David Friedman, one of Donald Trump’s “two advisors on Israel,” penned a column today attacking journalist Peter Beinart for criticizing the GOP presidential candidate for, among other things, tapping Friedman as one of his advisers.
Beinart reported that Friedman “has accused President Obama of ‘blatant anti-Semitism’ and suggested that unless Palestinian citizens of Israel decide ‘to support the state,’ Israel should reconsider its policy of ‘bestowing upon them the benefits of citizenship’” and once “compared J Street to ‘Kapos during the Nazi regime.’”
In response, Friedman lashed out at Beinart and J Street, an American advocacy group that promotes diplomacy to end the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, by claiming that J Street supporters “are far worse than kapos” because unlike those “who turned in their fellow Jews in the Nazi death camps” while facing “extraordinary cruelty,” these “smug advocates of Israel’s destruction” have done it “from the comfort of their secure American sofas.”
He also insisted that the president is indeed an anti-Semite and berated the “the Jewish left” as “lost souls” who “are no friends of Israel.”
Trump, Friedman writes, “thinks that when radical Islamic terrorists are trying to kill you, the right thing to do is kill them first. Don’t negotiate, reason or cajole. Just defeat them. Or as Mr. Trump would say, ‘win.’”
HT: Sarah Posner.
Let’s look at the criticisms offered by Mr. Beinart of views that I have previously expressed. He thinks I’m no good because (1) I have accused President Obama of “blatant anti-Semitism,” (2) I have questioned the wisdom of Israel bestowing the benefits of citizenship, including free tuition at some of its best universities, upon those who advocate the overthrow of the State, and (3) I have likened J Street supporters to “kapos during the Nazi era.” Let’s unpack each of those a bit.
First, Obama’s anti-Semitism. Here’s the context – Hamas puts on school plays in which 10 year olds dressed as terrorists plunge fake knives into 10 year olds dressed as Jews to the delight of the audience, and Palestinian Authority leaders (they’re supposed to be the “moderate ones”) bestow praise upon all participating in the “knife intifada.” Asked to comment on the unspeakable tragedy of innocent Jewish civilians being murdered by knife-wielding Islamic radicals, Obama and Kerry do little more than condemn the proverbial “cycle of violence.” I’m sorry, but this is pure and outright murder and any public figure who finds it difficult to condemn it as such without diluting the message with geo-political drivel is engaging in “blatant anti-Semitism.”
Second, the wisdom of free stuff for those engaged in advocating the overthrow of the State of Israel. Every civilized country other than Israel punishes treason. In the United States, advocating to overthrow the government by force or violence can get you life in prison. In Israel, Islamic radical citizens speak this way all the time, often on the way back and forth from world class institutions of higher learning which they attend for free. Is this a good idea? Is there no minimal allegiance required for Israeli citizenship? Sure seems like a fair question to me.
Finally, are J Street supporters really as bad as kapos? The answer, actually, is no. They are far worse than kapos – Jews who turned in their fellow Jews in the Nazi death camps. The kapos faced extraordinary cruelty and who knows what any of us would have done under those circumstances to save a loved one? But J Street? They are just smug advocates of Israel’s destruction delivered from the comfort of their secure American sofas – it’s hard to imagine anyone worse.
Mr. Beinart, therefore, has done us a service, albeit unintentionally. He has shown us the danger of the Jewish left – the lost souls who blame Israel for not making a suicidal “peace” with hateful radical Islamists hell bent on Israel’s destruction. This is Hillary Clinton’s crowd, and they are no friends of Israel.
Donald Trump’s view of Israel isn’t quite as nuanced as that of Mr. Beinart nor as academic as that of President Obama. He thinks that when radical Islamic terrorists are trying to kill you, the right thing to do is kill them first. Don’t negotiate, reason or cajole. Just defeat them. Or as Mr. Trump would say, “win.”