At times, looking for the Jewish angle in a major public event can feel small, parochial and petty. Not this time. The contrast between the two Jews on the podium, Senator Chuck Schumer and Rabbi Marvin Hier, and everyone else who spoke was quite striking.
Leaders of Jewish advocacy groups often say their tax status bars them from opining on political candidates, including appointees. When the issue is Israel’s views, as when President Obama nominated the supposedly hostile Chuck Hagel for defense secretary in 2011, those rules are out the window. The rule apparently holds, though, when the needs of American Jews are at stake.
Trump’s critics like to say that he’s a serial liar, citing his extensive record of false statements since the presidential race began. The evidence suggests, though, that he’s not lying. “Lying” is saying things you know to be false. Trump plainly believes the things he’s saying, at least at the moment he’s saying them.
There’s not much that’s new or remarkable in that new resolution from the United Nations Security Council (text here) condemning Israel’s West Bank settlements as illegal. You might call that very fact remarkable — that the resolution is so unremarkable — given all the fuss the resolution has stirred up.
The U.N. Security Council votes, again, to label West Bank settlements illegal under international law. Israel has been insisting they’re not for 49 years. Nobody’s been persuaded, J.J. Goldberg writes.
Given the political uproar surrounding Donald Trump’s choice for ambassador to Israel, you could be forgiven for overlooking the event’s larger significance as a disruptive moment in American Jewish history.
On both the left and the right, we should be cautious in discerning actual anti-Semites from people with political disagreements, argues J.J. Goldberg.
Donald Trump’s choice of bankruptcy lawyer David Friedman for ambassador to Israel may possibly signal a dramatic policy move in the direction of the Israeli right. Or it might not. It depends on how you read the tea leaves. The messages coming out of Trump Tower are unusually scrambled, even for that gold-plated hothouse.
The CIA Russian hack report hints at a constitutional crisis. The last time an election was jammed, a president fell. J.J. Goldberg asks if an all-GOP Washington can probe how the GOP swept the table.