The Frum Community and President Trump: A Teachable Moment
Thank you for creating a great teachable moment for all Jews regarding U.S. policy vis à vis Israel. Frum Jews especially, should understand the centrality of Israel in our prayers, and that each Jewish life is sacred. Thus, it is both foolish and flippant to dismiss President Trump as not embodying Torah values, since the greatest Torah value is the sanctity of Jewish life. Trump’s actions on Israel repeatedly reinforced this, while the Obama and Biden administration worked to undermine the U.S.–Israel relationship. They called for Israel to return to its 1967 borders, emboldening Palestinians to continuously attack and kill innocent Israelis, including children, such as the three young men who were hitchhiking. When rockets were fired from Gaza, Obama and Biden equated Israel’s defense of its citizens with Palestinian aggression, declaring that both sides needed to refrain from violence.
They lifted critical economic sanctions on Iran and orchestrated the Iranian nuclear “deal,” which neither provided oversight of uranium enrichment at military installations nor stopped the development of rocket delivery systems. Iran even inscribed Israel’s name on those systems and repeatedly threatened Israel’s annihilation. Obama and Biden ensured that terrorism continued to plague Israel by providing more than $150 billion to Iran to “sweeten” the deal in order to get them to sign the flawed nuclear agreement. They continued to fund UNRWA, which provided incentives for Palestinians to kill Jews as money was diverted to pay for “martyrs,” defined by Palestinians as those who killed Jews. They let al-Qaeda and the Islamic State spread through Syria and Libya unchecked because they considered them the “JV” team. They never used the word “Jihad” when describing terror attacks that specifically targeted Jews in France, but rather whispered to French President Sarkozy that working with Netanyahu was problematic. Obama and Biden spent $350,000 to interfere in Israel’s election to defeat Netanyahu, thereby subverting both the democratic process and U.S. law. That’s just the tip of the iceberg as we are finding out that the Obama–Biden CIA, FBI, NSA, and other intelligence agencies sought help from our allies to sabotage the Trump administration with an “insurance policy” aimed at his impeachment. Are those Torah values?
On the other hand, Trump did more for Jews than any other president in American history. He moved the embassy to Jerusalem despite calls from Jews to abandon the idea that every U.S. president for the last 25 years had promised but never delivered. He recognized Israel’s right to defend itself and recognized the Golan as part of that right. He defunded UNRWA because of its stance on payments to terrorists. He defunded Mahmoud Abbas who celebrates murderous Palestinians. He won back territory from the Islamic State thanks to unfettered rules of military engagement that he put into place. He put the Iranian mullahs on notice by not signing the so-called nuclear agreement and instead reinstituting severe sanctions on Iran that are taking their toll. He placed pressure on North Korea (which had been working with Iran on nuclear capabilities), and through his appointee, Nikki Haley, the world community rallied to put even more severe sanctions on North Korea. He put pressure on NATO to pay their “fair share” that affects their ability to support U.S. efforts against terrorism such as attacks that occurred at the kosher supermarket in France or the Jewish museum in Belgium.
In the tradition of his father, Fred Trump, whose New York buildings were used by post-Holocaust Jews as synagogues, President Trump takes every opportunity to highlight at all events his unwavering support of Israel and his continuous condemnation of the Holocaust and antisemitism. He even developed a specific position in his administration to combat antisemitism, while his executive orders ensure that Jewish voices on campus are protected and that religious liberty is not trampled upon. He was the first president to pray with his observant Jewish daughter at the Wall, and he openly celebrates the Shabbat as well as Chanukah with his Jewish grandchildren from both his daughter (who underwent an Orthodox conversion) and daughter-in-law (who is Jewish). To those frum who say that those are not Torah values, their Torah appears to be received from CNN, not Sinai!
To those who say vote Biden in 2020, I say review Biden’s record as shown above. The term that would be far more fitting is “Obama’s shlemazel,” as opposed to “mensch.” Furthermore, was it a Torah value to engage the Ukrainians in an “overt shakedown” to benefit his son, or fly with his son on Air Force Two for a state visit to China resulting in millions for his son’s hedge fund? As far as Biden and women, check the videos of him kissing women, smelling their hair, and touching them. Are those Torah values?
I agree with Mr. Gordon that it is incumbent on the frum community, as well as all Jews who see Israel as central to the concept of “Never Again,” that we come together to show our support for President Trump’s 2020 campaign. It is not a question of money, but rather Trump’s consistency in continuing to support Israel and Jews in spite of a coordinated campaign between certain elements of the media and Democratic party to take him out.
Taking Issue With Last Week’s Letter
It’s absolutely unbelievable that you would print a letter with all kinds of false propaganda against Trump and pro Joe Biden. First of all, much of the time leftist media misquotes Trump and they are the ones actually causing the division and hatred. (This is the general method of the left; just remember how Biden said to the black community in 2012 that Republicans would put them back in chains.) It’s true Trump does not sit still and make himself a punching bag and he does answer back when necessary. Whether this is good or bad, he is not the one on whom to put the main blame (see also Sefer HaChinuch, 338). At any rate, how can anyone promote Joe Biden, a great admirer of Sharpton? Biden also supported the Iranian deal, which is an existential threat to Israel. Biden did not say a word to condemn the Hamas rocket attacks on civilians. And the UN resolution that makes even the Kotel into “Palestinian Territory” was promoted by the Obama administration without Biden saying a word of protest. Does anyone doubt that just as the Jordanians closed the supposed location of Aharon’s burial place to Jews, the Kotel will become inaccessible to the Jewish people if it’s given to the Palestinians? In general, in the Democratic Party today, being “pro-Israel” simply means not to believe that the entire state of Israel is totally illegitimate and should cease to exist (as many in the left wing of the party think). So don’t be foolish to consider Biden “pro-Israel.” There is no doubt that he will continue Obama’s policies.
Every Democrat Is Anti-Torah
I can’t believe that anyone could be so self-delusional as to suggest that President Trump is more antithetical to the Torah than any Democratic candidate would be. “CH” wrote exactly that in last week’s paper. Has he forgotten the blatant anti-Israel and anti-Semitic ramblings of the Democratic Party of late? Has he forgotten that they champion the worst anti-Torah values such as abortion and same-gender marriage? Has he forgotten that New York Democrats are hard at work trying to usurp our children’s yeshiva education? Has he gone nuts? No. Sadly, I suspect that he is just another victim of Trump derangement syndrome and it has overtaken his common sense.
Rabbi Oren Kagan