White House

In Accusing Trump of Anti-Semitism, Democrats Play the Projection Game

President Trump prepares to leave a note at the Western Wall in Jerusalem, May 22, 2017. (Jonathan Ernst/Reuters)
Left-wing smears overlook his numerous pro-Israel, pro-Jewish words and actions.

Psychological projection has become a key characteristic of the Left. If Democrats and their serfs in the liberal media complain about something, they most likely do it themselves, but pin it on an often blameless GOP. Consider their explanation of Hillary Clinton’s approval of the deal that handed the Kremlin 20 percent of America’s uranium supply, while investors in Uranium One Inc. donated $145 million to the Clinton Foundation. Yet the Left has screamed, “Russian collusion!” at Donald Trump for nearly three years.

Likewise, Democrats and the Left whitewash the anti-Semites in their midst and, instead, blame Trump — a decidedly pro-Jewish, pro-Israel president — whenever Jews are attacked or killed, as atrociously transpired on April 27, when a 19-year-old gunman opened fire on the Chabad of Poway Synagogue near San Diego. He killed Lori Gilbert Kaye, 60, and injured three others.

Predictably, the Left engaged their only gear and trampled Trump.

  • “Why do these people feel they have license now to attack synagogues?” Senator Dick Durbin (D., Ill.) wondered on CNN. “This has really been fomented because of the rhetoric we’re hearing from the White House.”
  • According to Senator Kamala Harris (D., Calif.), Poway and similar onslaughts “are borne out of hate — hate which has received new fuel in these last two years.”
  • “He’s provocative. He gives dog whistles constantly to these people,” said Joy Behar, co-host of ABC’s The View. “Take responsibility for your actions, Mr. President. You are the culprit!”
  • “We have a president who not only will not acknowledge that we have an epidemic of white-nationalist terror,” Mehdi Hasan said on MSNBC’s The Intercept, “he’s providing the mood music for it.”
  • “This president has emboldened neo-Nazis and white nationalists in this country,” said Waleed Shahid, communications director of Justice Democrats.
  • MSNBC’s Joe Scarborough remarked, “White nationalists say he [Trump] has inspired them to take a far more public and aggressive stance in Trump’s America.”
  • “I think the president needs to look in the mirror and understand that the rhetoric, the words he uses in all of this inflame a big part of what’s going on in America, give permission to the most craziest people in America,” said Matthew Dowd on ABC’s This Week.

These Trump haters might be believable if the killer had yelled “Make America Great Again!” as he fired into the synagogue. Yet in his rambling, profane open letter, he detailed his intense disdain for Trump and conservatism. Among other things, he called the president “Jew-loving” and “traitorous,” declaring further: “I am not a conservative.” The villain who murdered eleven and wounded seven in October at Pittsburgh’s Tree of Life synagogue made clear his hatred for Trump, too.

 The Left’s anti-Trump attacks occur despite his pro-Jewish and pro-Israeli statements and actions. These go at least as far back as 2004, when Trump was the grand marshal of New York’s Salute to Israel Parade.

Most recently, on Thursday, the president hosted a National Day of Prayer ceremony in the White House Rose Garden. He said: “We will fight with all of our strength and everything that we have in our bodies to defeat anti-Semitism, to end the attacks on the Jewish people, and to conquer all forms of persecution, intolerance, and hate.”

President Donald J. Trump listens as Rabbi Yisroel Goldstein of the Chabad of Poway, California, speaks at the National Day of Prayer Service in the Rose Garden, May 2, 2019. (Official White House photo by Tia Dufour)

Trump welcomed Poway’s rabbi, Yisroel Goldstein. He said, “I’d like to thank our dear, honorable Mr. President for being, as they say in Yiddish, a ‘mensch par excellence.’ Mr. President, when you called me, I was at home weeping. You were the first person who began my healing. You heal people in their worst of times, and I’m so grateful for that.” The president also shared the podium with Army veteran Oscar Stewart and Border Patrol agent Jonathan Morales. Trump called them “heroes who raced after the murderer and helped disrupt the attack at the Poway Synagogue.”

This dramatic development surely dominated the major networks’ evening-news broadcasts. No such luck. As the Media Research Center discovered, this moving story of a rabbi — with fingers freshly shot off by a deadly killer — being honored at the White House by a supposedly Jew-hating president generated exactly zero minutes and zero seconds of coverage on these flagship newscasts.

None of the three big networks spared a moment to report on the president rallying the republic against anti-Semitism. However, the CBS Evening News dedicated 22 seconds to new Scrabble words. NBC Nightly News devoted 30 seconds to Scientology. And ABC’s World News Tonight invested a full two minutes in a married couple who are scaling, essentially, his and hers mountains on opposite sides of Earth.

As MRC vice president Brent H. Baker told me, “It’s almost as if the press corps were trying to suppress anyone learning about anything that contradicts their view of Trump as a racist promoter of white nationalism and anti-Semitism — which would, of course, confirm Trump’s disdain for the media.”

Last Saturday at 8:25 p.m., six hours after bullets flew at Poway, President Trump told supporters in Green Bay, Wis.: “Our entire nation mourns the loss of life, prays for the wounded, and stands in solidarity with the Jewish community. We forcefully condemn the evil of anti-Semitism and hate, which must be defeated.”

CNN’s Don Lemon, naturally, questioned Trump’s sincerity. “One has to wonder as a thinking, rational person, if he means those words and if they ring hollow to Americans who have been looking for him to say those things,” Lemon said Saturday. At 8:32 p.m,. just seven minutes after Trump called to vanquish anti-Semitism, Lemon squeezed Trump for “trafficking in bigotry, in racism, in anti-Semitism, in hate, and making excuses for us.”

If Trump’s words were insincere, then he is among the finest actors of his generation. Perhaps he fooled even Poway’s spiritual leader.

“I received a personal phone call from our president, Donald Trump,” said Rabbi Goldstein. “It’s the first time I’ve ever spoken to a president of the United States of America. He shared with me condolences on behalf of the United States of America. . . . And he spoke about his love of peace and Judaism and Israel. And he was just so comforting that I’m really grateful to our president for taking the time and making that effort to share with us his comfort and consolation.

“He was so gracious and generous with his words. Exceedingly comforting to me, my community. He spoke to me like a friend, like a buddy.”

President Trump expressed himself similarly before Poway.

“We must never ignore the vile poison of anti-Semitism, or those who spread its venomous creed,” he declared in his State of the Union address on February 5. “With one voice, we must confront this hatred anywhere and everywhere it occurs.” Trump also introduced his guests in the House gallery: Dachau survivor Joshua Kaufman and Herman Zeitchik, a World War II veteran who liberated that Nazi concentration camp.

For Trump, this is personal.

When his daughter Ivanka converted to Orthodox Judaism in 2009, to prepare for her marriage to Jared Kushner, Trump did not erase her from his will or banish her from Trump Tower. Instead, his daughter and son-in-law are among his closest advisers; he never leaves home without them. The president, Ivanka, Jared, and the First Grandchildren have celebrated Hanukkah together in the White House.

Trump is the first sitting president to visit the Western Wall, Judaism’s most hallowed site, in Jerusalem — Israel’s capital, to which he relocated America’s embassy from Tel Aviv. Trump signed the Taylor Force Act to defund Palestinian terrorists. In March, he recognized the previously Syrian Golan Heights as Israeli. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said in the Oval Office on March 25, “We have never had a greater friend than President Trump.”

If evidence of Trump’s anti-Semitism exists, his enemies should present it now or forever hold their peace.

The Left’s claims of Trump’s anti-Jewish animus mask the increasingly rampant anti-Semitism on their side of the aisle.

  • House Democrats’ were unable to condemn the anti-Semitic comments of Representative Ilhan Omar (D., Minn.). Instead, their anodyne measure denounced anti-Semitism and “all forms of hatred” without censuring Omar by name. Conversely, when Representative Steve King (R., Iowa) soft-pedaled white nationalism, Republicans stepped up, censured him personally, and booted him from his committees.

A non-partisan activist group called IlhanBGone.org aims to oust Omar from the House Foreign Affairs Committee. “The thing that unites us is our opposition to her hatred and the threat she poses to America’s national security,” said Joe Diamond, the outfit’s Brooklyn-based coordinator.

  • Meanwhile, the New York Times published not one, but two, clearly anti-Semitic, Goebbels-like cartoons on April 25 and 29. The first depicted a blind, yarmulke-clad Trump being guided by Netanyahu as a dog, with a Star of David around his neck. In response, Harvard emeritus law professor Alan Dershowitz wrote April 28 in The Hill: “One of the weapons of hate against Jews deployed by Nazi Germany were cartoons and caricatures that depicted Jews as subhuman animals, often as dogs or spiders.” The second caricature featured a seemingly blind Netanyahu posing for a selfie with a stone tablet emblazoned with a Star of David.
  • Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan last May delivered a sermon titled “Thoroughly and completely unmasking the Satanic Jew and the Synagogue of Satan.” Arguably America’s most flagrant anti-Semite, he once said: “The Jews don’t like Farrakhan, so they call me Hitler. Well, that’s a good name. Hitler was a very great man.” Nonetheless, the Congressional Black Caucus repeatedly has feted this Jew hater; Obama smiled beside him in a photo that stayed hidden throughout his presidency; and last August, Farrakhan sat on stage, three seats from President Bill Clinton, at soul legend Aretha Franklin’s Detroit funeral. The Reverends Al Sharpton and Jesse Jackson sat between them.
  • When the left-wing MoveOn.org called on Democratic presidential hopefuls to boycott the American Israel Public Affairs Committee’s March policy conference, Senators Kamala Harris of California, Bernie Sanders of Vermont, and Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts and former Texas congressman Robert Francis O’Rourke were among those who dutifully stayed away.
  • Leftists slam the Jewish state relentlessly — from Williams College’s April 23 refusal to authorize the Williams Initiative for Israel as a student group to the on-campus Boycott, Divest, and Sanctions movement to the United Nations’s almost daily anti-Israel resolutions. The Left and Democrats have become the keepers of anti-Semitism’s flame, and yet they shout “anti-Semite!” at Trump.

The Left’s attacks on the president project their anti-Semitism onto Trump in hopes of crushing him in 2020. This is as ugly as politics gets.

Michael Malarkey contributed research for this opinion piece.

Deroy Murdock is a Manhattan-based Fox News contributor and a contributing editor of National Review Online.

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