American Jews, caught between Ilhan Omar and Donald Trump for vanguard news

American Jews, caught between Ilhan Omar and Donald Trump for vanguard news ,

The day after several major Democratic candidates announced that they would not be attending the annual

conference of the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC), which begins in Washington on Sunday,

President Trump did what he always does, pouring accelerant on an already hot-burning fire of public debate.

The day before, he broke through the tweets about Kamala Harris and Bernie Sanders staying away from AIPAC with a perfectly timed tweet of his own, one that announced the United States would finally recognize the Golan Heights as belonging to Israel. The contrast was drawn and masterfully so.

Trump isn’t just a friend to Israel, apparently: During a trip to the Holy Land, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo agreed with a reporter that it was possible that Trump was sent by God to save the Jews, like the Biblical Queen Esther.

All this has American Jews, myself included, mightily confused. As a whole, we have been Democrats for more than a half century. We were, in good part, architects of Franklin Delano Roosevelt’s New Deal.

We pushed for civil rights for African-Americans when many other whites did not. Returns from the 2018 midterm elections suggest that Democrats we very much remain.

But those numbers don’t tell the whole story, at least not judging from conversations I’ve had with more than a dozen Jewish leaders throughout the past week.

One of those leaders happens to be my own rabbi at Temple Micah, a progressive synagogue in Washington, D.C., that sits almost in the shadow of the National Cathedral.

Six weeks later, there was another march, this one in Charlottesville, Va. White nationalists descended on the college town, supposedly to protest the removal of a Confederate statue ,

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