Opinion |

The Five Top Jewish Leaders More Concerned With Threats to Trump Than to U.S. Jews

I've got news for Bibi. The six million Jews of America are under threat. When Israel can't be bothered to support them at a time like this, no one should recognize Israel as a Jewish state.

Bradley Burston
Bradley Burston
Sheldon Adelson, Benjamin Netanyahu, Yossi Dagan, Morton Klein and Michael Oren.
Sheldon Adelson, Benjamin Netanyahu, Yossi Dagan, Morton Klein and Michael Oren.Credit: Kiyoshi Ota/Bloomberg, Nir Keidar, Emil Salman, AP /Robert Mecea, Olivier Fitoussi
Bradley Burston
Bradley Burston

When terrible things happen, you find out who your family really is.

And you learn what your leaders are really made of.

Take Jews in America. The world's largest Jewish community outside of Israel. An island of security for some six million Jews. Until Donald Trump ran for president.

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Credit: Haaretz

The Trump campaign unleashed the worst wave of anti-Semitism in the United States since the 1930s.

American Nazis, Klan figures, and the "alt-right" led shadowy social media-borne campaigns to abuse and threaten Jews who publicly opposed Trump.

And then Trump won. And for America's Jews, the nightmare began in earnest.

>> Analysis: Three nonsensical claims made while U.S. Jewry is under attack >>

Trump in the Roosevelt Room of the White House, in Washington, D.C., U.S., February 27, 2017. Credit: Aude Guerrucci/Bloomberg

Since January alone, there have been nearly 200 serious incidents of anti-Semitism. They have targeted Jewish cemeteries, community centers and schools in 30 states.

Many Muslim and Christian leaders have stepped forward to lend aid and support to Jewish communities shaken by the wave of hatred.

Jews have been outspoken in challenging the Trump administration to take fast and effective action to stop the threats.

But some Jewish leaders have stood out for another reason.

They have shown themselves much more vocal and much more concerned in defense of Donald Trump than in defense of America's Jews.

Here are the nominees for Best Performance in Supporting Donald Trump Over All Else:

5. YOSSI DAGAN, chair of the West Bank settler's powerful Samaria Regional Council, and a key Likud power broker.

After the election, Dagan sent a letter of congratulations to alt-right icon Stephen Bannon for being appointed Trump's chief strategist. "We know you are a true friend to the Jewish people, and we look forward to your leadership in the White House."

Last week, Dagan attacked the Anne Frank Center for Mutual Respect, for accusing Trump of encouraging anti-Semitism.

Trump, Dagan said, "is the greatest supporter of Israel and the Jewish people ever elected president of the U.S."

4. MORTON KLEIN, president of the Zionist Organization of America.

A huge enthusiast of Trump, Bannon, and Bannon's springboard Breitbart website, often criticized for racist and anti-Semitic content: "You can question Bannon's judgement for allowing them on the site," but Bannon is "the opposite of an anti-Semite. He's a philo-Semite."


Last week, as anti-Semitism spiked nationwide, Adelson declared that Trump was likely to be the "best president for Israel ever."

Adelson was speaking last week to the Republican Jewish Coalition, where Trump himself famously made borderline anti-Semitic comments during a campaign appearance in late 2015.

2. MICHAEL OREN, deputy minister for public diplomacy

Oren, who grew up in West Orange, New Jersey, went on Israeli television Saturday night to tell people that this whole anti-Semitism thing is nothing new, and asking why aren't you blaming Obama for it?


"I grew up there, experiencing anti-Semitism almost daily, including the bombing of a synagogue."

"All the statistics show that there has been a gradual increase which has been continuing for years already."

Israel Channel 10 anchor Gadi Sukenik: "That's not what the Jews are reporting in the States."

Oren: "You're looking only at the anti-Semitism of the right, and not the anti-Semitism of the left."

"There are those who blame Trump, but by the same token, you can blame Obama for the anti-Semitism of the left."

"What is BDS? There are 7000 campuses in the United States. BDS has conquered a great portion of the campuses. This is not the anti-Semitism of the right - it's the anti-Semitism of the left.

In any event, Oren said, "The last attack on a Jewish target, the JCC in Kansas City, was during Obama's time. The attack previous to this was in Clinton's time."

And the Award goes to:


The prime minister has always prided himself on condemning anti-Semitism wherever and whenever it happens.

Except this time. For months and months, Trump said nothing about anti-Semitism. So Bibi said nothing.

When Trump was asked about surging anti-Jewish sentiment, and Trump babbled on about his number of electoral votes, Bibi stepped right in. "There is no greater supporter of the Jewish people and the Jewish state than Donald Trump.

"I think we should put that to rest."

Only after Trump was forced, kicking and screaming, to condemn anti-Semitism by name, did Bibi dare to speak out. And even then, it was in defense of Trump.

This is the same Netanyahu who says the Palestinians must recognize Israel as a Jewish state.

I've got news for Bibi. The six million Jews of America are under threat. When Israel can't be bothered to support them at a time like this, no one should recognize Israel as a Jewish state.

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