Donald Trump loves Jews.
He told us so, last year, when he was running for president. He came to AIPAC and said: "I love the people in this room. I love Israel. I love Israel. I’ve been with Israel so long in terms of, I’ve received some of my greatest honors from Israel, my father before me, incredible."
This week, he wanted to show his love for Israel. He wanted to show that he loved Israel so much, that even if America's major allies and the entire Muslim world warned him against formally recognizing Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, warned him of the dangers of a resulting eruption of violence, warned him that Israelis, too, might fall victim to the turmoil, he would go ahead and do it anyway. Perhaps, in fact, precisely because the entire Muslim world warned him against it.
I just have one question.
If Donald Trump loves Jews so much, why is he unmoved when Roy Moore, the candidate he has endorsed in next week's Alabama election for the U.S. Senate, turns out to be not only an alleged child molester, homophobe, Islamophobe and birther, but also an anti-Semite.
Moore, appearing on a radio program Monday, was asked what he thought of George Soros, the billionaire Jewish philanthropist who has become a lightning rod for attacks by right-wing anti-Semites in America and abroad.
“He is pushing an agenda and his agenda is sexual in nature, his agenda is liberal, and not what Americans need," Moore said.
Rather than expanding on what he meant by a sexual agenda, Moore then pushed on to more pointedly anti-Semitic dog-whistles. He suggested that Soros - a Holocaust survivor who moved to America from Hungary more than 60 years ago and became a United States citizen - was not only a permanent alien, but would go to hell when he died.
“It’s not our American culture," Moore said. "Soros comes from another world that I don’t identify with.”
“No matter how much money he’s got, he’s still going to the same place that people who don’t recognize God and morality and accept his salvation are going,” Moore continued. “And that’s not a good place.”
Maybe it's not Jews that Trump loves, after all. Maybe it's just the one in four Americans who identify as evangelical Christians. The millions of potential voters whose position on Israeli politics - strongly influenced by Christian fundamentalist eschatology and a view of a Jewish state as a vehicle toward the fulfillment of messianic prophecy - dovetails with the ideology of right-wing territorial maximalists in Israel.
If a great tribulation is what some believers have been waiting for, they may not have to wait much longer.
Between the track record of Roy Moore, and the turmoil expected to be engendered by a declaration that Jerusalem is the capital of Israel, tribulation is virtually assured.
Forget Jerusalem, Mr. Trump. Deal with your boy Moore. Just as no evangelical should ever endorse child molestation, nor Jew-hatred, neither should any president.
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