We Must Distance Ourselves From the President’s Remarks

I will say it straight out. The President should not have told members of The Squad to go back to where they came from. It is disappointing that he used language that – whatever he actually meant – can easily be seen as excluding tens of millions of upstanding Americans.

OK. I said it. Here is why.

A friend of mine thought of attending a presentation years ago by someone known to take positions far from a Torah point of view. He asked a gadol (whose identity I have forgotten) whether he could. This Torah authority told him, “You can go if you like. But if you do go, you obligate yourself to speak up if the presenter says something objectionable. You may not go and remain silent. If you are not prepared to respond to the message on the spot, you should not attend.”

Many of us find ourselves in the same position in regard to our relationship with the President. While our readership spans the entire continuum of reactions to President Trump, I suspect that more of us favor FoxNews than MSNBC. We have chosen to stay in the room, so to speak. Some of us have remained because we feel that the office of the presidency requires and deserves respect and loyalty, regardless of anything the officeholder may do, short of an offense that is followed by impeachment and conviction. Some of us will not and cannot turn on a President who has given Israel so much more than any US leader in memory, and freely admit that the safety and security of the Jewish State is prominent among our concerns. The loyalty of still others is shaped by both of these arguments.

Staying in the room, however, comes with responsibility. From time to time, our silence will not be possible.

I say all of this even though I find two of the three odious, contemptible liars and hate-mongers, and a third hopelessly naïve. All three have been guilty of exactly what they find execrable about Mr. Trump’s remarks. They have peddled and exacerbated racial divisions and tensions. No difference. But they are not the President of the most powerful nation on earth, using language that can be seized by those in power as a carte-blanche to disenfranchise enormous numbers of people they do not like. Omar and Tlaib should be rejected by Americans for good cause, not for bad points of origin.

The Simon Wiesenthal Center, where I am employed, put it elegantly and pithily in a tweet that was balanced and fair. (It was not the first time that we have had to respectfully demur from a statement of the President. We were one of the first to critique the President’s first remarks after Charlottesville.) It was a study in level-headed non-hysterical criticism that correctly pointed to blame all around. I heartily concur.

Here is the tweet: Every American came from somewhere. Time for everyone in #WashingtonDC to drop the identity politics

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121 Responses

  1. Yossi says:

    Couldn’t agree more. Telling them to go back where they came from is a terrible thing to say, especially considering most of them are from here.

    And I can’t stand any of them, but we don’t have to stoop low just because they do.

  2. Raymond says:

    Sorry, but I just do not agree with this at all. Donald spoke about those three blatantly antisemitic congresswomen in just the way that they deserved. Certainly, it is nice to be nice, and we should strive to be nice as often as possible because, well, things tend to be nicer that way. However, we are not dealing here with basically good human beings with whom we have some mild differences of opinion on some issues. The three women in question are very bad people, not worthy of serving in Congress, not worthy of living in this great country, and certainly not worthy of our respect.

    President George W Bush had essentially the same worldview as Donald. The biggest difference between them as far as I can tell, is their general demeanor. President Bush is a very nice man, and where did that get him? All he got for eight years was constant ridicule, constant vilification from his political opponents, and eventually even those on his side of the political divide turned against him. So how exactly did all of his polite goodness pay off? We conservatives have been pushed around for so many decades, with political correctness suffocating us all, that it is long past due for somebody like Donald to come along, and simply not care about hurting the feelings of those who attack and destroy anything and everything that has been decent about America. Finally we have a Superman figure (golem?) in our White House, and his name is Donald.

    Whether we like it or not, America is in a civil war. Thank G-d it is not bloody like the one during President Lincoln’s time in office, but it is a war nevertheless, this time between those who wish to preserve our society as envisioned by its Founding Fathers, and those who wish to turn America into another Venezuela or North Korea. And those who wish to do the latter, tend to be virulently anti-Israel and therefore anti-Semitic as well, because Torah values represents civilization, which is the last thing that our anarchist enemies want. Like our fellow Jews trapped in the Warsaw ghetto back in the early 1940’s, our side needs to do whatever it takes to put our enemies in their place, to give them a taste of their own medicine. Donald does that for us. He has an amazingly good instinct for knowing right from wrong, and when he expresses himself in his direct, admittedly crude manner, it actually brings a huge smile to my face. G-d bless President Donald J Trump.

    • Nachum says:

      Well said.

    • Charlie Hall says:

      You just slandered President George W. Bush. He fought racism and nativism in the Republican Party and as the result of his efforts the Texas Republican Party gets lots of votes from Hispanic voters and has an African American congressman (who represents a district Trump lost). Trump promotes racism and nativism.

      • Gavriel M says:

        The Texas Republican party, and the Bush-era Republican party nationwide, got a higher (but still minority) share of Hispanic votes because they were encouraging sub-prime loans to Hispanic families.

        How did that turn out anyway?

      • Raymond says:

        Donald does not have a racist bone in his body. Donald promotes the restoration of pride in America. You have thus slandered our President.

      • Thank you Raymond for your candor and truth……………..well written.

        Recently, I heard a sermon on Psalm 109 – a prayer of David. The translation used was the “Message” and the message was that David was abrasively honest in expressing his pains and sorrows against those who treated him unjustly. Isn’t this what G-d wants us to do – express our feelings about injustice to Him, without holding back ? G-d knows us better than we know ourselves, yet, in His mercy, He wants us to be honest before Him and seek His face…………………..especially, our leaders whom He has raised up for a purpose.
        Donald Trump, as our elected President, should be given the same right to speak against injustice in the form of malicious untruths about our great nation.

        To say that we are all immigrants fails to recognize that many of our ancestors came here, by the grace of G-d, fleeing Europe because they were being persecuted, attacked and killed because they were different kinds of Christians – ones who believed the Word of God and sought its truth daily and God’s face – rather than the current teaching of ‘the church at that time’ . These Christians were otherwise known as Protestant.

        My great (X 3) grandfather didn’t just hop on a ship to sail to America in 1750. He has to swear allegiance to the King of England before he left England – yes, even back then there were rules. He came with the clothes on his back and the family Bible. In time, he moved to Virginia and owned 100 acres of land with cattle . In a way, he was a self contained entity – albeit – one who believed in God’s mercy and grace and chose to live among fellow believers. When the British invaded, he allowed the Continental Army to encamp on his land and graze their cattle while he fed them with the beef he raised on his land. Later, there were Jewish people who came to America under similar circumstances. America has always been a safe haven to the faithful.

        Now, we need a voice of truth spoken, perhaps, abrasively to those who abhor this nation and our freedoms and our religions that were provided by God and that our ancestors fought for to retain.

        I do not think that President Trump is a racist but I certainly agree that he is a fighter for our nation and its Founding Documents – Divinely inspired – and for the freedoms they contain. Political correctness, as Dr. Ben Carson, aptly exclaimed is nothing less that a perversion of the right to free speech as granted by God through our US Constitution.

        Calling someone a racist – without merit – is just another form of attack without truth……but with the transparency of hatred.

        As POTUS, Donald Trump is often seen as abrasive but he is also honest in his feelings and transparent in his actions. He loves America and Americans and thinks we are a special nation.
        He does not suffer fools lightly. Being meek and mild, did not serve President Bush well but it was the ‘clothes in which he was most comfortable.

    • J says:

      How does this respond to the article? The article says to disagree based off of the people themselves, not their country of origin.

      You strenuously declare disagreement on important issues, and offer no argument as to why we should attack them based off of their parent’s country of origin. So why do you begin by saying you disagree?

    • tzippi says:

      Raymond, I’m not going to address this kerfuffle but do want to say, a civil war needs to be civil.
      A few things to consider:
      We know that leaders aren’t necessarily going to be tzadikim. And we need to be grateful and show our gratitude accordingly.

      Our support cannot be at the expense of losing our sense of baishanus, rachmanus, and gemilus chesed, especially the first. As baishanim, we can’t glorify bad middos and create an atmosphere in our homes of community of nice guys finish last.

      • Raymond says:

        When we are dealing with normal, civilized human beings with whom we might have some difference of views on things, I totally agree with you. In such cases, we should be nice. However, the Political Left, as exemplified by those three antisemitic Congresswomen (and there are others, such as Maxine Waters, Hank Johnson, Sheila Jackson Lee, and yes, our own Bernie Sanders, unfortunately) have been playing dirty for so many decades, throwing around the race card endlessly, manipulating words to justify the wholesale slaughter of tens of millions of helpless, unborn babies, maligning Israel in a way that borders on calling for its destruction, that our side continuing to take the high road only serves to encourage their side to keep up their abusive attempts to destroy this great country of ours, taking Israel along in the process. It is high time that we put the Radical Left in their place. Our President is doing that, beating them at their own game.

    • Yossi says:


      Regardless of whether what you’re saying is true, we know what it’s like to be told racist and xenophobic statements, and we shouldn’t stoop to the same level, or support someone who does.

      People have been telling Jews to go back forever; we know what it’s like, so how can we do the same?

      • Gavriel M says:

        People have been telling Jews to go back forever; we know what it’s like, so how can we do the same?

        Narcissism posing as morality. The question of whether Ilhan Omar should be allowed to live in a country the ancestral population of which she hates, the history of which she wants to erase, and the economy of which she wants to loot has nothing to do with your grandfather complex. Try to emphasize for a minute with the people who allow you to prosper and thrive in their country not random colonists.

      • Raymond says:

        President Trump did not make racist comments. The Left says he did, because they like to play the race card no matter what he or any other political conservative says or does. Furthermore, it is both insulting as well as ironic to equate those three antisemitic Congresswomen with our innocent Jewish people trying to escape from that very same antisemitism.

      • Zach Leiner says:

        Gavriel M,
        “Try to emphasize for a minute”
        I think you mean “empathize”. Otherwise you’re spot on.

      • Asher says:

        “People have been telling Jews to go back forever; ”
        Those people are correct: we do not belong here. We belong in Eretz Yisrael. While we’re here, let’s remember that we are merely guests. In Israel, we are not. (And those that don’t belong in Israel – they can go back.

    • Zorach says:

      Your extremism makes me shudder. Nobody is trying to turn the US into North Korea, at most it is England or Sweden. And even that is exaggerated.

      And your many factual errors make me think you are writing sarcasm. Yes, people laughed at Bush. And people don’t laugh at Trump?!

      Your proof from the Warsaw ghetto should give you pause. How did that work out for them? I am not saying anything else would have worked, but the uprising was also a failed attempt.

  3. Binny K says:

    I couldn’t agree more and I don’t know why this position is being presented as such a chiddush. The rhetoric Trump used could easily be turned against Sefaradi/Mizrachi Jews in other circumstances.

    • Reb Yid says:

      It is precisely the rhetoric being used by those who have attacked black churches, synagogues and mosques. It inspires and enables white nationalist vitriol and acts of murder.

      It is insufficient to “distance” one from these statements. One must loudly and clearly condemn them, mentioning Trump by name. The “evenhanded” statement put out by your organization is simply another way of saying, “Well, there’s bad (or good) people on both sides”.

      Leave the policy issues of the Congresswomen for a separate statement. They cannot in any way be compared to what President Trump has been doing here.

      • Steve Brizel says:

        Look at the ongoing demonization of Israel by the mainstream media and academia. Refusing to view the same as a form of anti Semitism speaks volumes as to why the same is s cancer growing in our midst.

      • Raymond says:

        So why exactly must we loudly and clearly condemn Trump, mentioning him by name? I am not aware of him shooting up any Black churches lately, but hey, maybe I missed that news story.

        I would be curious to know if any evil has ever befallen to the world that the Political Left would NOT blame Donald for. President Bush experienced similar abuse when he was President. Apparently, the Left cannot stand the idea of anybody having any political power besides them, and so they resort to calling anybody who dares to disagree with them, to be a Racist.

      • Robert Lebovits says:

        The existential threat to American values and liberty is far greater coming from the Left and the likes of Antifa than from the Right. If “evenhanded” remarks are not acceptable and one side ought to be supported over the other, than the radical members of Congress whose aim it is to alter the fundamental structure of America must not be allowed to voice their horrendous slanders without pushback.
        President Trump is a disrupter of the rules of political engagement who uses extreme and often objectionable actions to pursue his goals. It has been his M.O. his entire career, so it is unlikely he will stop these behaviors. He is like the “dirty” player on your favorite sports team – as long as he’s on your side you focus on his results; if he were your opponent’s player you would condemn his style of play.
        In the world of governance and power where pragmatism rules, choices routinely devolve to the question of what is bad and what is worse. President Trump’s methods are hardly admirable, but the results of his policies and practices have benefited most Americans. The previous administration presented the polar opposite. I would choose this over that – as I believe do most Americans across the country.

      • Rafael Quinoaface says:

        You ignore increasing physical attacks on Jews by racial minorities in NYC. It gets almost no coverage, and AOC has nothing to say on the matter. What does that have to do with the Right and President Trump?

  4. Charlie Hall says:

    Only two of the four members of the group known as the Squad whom I like to call the Gang of Four are anti-Semites, and Trump himself has spouted some of the same anti-Semitic nonsense implying Jewish money power and dual loyalty. Ocasio-Cortez, of whom I criticize on a regular basis, was born in the Bronx when it was a poverty stricken place infested with spectacular levels of violent crime, moved back as an adult; the Bronx has had an economic miracle and is now safer than most other American cities. The number of homicides in her neighborhood so far this year is zero. She did move back but our fact-challenged President doesn’t care.

    Thank you for speaking up in this. In the past, African-Americans, Irish, Italians, Chinese, Mexican-Americans, Canadians, and Jews have all faced organized movements to be forced back to ancestral countries. Immigrant Jews were deported back to Europe, and Mexican-Americans were even rounded up and deported during the 1930s even when they were natural-born US citizens. We all must speak up both because it is the right thing to do and because it will eventually affect US as Jews.

    And ae must do that even as many of us oppose the Gang of Four’s other policies.

    • Raymond says:

      If Donald Trump is antisemitic, than I am Napoleon Bonaparte. I do not think it is even possible to be more pro-Israel than he is. I am sure his Orthodox Jewish grandchildren would be very surprised to learn that he apparently hates Jews. Wow.

      Democrats have not really changed since the 19th century era of slavery. All they ever see is skin color. It never seems to cross their bigoted minds that skin color has absolutely nothing to do with why some of us object to those three very antisemitic, America-hating Congresswomen. That was the problem with Barack Obama as well. Any criticism leveled against him was automatically called racist, as if having a dark skin color or being part of any particular ethnicity frees one from all moral responsibility. Newsflash: even people who are not White, can behave in a reprehensible manner.

    • Steve Brizel says:

      The Bronx is safer because of the policing polocies of Giulani , gentrification and the revitaliation of the Hunts Point Area. if you ride the subways, you can see the failure of the Great Society on any train at any time of the day in the Bronx

      • Charlie Hall says:

        The Bronx has experienced almost no gentrification. Hunt’s Point remains mostly industrial. There are some new condos in Mott Haven but reports are that they aren’t selling well. (This could be an opportunity — there is now a Chabad there!)

        Crime in the Bronx did drop under Giuliani, but they continue to drop under De Blasio (who was smart enough to hire the police commissioner Giuliani forced out and then to hire that commissioner’s deputy). Here are the numbers for homicides:

        1990 (Dinkins) 653
        1990 (Dinkins) 512
        1998 (Giuliani) 166
        2001 (Giuliani) 190
        2018 (De Blasio) 91
        2019 (De Blasio — if the current 27% drop continues) 66

        The Great Society was over fifty years ago. What killed the Bronx was Robert Moses’ highway projects and the planned shrinkage policies strategy of Lindsay and Beame. Redlining by banks didn’t help, and neither did racist housing practices (which still existed when I moved here in 2001).

        In recent years the Bronx has been experiencing an economic miracle; unemployment is 1/3 what it once was and you don’t see many empty storefronts in the still jammed with pedestrian shopping areas here. There has been massive immigration from Eastern Europe, South Asia, the Carribean, and sub-Saharan Africa, plus a lot of people from Manhattan (largely African Americans) fleeing gentrification there. (There are neighborhoods where English didn’t do you much good when I moved here 18 years ago where English is now the most common language.)

        I ride the subways and the buses every day to go to work both across the Bronx and to Brooklyn. The main problem is that the subways are overcrowded and break down (last Friday was particularly bad) and the buses get stuck in traffic all the time.

    • Yaakov Menken says:

      Charlie, if you don’t think AOC is Antisemitic, you wouldn’t recognize Antisemitism in Mein Kampf in 1924.

      She identified the two core canards of AntiSemitism as the only things she “knows” about the Middle East.

      Given the people who Trump surrounds himself with, the idea that he is Antisemitic is about as boneheaded as an idea can be.

  5. Gavriel M says:

    It is disappointing that he should used language that – whatever he actually meant – can easily be seen as excluding tens of millions of upstanding Americans.

    If they feel excluded by his statements, on what basis are they upstanding Americans? The reality is that there is something disgusting about people from violent, dysfunctional countries arriving in the west and moaning endlessly about racist it is. It’s especially disgusting from 1st generation immigrants, but it’s pretty disgusting from 2nd and 3rd generation immigrants too. If a second generation white person in Japan moaned endlessly about how excluded he felt by Japanese supremacism and demanding Japan had open borders, that would be disgusting too. Time to call time on this farce.

  6. Steve Brizel says:

    The Gang of Four exemplify all that is wrong with identity politics and its hatred of America and American institutions and exceptionalism and the misnomer that is called the progressive movement that is terrorizing the Democratic Party and is apologized for in the media and supported in academia on all fronts. They deserve to be criticized every time that they suggest radical policies with respect to domestic snd foreign affairs

  7. Steve Brizel says:

    If Trump
    Had called the Gang of 4 terror supporting radicals he would have received the same reaction

  8. Steve Brizel says:

    When Trumps critics attack Epstein and others whose behavior is extraordinarily objectionable with the same vigor as they do Trump let us know

  9. Steve Brizel says:

    The Gang of Four should go to WestPoint Annapolis and Arlington and honor those Americans who have their lives do that the Gang of Four can mouth their radical views

    • Reb Yid says:

      Too bad our Commander in Chief (who shirked such duty under very questionable circumstances) has insulted some maimed soldiers and veterans who greatly suffered as a result of their service.

      In addition, that anyone would insult and mock John McCain for his service–and continuing to do so even posthumously–is beyond abhorrent.

      • Charlie Hall says:

        There are no words to describe the way that our current President defames the memory of those who unlike himself served this country.

        I am no fan of 3 of the 4 members of the Squad (and you can find a take down of the three on my Facebook wall) but they have not engaged in that level of disrespect.

        I do like the term Gang of Four, though. I have often used it myself.

  10. Steve Brizel says:

    Let us know if and when the prosecutor in LA brings charges against a major Democratic fund raiser whose alleged conduct is worse than Epstein and Trump.untill then critiques of tweets as opposed to that of Trumps politics and policies reek of intellectual dishonesty and hypocrisy

  11. dr. bill says:

    Trump has no regard for truth or accuracy. His goal was to evoke stupid responses from moderates that he can then exploit; he succeeded. Your response reflects a world that sadly will not return anytime soon. We are in an age where good choices do not exist. In fact, they survive as long as a snowball in hell in today’s polarized environment. Thanks for a quixotic plea for normality.

    • Raymond says:

      Those who are absolutely obsessed with hating our President, have no regard for truth or accuracy. Good choices will always exist for those of us who keep and maintain the Eternal Values of G-d’s Torah.

    • DF says:

      Dr Bill, do you really believe any president, or any political leader, of any party, anywhere, ever – told the truth? Come on, now. Surely even a liberal must understand that in this world of lies, politicians are the LAST place anyone should look for truth.
      Let it be said for the 1,000,000 time: The President is nothing more than a human Policy. Nothing more. He’s not there to be a moral paragon of any sort whatsoever. (I could have sworn I recall the democrats saying something like that in the 90s….) Trump’s policies and appointments have been, by and large, excellent. All the noise from the left is just sour grapes. Nu nu. Such is politics.

    • dr. bill says:

      DF, most politicians knowingly lie. Trump is unaware that the truth actually exists. whatever suits him at the moment is just said. i agree that his instincts about policy matters have been relatively good, certainly better than his leading 2020 opponents like harris, biden, warren and the alte kocker.

  12. Steve Brizel says:

    Many of us remember the radicalization of the Democrats which began in 1972 and resulted in candidates such as MCGovern Mondale and Dukakis all being perceived as soft on crime and national defense what we are seeing now is the Corbinization of the party with no room for moderates

    • tzippi says:

      I’m on the fence. I find what’s happening on the left scary and Orwellian but totally hear Rabbi Adlerstein.
      Regardless of where one stands, there is the need for bipartisanship and maintaining some level of goodwill to be able to achieve it. Which is why the rhetoric MUST be toned down. (BTW, I probably could have posted this earlier directly responding to Raymond. It might get lost either way.)

    • Charlie Hall says:

      Democrats in the House of Representatives just voted 198 to 16 to condemn BDS.

      Even the Congressional Progressive Caucus, where the leftist Democrats hang out, the vote was 76 to 13.

      Joe Biden still leads all the presidential preference polls.

      Reports of the Corbynization of the Democratic Party appear to be premature. Baruch Hashem.

  13. Leiby says:

    “a President who has given Israel so much more than any US leader in memory”
    You’re forgetting about Obama. He gave Israel a lot more than Trump ever did.

    • Raymond says:

      I agree with you. Obama did give Israel a whole lot….that is, a whole lot of grief, with his treating Israel’s Prime Minister with utter contempt, with his turning his back on Israel at the United Nations, and with doing all he could to ensure that Iran would have the capability of destroying our Jewish State of Israel with nuclear weapons. So yes, Obama was quite generous in that regard.

    • Bob Miller says:

      Obama ‘s carrots and sticks failed to persuade or pressure Israel into abandoning its vital interests.

  14. DF says:

    Couldn’t disagree more with this post, and I see already many others also disagree. The ONLY way we will ever get back to normalcy in this country is to push the pendulum back hard in the other direction, in the hope it re-centers itself. It’s great that the president doesn’t let himself get pushed around the way RYA, apparently, would like. That Wiesenthal center tweet about identity politics is great, but tepid conservatives have been saying that for more than twenty five years, and they’ve been ignored. Nothing is changing until the right pushes back.

    Would also say that its disingenuous to suggest “we” like Trump because of duty to the office or bc of his outstanding support of Israel. All that would be דיינו, but many of us like him simply because his policy and appointments. The overwhelming bulk of the Presidents’ power comes from administrative agencies, and they way they are run. The President chooses the people to head these agencies. The reason the economy performed so miserably under Obama was not because of things he did personally, but from the agencies and the people he chose to head them.

    • Steve Brizel says:

      100% correct. Think about how Trump via his judicial appointments is reshaping the judiciary as well. The days of a radical left oriented judiciary have been stemmed by these ongoing appointments at all levels of the Federal courts

      • mycroft says:

        Was Bush V Gore from the days of a radical left oriented judiciary?
        That case is almost 19 years old

  15. Bob Miller says:

    The point was that these Congressional malcontents should try fixing their dysfunctional ancestral homes before ruining America out of ignorance or malice. In principle, they’re here because America is better, but they have no positive words for America and no understanding of America either! The Muslims among them want to impose Sharia on America and the communists among them want to impose communism.

    • Charlie Hall says:

      There are no communists in Congress today.

      Three of the four were born in the US. AOC actually lives today in the neighborhood where she was born. And as I have pointed out in another comment, the idea that the Bronx is anything like what Trump describes is a slanderous lie.

      Pressley’s family has probably been in the US longer than almost every commenter here. Or does Trump think that most of us Jews should return to fix Poland and Russia?

  16. ben dov says:

    The dark side of the Left does not excuse the President. When we frum Jews defend him at all costs, outsiders view us as hypocrites who care more about scoring political points than with Torah values. I fear they may be right.

    • Raymond says:

      My experience has been otherwise. The many conservative Christians (you know, the ones who are far more strongly pro-Israel than are most American Jews) who I communicate with online are quite happy when we Jews support our President. What troubles them is when we don’t support a President as pro-Israel as Donald is. I could not agree more with them.

      • ben dov says:

        Raymond, we’re obviously not talking about the same kind of Jews or the same kind of “outsiders.” Apples and oranges. We need to judge a President’s behavior according to Torah values, not to give him a pass because “an enemy of my enemy is a friend” or because he does other things we rightly approve of.

    • Steve Brizel says:

      The dark side of the left has occupied and taken over what is called the mainstream media academia and culture. The values of the left have to be repudiated as strongly and loudly as possible.

    • Steven Brizel says:

      We are in a cultural conflict with the advocates and devotees of Marcuse , Zinn ,junk science and post modernism who show no tolerance for our values . Refusing to criticize such advocates on the basis of their values is a serious mistake

    • Bob Miller says:

      Show me some philosopher-kings we can vouch for on all levels. In the here and now, we need to draw distinctions between sometimes annoying and always dangerous.

  17. Steve Brizel says:

    The Gang of $ as R Lynn Cheney deserve all the criticism they receive for their policies which are radical, grounded in a hatred of the US and Israel, all of which is grounded in their deeply seeded identity politics, as opposed to being proud Americans.

  18. Steve Brizel says:

    If you want political discourse silenced by disciples of Marcuse, American history written by Howard Zinn and post modern narratives as opposed to truth and falsehoods dictating American life, then you should keep silent or support the PC. views of the world that tolerate the views of the Gang of 4 ion the name of diversity. For those of us who reject such a perfect storm, silence and accommodation of evil is not the order of the day.

  19. Martin INgall says:

    Oy vey, a virtue signaling shtuyot in the guise of derech eretz, showing the author hasn’t a clue about why Trump’s gruffness is exactly what is needed in all respects.

  20. Naftoli D. says:

    It would mean something if he actually acted on his speech, why the public becomes enraged about his rants is beyond me.

    • Raymond says:

      The truth is that no matter what our President says, and no matter how much good that he does for our country, the Left will respond by calling him a racist or otherwise vilifying him, just as they do with any pro-Israel Republican that has any kind of political power. The Left’s hatred of Israel is the main reason why I became a Republican from the very moment that I was old enough to vote, so many years ago.

    • DF says:

      The public does not become enraged at (what you call) his “rants”. The left does. So what. They did the same when Bush (“Bush Hitler”) was president before him, and when Regan (“Nuclear Warmonger” was president before him, and your can rest assured that they next Republican president in 2024 will be attacked the same.

  21. Yossi says:

    Disturbing to see how many people want to support the president’s comments. You can hate these wacky lefty communist women and still say that what he said is abhorrent. Why is it either/or?

    • Reb Yid says:

      Indeed. What was said in the House chambers yesterday by the many GOP enablers and defenders of the indefensible Trump remarks is atrocious. The KKK has nothing on what happened.

      And as for Trump. This is simply the latest salvo in his unending drumbeat of racist remarks. A pretty direct link to his bogus “birther” smear campaign against his esteemed predecessor.

      That anyone in the Jewish community would deny the gravity of what Trump is doing as President, let alone support and encourage these remarks and behaviors, is a giant chillul Hashem.

      • Steve Brizel says:

        When the “esteeemed predecessor” releases his HLS papers and explains why he sided with the PA at the UN and entered into the terrible Iran deal please let us know

      • Steve Brizel says:

        When the esteemed predecessor lets us know why he approved the use of the IRS to suppress conservative and pro Israel not for profits let us know

    • Bob Miller says:

      The full versions of his comments, even when they seem childish, are not abhorrent. His actions as President are not abhorrent, either. But their statements and actions generally offend American patriots for good reason.

    • Steven Brizel says:

      No apologies should be forthcoming for pointing out that the squad of four has contempt for the US for their oath of office the Constitution and have demonstrated anti Semitism in a massive manner with no repercussions for the same

      • Charlie Hall says:

        I challenge you to cite any anti-Semitic act or statement by Pressley.

        Meanwhile, Trump has spouted the same dual loyalty and Jewish money canards as Omar, only more explicitly. Anyone who attacks Omar for them (and I have) but excuses Trump (and I have not) is a hypocrite.

    • Raymond says:

      Simply because what our President said was not only not abhorrent, but rather exactly what needed to be said. As usual, President Trump’s moral compass is in full working order. Not so with the Leftists.

  22. Mark says:

    Nope. While I usually agree with you and also don’t love when our Pres breaks all the rules, I’m the last guy in the world who will condemn him.
    Not only because these four are hardly deserving of any form of support – which a condemnation of the Pres effectively amounts to – but also because President Trump is the most supportive president of Israel and the Jews in my lifetime. There are plenty of others who will be sure to condemn him and there’s no need for us Jews to do so. We owe him far too much to join the chorus.
    No thank you.

  23. Steven Brizel says:

    The President is a one man defense agency who has more awareness about anti Semitism than all of the defense agencies that spend lots of money but have no willingness or desire to fight anti Semitism

  24. Steve Brizel says:

    Once again ADL proves that condemning anti Semitism on all sides is easier said than done that it still looks harder at swastikas in bathrooms than at anti Semitism in the media, academia and politics on the left and that an inaccurate comment by President Trump still has lifehttps://www.dailywire.com/news/46473/trump-never-called-neo-nazis-fine-people-michael-j-knowles

  25. Steve Brizel says:

    The following is what the left has seized upon :

    “If you reported it accurately, you would say that the neo-Nazis started this thing. They showed up in Charlottesville. Excuse me. They didn’t put themselves down as neo-Nazis. You had some very bad people in that group. You also had some very fine people on both sides. You had people in that group — excuse me, excuse me. I saw the same pictures as you did. You had people in that group that were there to protest the taking down, of them, a very, very important statue and the renaming of a park from Robert E. Lee to another name.

    George Washington was a slave owner. Was George Washington a slave owner? So will George Washington now lose his status? Are we going to take down — excuse me. Are we going to take down statues to George Washington? How about Thomas Jefferson? What do you think of Thomas Jefferson? You like him. Good. Are we going to take down his statue. He was a major slave owner. Are we going to take down his statue? It is fine. You are changing history and culture.

    You had people—and I’m not talking about the neo-Nazis and the white nationalists. They should be condemned totally. You had many people in that group other than neo-Nazis and white nationalists.

    The above is a statement of mainstream history, not history written by Zinn & Co. IMO, the notion that Trump condoned in any way the neo Nazis and white nationalists is a myth created by the left and its apologists in the media politics and academia

    • Reb Yid says:

      “Send her back”

      That was the vile chant Trump and his supporters shouted loud and clear last night at his rally.

      This is what the amen chorus here on this board supports. There is zero historical memory or conscience here, even before getting into specific Jewish parallels.

      There’s a reason why Trump is so despised both in America and around the world. He goes for the absolute gutter every chance he gets and picks on the most vulnerable groups in our society.

      • Steve Brizel says:

        What about the left’s behavior towards American history and during the Kavanaugh hearings-that was hardly a demonstration of decorum or a proper attitude towards our history. Again the left should be on trial for attempimto engineer a socialist coup via suppressing conservative thought, rewriting history and engaging in anti Semitism in the media, academia and popular culture. Perhaps all four members of the Squad of Four need a course in American history that would begin with a tour of the sacred ground where Americans fought and died for freedom and drafted the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution as well as a tour of Aushhwitz before even thinking of spreading bile about Israel.

      • Steve Brizel says:

        Trump is despised by the elites that populate the mainstream media, academia and popular culture because he stands up for anyone in the US who rejects the values espoused by the mainstream media academia and popular culture both in the US and around the world

      • Yossi says:

        So true. Why does no one get that here?

      • Bob Miller says:

        The most vulnerable groups now have employment levels well above anything the other party achieved or wanted to achieve.

      • ROBERT LEBOVITS says:

        Here is the precise quote of President Trump’s tweets that have been the subject of so much conversation:
        “So interesting to see ‘Progressive’ Democrat Congresswomen, who originally came from countries whose governments are a complete and total catastrophe, the worst, most corrupt and inept anywhere in the world (if they even have a functioning government at all), now loudly and viciously telling the people of the United States, the greatest and most powerful Nation on earth, how our government is to be run. Why don’t they go back and help fix the totally broken and crime infested places from which they came. Then come back and show us how it is done. These places need your help badly, you can’t leave fast enough. I’m sure that Nancy Pelosi would be very happy to quickly work out free travel arrangements!” (italics added)
        For some reason, the most important sentence always seems to be left out. He never indicated they should be banished from this country – quite the opposite. He was throwing down a challenge to prove they knew better by succeeding in their country of heritage first before proclaiming how America must change. There is nothing racist or xenophobic in this message.
        “Send her back” was a chant at the president’s rally started by a few and taken up by many more – but NOT by President Trump. It is not even clear if he was aware of it. He never acknowledged it.
        The rallying cry “America – love it or leave it!” is something I remember from the Vietnam war era and it was not directed toward naturalized citizens, but to the young anti-war protesters who were so critical of the country at the time. It had no racist connotations then, though it was certainly jingoistic. I suspect it is much the same today, a backlash from the era of apology tours and denunciations of American exceptionalism.
        The division in this country is wide and deep. It has been brewing for more than the term of the Trump presidency. I assume each side believes it has the moral high ground, justified or not.

      • Charlie Hall says:

        ” ‘Progressive’ Democrat Congresswomen, who originally came from countries whose governments are a complete and total catastrophe”

        True. Three of the four Congresswomen in question were born in the US and our government is a complete and total catastrophe.

  26. Benshaul says:

    I think you are all missing the boat here. Notwithstanding the PC quality (or lack thereof) of the comments, Trump just accomplished a major political goal.
    His comments led the mainstream democrats -who till now were in a brouhaha with the “squad” -and aligned them on the same side.
    By reacting the way they did, the media and the Democratic Leadership demonstrated to mainstream America that it’s not just the radical democrats, but the entire democratic party that need to be defeated.

    I just spent 3 days driving cross-country, and I can tell you that the residents of “flyover country” are all backing him.

    Additionally, its worth considering that while we may not like his tone and choice of words -but the Jewish Community, among others, has never had as good a freind in the white house.

  27. george douglas says:

    The persistent use of the term “identity politics” is misleading. The correct term is “racial demagoguery”. From Merriam-Webster: a demagogue is a leader who makes use of popular prejudices and false claims and promises in order to gain power.
    It is unfair to compare Trump with the Democrats in terms of demagoguery. Trump is an amateur while the Democrats are professionals.

  28. Yossi says:

    Wow. Seems like we’ve lost the ability for nuance. Of course it’s fair to make a point that this is a great country that is better than so many others in the world, and that’s why so many immigrants are dying to get in. That’s why you can have all these minority female congresswomen.

    But that’s not what he said; what he said about people who aren’t even immigrants is that they should go back to their countries.

    That’s completely racist. And I want to clarify one thing- I don’t even think he IS a racist; I think he just says whatever he wants that gets a rise.

    But even so, we should still think it’s a terrible thing to say. If we wouldn’t want it said to Jews- go back to Israel!- then this should bother us.
    But the knee jerk defenses are going wild.

    And yes, of course the left is wildly dangerous, and of course his Supreme Court appointments are great. But all of that is irrelevant tontheee comments.

    • Reb Yid says:

      He repeats this trope constantly.

      By contrast, let’s look at Rep. Steve King (Iowa). He has said and done some things that are vile and odious over the years. This is not in dispute, even by virtually the entire GOP. But no-one, Republican or Democrat, has demanded that he be ‘sent back’–certainly not our President.

      Both Ilhan and King are US citizens. But one is a white Christian male and the other is a female Muslim immigrant of color. The racism, xenophobia and misogyny are there for all to see.

      • Chochom B'mah Nishtaneh says:

        The calls for her to go back is about her continually professing hate for the United States. You hate it so, just go.

        That has never been the case with King. Nor has King been promoted as the highlight of his party.

        The least shocking is that those who so insist that the President is an Anti-Semite and should be impeached, are those who are so supportive of these vile anti-Semites and of their anti-Semitic statements.

        The calls for the ouster of these cholerea are not misogynistic, racial or xenophobic. Insisting that is all they are is yet another instance of severe intellectual dishonesty of liberal left(ists).

      • Gavriel M says:

        By contrast, let’s look at Rep. Steve King (Iowa). He has said and done some things that are vile and odious over the years. This is not in dispute, even by virtually the entire GOP.

        Nothing he has said and done would be considered vile or odious by Eisenhower, let a lone a real right wing extremist such as FDR.

        Both Ilhan and King are US citizens. But one is a white Christian male and the other is a female Muslim immigrant of color. The racism, xenophobia and misogyny are there for all to see.

        Let’s try and bring this down to your level. Colin Kaepernick clearly hates America with just as much ferocity if not more than Ilhan Omar, but no-one has told him to go back, because he is a black American with roots in the country gong back centuries. Ilhan Omar is not. If you have an uncle who gets drunk art family gatherings and cusses everyone out then, he’s still your uncle, but if his new wife starts insulting the decor, then she gets shown the door. Nations, if they exist at all, are like extended families. Newcomers may or may not be welcome, but it is always understood that they are welcome only on condition that they make themselves welcome. For you, though, America is not a nation, it’s a hotel, and the very idea that Americans may see themselves as a nation is offensive to you. But no country can be run successfully as a hotel, and no individual can be psychologically healthy if his worldview is predicated on seeing his country as a hotel. You should go back. A few years of living as a normal person in a country you can call your own would do you the world of good and America would benefit too. Pareto optimization in a nutshell.

      • Steve Brizel says:

        Steve King said the following:

        “f we presume that every culture is equal and has an equal amount to contribute to our civilization, then we’re devaluing the contributions of the people that laid the foundation for America and that’s our Founding Fathers,” King said. “We need to hang on to those principles and restore them and refurbish the pillars of America exceptionalism.”

        King did not immediately respond to a request from The Washington Post for comment.

        In January, King was stripped of his committee assignments in Congress after an interview with the New York Times in which he said, “White nationalist, white supremacist, Western civilization — how did that language become offensive?”

        Saul Bellow said the following:

        “Who is the Tolstoy of the Zulus? The Proust of the Papuans? I’d be glad to read him.
        France gave us one Proust and only one. There is no Bulgarian Proust. Have I offended the Bulgarians too? We, for that matter, have no Proust either: should the White House issue a fatwa and set a price on any head for blaspheming against American high culture?

        My critics, many of whom could not locate Papua New Guinea on the map, want to convict me of contempt for multiculturalism and defamation of the third world. I am an elderly white male—a Jew, to boot. Ideal for their purposes

        As Marie Antoinette played with sheep, as Gauguin turned to the South Seas, as Rimbaud went primitive, so the kids of Haight Ashbury require from the civilization that produced them the freedom and happiness of primitives. . . . Youth movements are not invariably a good thing. Germany’s Hitlerjugend certainly was not. Nor Benito Mussolini’s Society of the Wolf. Nor Stalin’s Komsomol. Nor do the young Maoist gangs fill one with confidence and hope.

        Why should either be considered racist unless one views of all of Westerb civilization as doomed?

        We spend millions of dollars on foreign aid to third world countries that show little economic progress and which are ruled by one man oligarchies, and who export nothing with Israel being a notable exception. Referring to the same with an uncouth expression may be ucouth , but it certainly IMO has a factual basis

    • Bob Miller says:

      He told them then to go fix their ancestral homes, then come back. The last part is too often ignored.

  29. lacosta says:

    the left fights with any means available. the right didn’t . the proste President is all bluster and uncouth . zero style points. but many of us elected him to tack back the leftist hegemony of the administrative state [the agencies] and most importantly , the Judiciary . baruch hashem , with the help of the most powerful republican in the USA Mitch McConnell , the district courts and appeals courts will be much less likely to support leftist , PC , and antipatriarchalist cases. those of us who like kosher meat and brisses , and don’t want our rabbis jailed for not performing gay marriages have less to worry about. and for that , i would hope for four more years….

  30. Izzy says:

    I disagree with this author. When someone attacks you below the belt, as these women have done consistently, as well as attack the country they were elected to represent, then they deserve to be responded to in kind. These women are intent on not just destroying the President but destroying America. Mr Trump was right-they don’t belong in the US with their attitudes and actions.

    • tzippi says:

      I’ve heard that in the epic metaphysical battle between Yaakov and the angel, while Yaakov was damaged, the angel lost. You know when he lost? When he hit below the belt.

      Yes, if someone hits below the belt, one might need to ramp the battle up. But responding fully in kind does not win the battle.

  31. DF says:

    I don’t really understand why this was posted in the first place. I mean, bashing each other’s opinions is fun and all, but no one is convincing anyone of anything. By my rough survey the large majority of individual commenters here don’t agree with RYA – looks roughly to me about 15 pro Trump, 6 anti Trump, and 2 or 3 sort of sitting on the fence or not really speaking to the subject. That’s a pretty good show of support for the President. But I don’t expect RYA to change his mind as a result. We’re opinionated.


    • The logic behind this evades me, I’m afraid. I should not have posted my opinion piece because it turns out that many people disagree? Umm…don’t some people write davka to those with whom they disagree, to try to change their minds?

      That said, the facts are all wrong. Whether someone is “pro-Trump” or “anti-Trump,” they should be concerned about the use of an argument that is wrong, immoral – and ultimately toxic to Jews: Go back where you came from! We aggressively resist references made to similar arguments – even obliquely – by anti-Semites like Omar and Tlaib. How could we not do the same when they come from the President in reference to others? Making note of it does not mean closing one’s eyes to both the vast good that he has accomplished, and to the fact that he was accused by detractors of saying something that he didn’t.

      • Reb Yid says:

        Supporting Trump defies logic. It is well nigh impossible to argue factually with many of these supporters since like the President himself they question and disparage “truth” and scientific fact. Indeed, one poster here continually refers to “junk science”. One wonders how this individual would have reacted when we discovered that the earth was round and not flat.

        There is anger here, often by white males who feel that somehow they are the great victims of American society. One wonders if the spouses of those on this board feel precisely the same as their husbands.

      • mycroft says:

        . Whether someone is “pro-Trump” or “anti-Trump,” they should be concerned about the use of an argument that is wrong, immoral – and ultimately toxic to Jews: Go back where you came from! We aggressively resist references made to similar arguments – even obliquely – by anti-Semites like Omar and Tlaib. How could we not do the same when they come from the President in reference to other

        Agreed-sadly too much of peoples opinions are based on who said it rather than the action itself.

      • Yossi says:

        Rabbi Alderstein,

        Please say it over and over again till you make some headway here. It seems simple enough to understand; I’m not sure why you’re getting so much pushback.

      • Not as bad as you think. I’ve learned that you cannot always assess community reaction by what appears in the Comments section. The buzz on the “street” is positive. Of course, the “street” changes, neighborhood by neighborhood.

      • DF says:

        My point was that anything that concerns the President – not just Trump, ANY president – is inherently political, and I didn’t think this website wanted to involve itself in politics. You say it’s not a matter of politics, that the method of argument is the issue. But that’s a very common device in political rhetoric, and that you (unlike most others) are sincere in saying so makes no difference whatsoever. As much as we might wish otherwise, one simply cannot separate the president from the politics.

        As for whether or not the comments section is representative – maybe not for a small sample size, but a 15-6 swing (assuming my rough survey is accurate) is pretty telling. So are continuously packed rallies.

  32. Steve says:

    Perhaps the ADL and the establishment defense agencies should fight anti Semitim as in the annexed link where it is missing in action as opposed to looking for anti Semites on the right

  33. Steve Brizel says:

    Todd Starnes, a great American patriot, friend of Israel ( who is leading his own tour for evangelicals to Israel) and a fierce protector of all issues related to free exercise of religion offered the following fascinating comment:

    “Quite frankly, I thought the crowd’s reaction was an appropriate response to the incessant un-American rage spewing from the mouth of Rep. Omar, known for her anti-Semitism.

    She recently said she was ashamed of our nation. She told high school students we are an unjust people. She once advocated on behalf of ISIS recruits. And she characterized the carnage of the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks as “some people did something.”

    Politics in the 21st century has become something of a contact sport — and campaign rallies have turned into the political version of a Super Bowl.

    The rallies are packed with die-hard fans wearing team swag, waving banners and chanting slogans. The fans cheer for their guy and the heckle the opposition”

    Anyone who has ever heard attack ads during political campaigns at any time on the radio would agree with the above comments.

  34. Steve Brizel says:

    HST’s whistle stop campaign in 1948 was totally based on attacking the do nothing Republican majority in Congres. If you read David Mccullogh’s bio of Truman, you will see that Truman minced no words. Similarly, FDR minced no words in attacking his foes. Curuously, HRC and her supporters failed to see any legitimate criticism based on her withholding emails, and attempting to manipulate a criminal investigation

  35. Reb Yid says:

    Cannot help but remark on the observance of 17 Tammuz at the beginning of the Three Weeks. Sinat chinam (baseless hatred) is alive and well in this country.

    Bring all Americans together, instead of trying to peddle hatred and division at every opportunity, should be the goal of any responsible leader. It begins at the very top.

    • Bob Miller says:

      Some small recognition of the ubiquitous hatred by leftists in and out of office would be appreciated.

    • Steve Brizel says:

      R Frsnd once commented that many people who decry the purported presence of sinas chinam remarkably are unable to look at themselves as a possible source of The same. Supporters of the left should look st themselves in the mirror before giving Musar to anyone on the issue

  36. YaakovNovograd says:

    Rabbi Adlerstein, Wouldn’t it be of great benefit for all, to see the President’s comment to which you referred? Are the July 18 responses to “Reb Yid” from both Robert Lebovitz and Bob Miller correct in their assertion that the President was essentially taken out of context? Context is key.

    • They are absolutely correct. (I’ll leave it to someone else to track down the transcript.) He was, indeed, taken out of context. Still, any reference – even in a different context – to going back where they came from could have and should have been anticipated as virtually certain to be misunderstood in the worst possible way.

      • Reb Yid says:

        In any event, even if one asserts this claim (one that I do not support) his subsequent doubling and tripling down since that time leaves no room for doubt.

        The obvious contrast which many have cited is when candidate McCain clearly rebuked an attempt by a supporter at his rally to smear his Democratic opponent.

        The current occupant of 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue has had ample time both at his rally and afterwards to set the proper tone in words and deeds.

        Unlike McCain, sadly, he has encouraged the extremism to reach new lows.

      • ROBERT LEBOVITS says:

        I certainly agree we are all responsible for our words and how they may be misinterpreted (words are after all the mainstay of my livelihood). But what happens when one’s words are virtually always interpreted in a critical fashion, so much so that no matter what is said the comment will be brutally parsed to squeeze out any possible ill intention?
        This president literally cannot utter a sentence that certain pundits will not pick apart to support their prior interpretation of some previous remark he made. There are critics who have imposed their bias so thoroughly that they cannot accurately judge anything he says or does and have become thoroughly intellectually dishonest in their interpretations.
        What happens when the choice of one’s words makes no difference in terms of the response from others? It becomes reasonable to disregard those responses and say even outlandish things because – to use a notorious phrase – “What difference does it make?”
        The speaker cannot be held solely responsible for his words when the listeners do not truly listen.

  37. mycroft says:

    Still, any reference – even in a different context – to going back where they came from could have and should have been anticipated as virtually certain to be misunderstood in the worst possible way.

    Agreed. BTW RYBS was very firm that when people speak they are responsible for how people will interpret something and its tone even if what one says is correct.

    • Steven Brizel says:

      How ironic from a poster who has a long track record of setting forth his own views of the legacy of RYBS without basing the same on documents or identifying sources snd has urged us to view things with nuance and context etc all too often

  38. Steven Brizel says:

    Still waiting for those who critique the President the most to critique the well documented radical anti Semitic and terrorist supporting views of the Squad of Four

  39. Shmuel says:

    Count me among those who agree with you, Rabbi Adlerstein.

    The point that exercises my opinion is a longer, historical one.

    Such way of speaking can have longer term negative effects on our people. In prewar Poland we were told, “Go to Palestine,” and more recently, by Helen Thomas, “Go back to Poland.”

    • Rafael Quinoaface says:

      I want to add that Rashida Tlaib consorts with Abbas Hamideh, who says exactly that: Jews go back to Poland!

  40. DF says:

    Fire must be fought with fire. I thought everyone in the world understood this. How is it that the lefties here cannot?

  41. Steve Brizel says:

    In the meantime, one would have to reasonably conclude that if the residents of the left have concluded that today’s much awaited for hearings were a disaster for those who passionately oppose the President ( and by extension the policies of the President), then the focus is back to the leaders of the Democratic Party to condemn the policies and views of the Squad of Four, one of whose members now views Caucasian males as more dangerous than terrorist groups such as Hamas and Al Quaida

  42. Steve Brizel says:

    All Americans as part of the education of their children, should go to Boston and go to Lexington and Concord, Philadelphia and Independence Hall, Valley Forge, Gettysburg West Point, Anapolis, Arlington, Gettysburg ( and if possible Normandy and Pearl Harbor) Memphis and other hallowed grounds where Americans sacrificed their lives to make this country what it is today. It is tragic that the left sees no value in what makes America a great country

  43. Steve Brizel says:

    One wonders why during the most recent debates why none of the candidates were asked whether why they had such favorable views of Al Sharpton as well as their views on the opiod crisis . If I had been in Biden’s shoes, I would have told Senatior Gillibrand that many studies have documented that women should spend as much time with their children in their early and formative years, even if it means working on a so called “mommy track” so that their children are raised by their parents as opposed to a nanny or day care.

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