In his October 26 Observations column, “The new religion of American Jewry,” Stuart Weiss wonders why most American Jews “cannot acknowledge all the positive things Trump has delivered to us,” including moving the US Embassy to Jerusalem.
One reason is that while most of these Jews recognize that Jerusalem always has been and always will be Israel’s capital, they believe that other countries will not follow the US example unless it is part of a resolution of the Israeli/Palestinian conflict; and they believe that some of Trump’s statements and actions make such a resolution less likely and increased violence more likely.
In addition, Trump has threatened that Israel will “have to pay a higher price” for the moving of the embassy.
Many Americans feel that Trump’s failure to adequately condemn white supremacists and neo-Nazis has contributed to the sharp increase in antisemitic and other bigoted acts, including the recent massacre of Jews in the Pittsburgh synagogue and the sending out of pipe bombs to many critics of Trump.
Also, many American Jews see many of Trump’s policies being contrary to Jewish teachings on: (1) health – he supports proposals that would result in up to 32 million Americans losing their health insurance; (2) justice – he signed a tax bill that gave major benefits to the wealthiest Americans and highly profitable corporations; this will greatly increase future annual deficits, giving Republicans an incentive to cut social security, Medicare and other programs that most Americans depend on; and (3) the environment – despite the overwhelming scientific consensus about climate threats and the many recent severe storms, wildfires and other climate events, Trump is in denial about climate change, has appointed climate deniers to key posts, and has taken major steps to turn back efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. RICHARD H. SCHWARTZ