by Asa Winstanley
You have to hand it toÂ Donald Trump, he knows which side his bread is buttered.
A major pro-Israel lobby group, the IAC, is bankrolled by anti-Palestinian casino billionaire, Sheldon Adelson.
By complete and utter coincidence, Adelson is also Trumpâs top election donor.
Trump used his speech at the summit to back Israeli crimes and racism to the hilt, as per usual, for all American presidents from either party.
But, those were not his âcontroversialâ comments.
Those comments, in fact, were open and disgusting anti-Semitism. But, the crowd of Israel lobbyists did not respond to Trumpâs anti-Jewish racism with condemnation â instead they clapped and applauded.
Speaking to the largely Jewish audience, Trump announced âa lot of you are in the real estate businessâ and that âyouâre brutal killers, not nice people at all, but you have to vote for me. You have no choice. Youâre not going to vote for Pocahontas, I can tell you that. Youâre not going to vote for the wealth tax!â
Trump managed to combine some of the worst anti-Semitic stereotypes into a handful of sentences: that Jews love money and are all wealth hoarding, greedy landlords. He also managed to throw in a racial slur against Native Americans for good measure, in the course of deploying his usual attack on Elizabeth Warren and her wealth tax proposal.
But Trumpâs open anti-Semitism wasÂ excused, justified and minimisedÂ by Israelâs supporters in the US.
The condoning of anti-Semitism by Israelâs propagandists, is a reminder that Zionism has a long history of collusion with anti-Semitism â one which goes right back to Zionismâs founder,Â Theodor Herzl.
This truth was raised when the infamousÂ Balfour DeclarationÂ of support for the aims of the Zionist movement was being debated by the British cabinet at the time â by the only Jewish cabinet member, Edwin Montagu.
MontaguÂ wrote in 1917 to his colleaguesÂ that: âZionism has always seemed to me to be a mischievous political creed.â
He wrote: âI assert that there is not a Jewish nation. The members of my family, for instance, who have been in this country for generations, have no sort or kind of community of view or of desire with any Jewish family in any other country, beyond the fact that they profess to a greater or less degree the same religion.â
He had a warning for the rest of the British government: âWhen the Jews are told that Palestine is their national home, every country will immediately desire to get rid of its Jewish citizens âŠ you will find a (Jewish) population in Palestine driving out its present inhabitants.â
It is a tragedy that Montaguâs warnings were not heeded, and that the Balfour Declaration did indeed begin the process of submitting Palestine to the Zionist settlers, driving out the indigenous Palestinian inhabitants by force.
Trumpâs recent actions to help the Israel lobby and attack the movement for justice in Palestine, as well as being wrong in themselves, are also anti-Semitic by implication.
HisÂ recent executive orderÂ attacking the Palestine solidarity movement on US campuses, was a case in point.
It wasÂ trailed in the mediaÂ as, in effect, redefining Jewishness or Judaism as a nationality â a worryingly anti-Semitic move with frightening historical parallels. TheÂ actual text of the order is not quiteÂ that.
But there is no doubt that, in embracing and entrenching Israelâs favoured, bogus, âworking definitionâ of anti-Semitism, the order makes it harder for any genuine anti-racist efforts against anti-Semitism.
She continued that ârather than providing any new protections to Jewish students against the rampant and deadly anti-Semitism of a resurgent white nationalism,â the order âaims to define the contours of what we can say about Palestine and Israel.â
âWe wonât abide, and it will be challenged,â Khalidi declared.
It is yet another reminder that anti-Palestinianism and anti-Semitism are closely related. A markedly large number of supporters of Zionism want Jews to leave Europe, so that they will no longer have to live in close proximity to them.
This is part of the reason why Joseph Massad, associate professor of Modern Arab Politics and Intellectual History at Columbia University,Â has calledÂ the Palestinian people and anti-Zionist Jews âthe last of the Semites, the heirs of the pre-WWII Jewish and Palestinian struggles against anti-Semitism and its Zionist colonial manifestation.â
Asa Winstanley is an investigative journalist living in London who writes about Palestine and the Middle East. He writes for The Electronic Intifada where he is an associate editor and also a weekly column for the Middle East Monitor. ~ Days of Palestine
(photo: President Donald J. Trump greets the crowd in Chicago, Illinois, United States on 28 October, 2019 – Kyle Mazza/Anadolu Agency)
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