Critics attack President Donald Trump almost daily with the accusation that he does not denounce white racists. This criticism is Orwellian in that he has repeatedly condemned white supremacy, most recently at his October 15 town hall meeting and twice on the evening of the first presidential debate of 2020. Another tactic has been to take President Trump out of context with regard to the events in Charlottesville in 2017. In this now infamous exchange of views with the press, the president not only acknowledged that “you had some very bad people in that group” while defending the peaceful demonstrators on both sides of the issue, but also stressed that “I am not talking about the neo-Nazis and the white nationalists, because they should be condemned in the strongest terms.
President Trump has a consistent record of opposition to white supremacy. In a presidential debate in 2016, he declared: “I reject the KKK completely. I totally disown David Duke.” In August 2017 President Trump declared: “In August 2017 President Trump declared: “Racism is evil. And those who cause violence in its name are criminals and thugs.” After the mass shootings in Texas and Ohio in August 2019, President Trump declared: “Racism is evil: “Our nation must with one voice condemn racism, bigotry and white supremacy.
President Trump also has a strong record in condemning anti-Semitism and implementing measures to combat it worldwide. He condemned the attacks on the Pittsburgh Tree of Life and the Poway Synagogue on the days of the two attacks as anti-Semitic. In his 2019 State of the Union Address, he stated that Iran is the biggest state promoter of anti-Semitism: “We will not turn our eyes away from a regime that calls ‘Death to America’ and threatens genocide against the Jewish people. We must never ignore the vile poison of anti-Semitism.
Anti-Semitism and extremism emanate from the far right, the far left and radical Islam. But while they think up a connection between President Trump and white supremacy, many choose to ignore actual anti-Semitic incidents, most of which emanate from the left.
Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY-14) rejected attempts by leaders of New York’s Jewish community to meet with her while withdrawing from a memorial service for Yizhak Rabin, demonstrating her refusal to make contact with American Jewry. A few months earlier, Rodney Mohammad, the section leader of the NAACP in Philadelphia, had posted an anti-Semitic caricature on Facebook, which eventually led to his dismissal.
Melina Abdullah, co-founder of the BLM in Los Angeles, led rioters chanting “F*** the police and kill the Jews. In this riot, three Jewish schools and five synagogues were attacked, and one synagogue was defaced with graffiti that read “F*** Israel, Free Palestine. Linda Sarsor’s group Muslims4Abolition promotes New York as “open to all, minus policemen and Zionists.
Rabbi Josef Neumann died in December last year during a Hanukkah celebration from stab wounds to his head. The accused assailant, Grafton E. Thomas, is not a white racist, but an African American. This followed further murders of Jews last winter, when two members of the black Hebrew Israelites killed six people in a kosher delicatessen in New Jersey.
In contrast, President Trump will probably go down in history as the most philo-Semitic US president. He issued an executive order to combat anti-Semitism that clarifies for the first time in U.S. history that Title VI of the Civil Rights Act, which prohibits discrimination on the basis of race, color, or national origin, includes discrimination against Jews. The Trump administration adopted the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance’s definition of anti-Semitism in this executive order, providing critical guidance to law enforcement agencies. President Trump also brokered peace between Israel, the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain-the first peace agreement in the Middle East in 26 years. The government recognized Jerusalem as the capital of Israel and moved the U.S. Embassy to Jerusalem.
President Trump confronted Iran with the sharpest sanctions campaign in history after it abandoned the Obama administration’s Joint Comprehensive Action Plan. The JCPOA gave the Iranian regime a clear path to nuclear weapons and left it swimming with money. The Trump administration’s sanctions campaign is starving Iranians of the money they use to finance deputies-such as Hezbollah in Lebanon and South America and Hamas and Houthis-who want to harm Jewish civilians and Israelis. For years Iran has been practicing what I call “obsessive anti-Semitism”, which includes calls for genocide to eliminate Israel.
President Trump has consistently opposed white supremacy and all forms of anti-Semitism and has devoted the resources of the entire administration to the fight against anti-Semitism. Those who seek to politicize white supremacy and minimize the threat posed by other sources of hatred – all to create a narrative that falsely accuses the president – leave the Jews less secure. It is time to stop with the lies.
Ellie Cohanim is the U.S. Deputy Special Representative for Monitoring and Combating Anti-Semitism in the U.S. State Department.
The views expressed in this article are the author’s own views….