Allow me a moment of pride: The hot new criticism of my fellow Jews is that we don’t complain enough.
Really. A host of pundits, concerned about President Trump’s baffling unwillingness to single out neo-Nazis for criticism, are turning to the American Jewish community and pleading: Would it kill you to maybe kvetch a bit?
The idea we haven’t protested is bonkers, but more important, the left’s campaign to get all Jews to publicly denounce Trump has taken a profoundly dangerous and ugly turn. And it needs to stop.
On Tuesday, the Washington Examiner reported that a coalition of left-leaning Jewish organizations have decided to lead by example. The groups had organized a conference call with President Barack Obama each year just before the High Holy Days, but this year, ostensibly because of Trump’s atrocious response to the violence in Charlottesville, their leaders chose to boycott the call.
To be clear, the call was generally a heavily politicized event at which the liberal groups and the liberal president pushed liberal policies under the guise of faith. Indeed, one of the groups is the Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism, which (the inside joke goes) has long been split between its political wing and its political wing.
But as rabbis and community leaders, they are clearing a path for others to follow. And they’re far from lone voices.
Late last week, Washington Post columnist Dana Milbank took aim at a trio of Jews serving Trump: the president’s top economic adviser, treasury secretary and son-in-law. “What Gary Cohn, Steven Mnuchin and Jared Kushner did last week — or, rather, what they didn’t do — is a shanda,” he wrote, using the Yiddish word for shame. Specifically, they didn’t publicly trash their boss.
And, says Milbank, this means they’re playing the role of “court Jew.” The court Jew, he explains for those unfamiliar with a staple of Judeophobic bigotry, “existed to please the king, to placate the king, to loan money to the king,” and “his loyalty was to the king,” not his co-religionists.
So, to Milbank, Trump’s treasury secretary is a greedy, power-hungry money lender and a traitor to his people. I liked the column better in the original German.
In fairness, Milbank wasn’t even the first at the Washington Post to use this term about Jews insufficiently militant toward Trump; right after the election, Conservative Rabbi Jill Jacobs and left-wing activist Daniel Sokatch levied the charge in that paper.
And anyway, he was merely following the lead of the New York Times, which last week splashed this headline over a large picture of Jared Kushner and Ivanka Trump: “Jewish Trump Staff Silent on His Defense of Rally With Anti-Semitic Marchers.” Whom did the Times specifically hiss at? Cohn, Mnuchin, Kushner.
The expectation that employees must go public with their criticism of the boss is silly, and the Times ought to know it.
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Source: New York Post