The combination of giant egos, a pile of cash for political donations, and a need to protect their tax breaks is an incendiary combination for any American political group.
But when it comes to Jewish groups giving a standing ovation to a disgraced and corrupt presidential candidate who faces 90 indictment counts, as well as other criminal convictions, it becomes a pathetic and very divisive scene for the American Jewish Community.
That was the case last weekend in Las Vegas when the Republican Jewish Coalition (RJC) met in Las Vagas and gave a rousing welcome to the insurrectionist ex-President Donald Trump.
Trump told the fawning audience of wealthy Jews that he vowed to stop World War III and said of the victims of Hamas’ October 7 attacks: “They’ll be avenged even beyond what you’re thinking about,” according to a Haaretz account. Trump has no basis for making that claim since the avenging is being done by the Israeli army, over which Trump has zero control.
Why would these Republican Jews welcome a known anti-Semite, convicted rapist, tax cheat, and adulterer who faces 19 indictments, with the implied promise of giving him more in campaign contributions?
The extreme RJC is pushing a lie. They insist Republicans are Better FOR JEWS THAN THE DEMOCRATS. Not only is this a historical lie, but it’s also blind to the fact that American Jews overwhelmingly support liberal causes
The answer is convoluted and sick, but it centers on wealthy donors who want to preserve their tax breaks, a misguided vision of supporting Israel, the belief that they are smarter than others, combined with massive egos, and the reality that intelligent people can become part of the MAGA movement even when they are not welcome into some of its white nationalist fringe groups.
But all that does not matter to the RJC. They love the spotlight, even when they know Trump welcomes working with white supremacists, Christian nationalists, and anti-Semites.
Trump and his supporters repeat the lie that he has been the strongest supporter of Israel than any other president. That’s one more of Trump’s 20,000 lies he told in office. Thanks to the American Israel Political Action Committee (AIPAC) and its decades-long lobbying effort, almost the entire U.S. Congress has been a strong supporter of Israel politically and in military aid for decades.
Trump Fools AIPAC and the RJC
Trump is no better than any other Republican or Democrat president. What fools the RJC and AIPAC crowds is Trump’s claim that he is tough on Iran and that he will presumably send in U.S. troops to attack Hamas. That’s not going to happen, given the present conditions.
The RJC’s fascination with Republican candidates, most of whom think Biden stole the 2020 election, is a foray into a fantasyland where they are trying to convince American Jews, 80% of them Democrats, that the Republican Party of 2024 is better for American Jews.
In reality, the Republican Party is 68% white and Christian, and its new House speaker, Mike Johnson, is an avowed Christian nationalist who is “an election-denying evangelical Christian who favors a national abortion ban, Bible courses in public schools, and ‘covenant marriage,’ and who believes that L.G.B.T.Q. people are living an ‘inherently unnatural’ and ‘dangerous lifestyle’ elevated to the speakership,” according to an excellent article in the New York Times by Thomas Edsall.
But that is not the story told by the extreme RJC. They insist Republicans, including the Christian nations, are good for Jews. Not only is this a historical lie, it’s also blind to the fact that American Jews overwhelmingly support liberal causes—abortion, equal rights for women and gays, fair taxation, equal access to voting rights, environmentalism, non-discrimination, immigrant rights, a smaller military budget, a robust social safety net, including Medicare, Medicaid, and Social Security.
All of these programs and causes favored by 80% of American Jews are opposed by all the Republican candidates. These are the same Republican candidates who get a rousing welcome from the misguided RJC.
The RJC also cannot tell the difference between Christian evangelicals who like Israel and Jews, versus the Evangelicals who like Israel, but don’t like Jews.
That’s because of Catholic-Christian doctrine regarding the Second Coming and the Rapture. This is a complex theological question, but some evangelicals know that Israel must be occupied by the Jews as a pre-condition for the Second Coming. After that, the non-believers (Jews) will evaporate and the Believers will take over the Holy Land. The RJC doesn’t make this distinction, but they may be funding candidates who believe in Israel, but not the Jews. (See the article on this at this site.)
For an American Jew who has any modest knowledge of Jewish values, the 2024 Republican Party is anathema to all of these. They publicly oppose all of the Jewish values. But that’s ignored by the RJC, which promotes the propaganda message Jews should become Republicans.
Waving the Red Flag of Israel in Front of Jewish Donors
The RJC’s big political hook now is Israel and its war in Gaza.
Republicans have no solutions to winning, stopping, or preventing this war. Their little slogan is that Biden released money to the Iranian government or engaged in a prisoner swap, and this emboldened Iran to start the war via its proxies. That’s all smoke because the Biden administration already safeguards how the billions are released to Iran. A trade of a few Iranian prisoners in exchange for a few Americans did not prompt the Hamas attack.
But that is all lost on the RJC. Instead, they listened as Trump criticized Israeli Premier Benjamin Netanyahu for neglecting his intelligence services. Trump is famous for Monday-morning quarterbacking and little else.
Trump’s criticism of Bibi is just smoke because 70% of Israeli citizens already want him out of office. The fact is that Bibi’s political career is over. The first post-war election will see Bibi and his right-wing Coalition ejected from government. That’s the only bright side of the entire Israeli- intelligence failure. After voters remove Bibi from office, he may want to consider moving to another nation because almost everyone in Israel knows of someone who has died due to his ego-fueled push to reform the Israeli judicial system to protect himself from prosecution for fraud.
Bibi and Trump are too alike. Both are corrupt egomaniacs who sacrifice their nations for their political gain. That also fits the purpose of the Republican Jewish Coalition.
The RJC and another misguided group, Jexit, are trying to trick other American Jews into thinking Republicans are better for American Jewry than a Maga Republican Party that harbors white Christian nationalists, insurrectionists, tax cheats, opportunists, QAnon supporters, and people who worship authoritarians.
The RJC knows they are supporting and donating to Republican candidates who are promoting programs and legislation that 80% of American Jews strongly oppose.
The RJC Fails to Admit that MAGA Republicans Dislike Jews
The RJC, which boasts of a very intellectual and professional board of directors, should open their eyes to what their Republican buddies are saying about the Jews in 2024, according to this report in the Washington Post:
- “In Georgia, Republican Senate candidate Herschel Walker did not publicly reject a show of support from Ye, the rapper formerly known as Kanye West, who has made a slew of comments attacking Jewish people in recent weeks, including a tweet threatening he would go “death con 3 on JEWISH PEOPLE.”
- “Mehmet Oz, the Republican Senate candidate in Pennsylvania, (has) plans to attend a rally this weekend with GOP gubernatorial nominee Doug Mastriano. Mastriano has unsettled Jewish Democrats and Republicans alike with his extremist ties and comments about his Jewish opponent, Pennsylvania Attorney General Josh Shapiro. The Republican candidate’s wife asserted over the weekend that she and her husband “probably love Israel more than a lot of Jews do.”
The RJC also heard the disgraced Trump, their most welcome guest, tell the crowd that “If I were president, the attack on Israel would never ever have happened,” he told the 1,500 attendees who packed the ballroom. “I think you believe that. Ukraine would never have happened. Inflation would have never happened.”
He then told the RJC crowd that he has plans to become an authoritarian. In a New York Times article, Trump “praised Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban, the neo-authoritarian leader who is admired by far-right nationalists in the United States and Europe and who has been accused of employing antisemitic tropes for political gain.
“In his remarks, Mr. Trump cast himself in a similar vein as Mr. Orban — a “very strong man,” he said — promising to keep the country safe with threats of force.”
Orban is promoting Hungarian nationalism. In a July 2022 speech, “Orbán sparked international outrage when he warned against mixing with “non-Europeans,” as reported by The World.
“We are willing to mix with one another, but we do not want to become peoples of mixed race,” Orbán said during an annual address to members of the Hungarian minority in Romania.
“A long-term adviser to the prime minister, Zsuzsa Hegedüs, who is Jewish, resigned. She said the speech was a “pure Nazi text worthy of Goebbels,” referring to the Nazi propaganda chief.”
And this is the guy Trump wants to emulate. And Trump told it to a Jewish audience at the RJC. And the attendees of the RJC did nothing. Maybe they forgot they are Jewish.