an anti-Israel party,” Sarah Sanders told reporters recently. Then, sticking by that absurdity under harsh questioning, she added: “They've become an anti-Jewish party.”
Judaism is a faith and a heritage. Zionism is politics. They can overlap, or not. No one speaks for an ancient religion defined by perpetual argument. And if Jews did have a pope, he or she would hardly be Bibi Netanyahu, much less Sheldon Adelson, Trump's Israel-First funder.
Since 1967, I have reported off and on from Israel, nearly every Muslim country and European slums where Islamist zealots whip up hatreds. Today, I see Trump's embrace of hardcore Zionists feed growing hostility that risks conflict no one's God can stop.
Tom Friedman had it right in a New York Times column evoking an existential danger from Congress and AIPAC, the formidable lobbying group: “It's the threat that America will love Israel to death.”
If a two-state option remains open, negotiation is possible. “But once that's gone,” he wrote, “all hell will break loose in the Jewish world…It would rip apart every synagogue, Jewish Federation and Jewish institution in America.”
That's in the United States. Imagine the impact across the Middle East, beginning with the West Bank and Gaza with no Palestinian Authority to balance extremists.Read More