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{Originally posted to the author’s website, The Lid}

NY Times columnist Frank Bruni’s column on Sunday asked the question, “Why Does Donald Trump Keep Dissing Jews?  But I have a better question, “Why do liberals who have no idea what they are talking about pretend that they are speaking for the Jews?”

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Based on his writing, it seems that Frank Bruni is not a fan of any faith.  But one thing is for sure, the closest that Bruni’s ever been to being Jewish was his experience as a restaurant critic for the NY Times. Complaining about food has been a Jewish tradition since Biblical times. The Torah explains that the Israelites complained about the food they received directly from God. That’s why they called it Manna. Manna or Mah Na is Hebrew for “what is this?” Yes it’s true, the newly freed Jews called the nourishment received directly from heaven “what is this crap?”

Bruni’s lack of knowledge about anything Jewish is dreadfully obvious in his column published in the Sunday Edition of the NY Times.

His first example of the “Trumpian” dissing of my fellow tribe members was:

He declined to pay his respects at a Holocaust memorial in Warsaw that other American presidents routinely visited.

That example can be answered in two ways, but before they are addressed Mr. Bruni’s narrative must be corrected. The memorial in Warsaw is not a Holocaust memorial, but a tribute the Warsaw Uprising. While the uprising was part of the Holocaust, the narrative is very different.

Warsaw Uprising Memorial

The President was in Poland for a total of 16-hours, and while he couldn’t go to the memorial, he sent one of his closest advisors his daughter Ivanka who is Jewish went to the memorial and a museum dedicated to the history of Jews in Poland. During the same period the President was preparing for his second of two speeches, this one was to be a landmark speech to the people of the country but televised to the entire world. Trump left for Hamburg and the G20, soon after that speech was completed.

Bruni is correct when he said that previous presidents visited the memorial. Obama was there in 2011–big deal! Obama made a nice visit despite the fact that he was the most anti-Semitic and anti-Israel president since FDR.  In other words a visit is meaningless.

American Jews didn’t even realize that the president’s non visit was an issue (it was an issue to Polish Jews) until it was reported in the mainstream media.

It is true that the Trump administration has screwed up some events important to Jews. Certainly early in his presidency when a press release for Holocaust Remembrance Day referred to all the victims of the Holocaust without mentioning Jews specifically was a big one (which this writer beat him up about).

Bruni uses as an example of a presidential diss that the President did the quickie tour of Israel’s incredibly moving Yad Vasham, he laid a wreath and then left. Again Bruni criticizes Trump based on what HE believes is important to the Jews. The trip to Israel in May was one of the most pro-Israel trips by a president ever.  Unlike the previous president, Donald Trump delivered public speeches criticizing Palestinian violence without blaming it on Israel. And privately he “lost it” at Palestinian President Abbas for inciting terrorism.

The NY Times reporter even brought up that infamous tweet during the campaign the liberals believed was a Jewish Star, but the future POTUS thought was a sheriff’s badge. The picture was insensitive because somebody in the campaign should have known it may have caused problems. But the badge was not in the least anti-Semitic (unless of course one is a liberal). If this Trump picture is anti-Semitic, so is every member of the Sheriff’s department in Suffolk County where I live, whose badges are the same shape (and I can assure you they aren’t). Taos New Mexico and San Francisco sheriffs use the exact same shape to name a few.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Bruni brings up other isolated mistakes, like when he criticized the Orthodox Jewish reporter Jake Turx, an Orthodox Jewish reporter for Ami Magazine. In the middle of a press conference where the President was already pummeling the press, Jake Turx asked the wrong question at the wrong time. He Trump about the Antisemitism in America, which the POTUS mistook as another charge of Antisemitism against him. The last question of the Trump presser with Bibi Netanyahu 24-hours earlier asked if his administration was the cause of the uptick in Antisemitism at the beginning of his administration (it turned out to be one nut-job). Jake Turx asked a fair question but unintentionally poked the bear. Trump’s response wasn’t directed toward Jake’s religion but toward his chosen profession…the press.

In other words for Trump’s criticism of Jake Turx to be anti-Semitic, one would have to be to consider the criticism of CNN’s Jim Acosta the same way.

The Times columnist may have called it “Dissing the Jews,” but what he was really trying to suggest is that President Donald Trump is an anti-Semite. For Trump to be an anti-Semite he would have to hate his daughter Ivanka who is a Shabbos-observant Jew, as well as is his son-in-law Jared Kushner, and their three children. He would also have to hate Eric’s wife, Lara Yunaskav, a Jews, and  that future grandchild she is carrying because by Jewish law the kid will be considered a Jew.

The biggest error by Bruni is his claim that he spoke to a Republican Jew who agreed with him. The best way to explain why that’s an error is to begin with this story:

A Jewish man was stranded on a desert island for ten years. Then one day quite accidentally a boat appears out of nowhere to rescue the man. The man tells his rescuer that before he leaves he wants show him all the fine work he has done over the years. The two walk around the island until they get to an opening with three wood buildings. The rescuer says what are those. The island Jew said, “well this is my home and that building over there is the Shul I built.” “What’s the third building? The rescuer asked. “Oh that!” said the Jew “FEH! That’s the Shul I would  never set foot in!!!

We Jews are a strange people. Throughout our history we have spent almost as much time fighting our brothers as we have fighting our enemies. Those rumors are true, if there are two Jews in a room you have four opinions. Perhaps that is why Judaism is a de-centralized faith. But while two Jews may fight each believing their version of the truth is the correct one, they would agree to fight back against the opinion of the Frank Bruni–or, as they probably would say, “who the hell is he to think that he could speak for the Jews?”

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