What is Trump’s relationship to the Jewish community? Liberal American Jews attack Trump as an anti-Semitic racist. Conservative Israeli Jews see him as a great friend of Israel. His daughter is married to a Jew and converted to Judaism. The Democratic Party attacks on Trump are led by Jews, but it’s not clear to me whether these attacks are racist, or whether they are just politically motivated.
The refrain from Charlottesville that “Jews will not replace us” illustrates the white people’s concern that Jews have the goal of displacing whites from the leadership of the United States. If you subscribe to this theory, you see the Jews joining with other non-whites, blacks and Hispanics, who also oppose white leadership.
In this view, Hillary Clinton was the stalking horse for the Jewish takeover. Jews are worried that there is still resistance to a Jewish President, and therefore they need someone whom they can control, but who presents a non-Jewish face. Even here, however, the situation is not clear, since Hillary’s main Democratic opponent was Bernie Sanders, a Jew. It looked like the insider, politically powerful Jews backed Hillary, while the outsider, progressive Jews backed Bernie. Hillary got most of the big-money Jews who contribute millions to the Democratic Party in every election cycle.
On the other hand, many of the conservative, big-money Jews, like Sheldon Adelson, backed Donald Trump. These donors seem concerned about supporting Israel militarily, while the Democratic donors seem more concerned about domestic issues. However, there is some concern among the “Jews-will-not-replace-us” crowd that one goal of all the politically motivated Jews is the support of Israel. Jews see America as the big brother who will defend Israel from any threat from her Arab neighbors. The American wars in Iraq and Afghanistan have both benefitted Israel militarily, if only by stirring up the Middle East so thoroughly that Muslim countries have dropped their rhetoric about Israel because they have more immediate threats to worry about. Saudi Arabia may see Iran and Yemen as bigger threats than Israel, for example. Syria’s civil war implosion has removed most of its threat to Israel.
So, Trump comes on stage as a huge supporter of Netanyahu, conservative Israelis, and conservative American Jews, which means that many American Jews support him. On the other hand, Jews are extremely powerful in the Democratic Party, which is threatened by Trump. It appears that the Democrats see their salvation in the arrival of millions of poor Latin immigrants, who along with American blacks, will constitute the voters that Democrats need to regain and retain power. Jews also see themselves as recent immigrants, and therefore espouse protections for immigrants as protection for themselves. Although these Democratic Jews have the defense of Israel as a secondary objective, they are more concerned about increasing the power of Jews in America.
Jews often seem to be split between Jews who dominate financially and politically and Jews who defend the poor and downtrodden. Income inequality has probably benefitted Jews more than any other group in America. Every year there is a greater percentage of Jews in the top 10%, the top 1%, and the top 0.1%, as new Jewish money tends to displace older, non-Jewish money. So, America is home to many ultra, super-rich Jews, while may Jewish politicians advocate for the poor and helpless, most of whom are black and brown. Jews expect to be able to manipulate these voters. Blacks already vote something like 97% for Democrats; it is a bloc vote. Hispanics are not as unified, but vote predominately (maybe 75%) for Democrats. Jews see this underclass as their powerbase, which they can manipulate.
Trump does not seem to single out Jews as political enemies. He is recruiting them to the Republican Party through his friendship with Netanyahu and support for Israel. If any occupation would seem like a Jewish one, it would be Manhattan real estate; yet Trump has flourished there and become something like a billionaire. He inflates is wealth, but he is rich, and he turned out to be more successful than many Jews in that Jewish world. It’s not surprising that a New Yorker would be surrounded by many Jews, like Michael Cohen, the Kushners, Roy Cohn, and many others. He does not see Jews as threats, and yet we find many of those opposing him in Washington are Jews. He and Jerry Nadler apparently have a history of animosity, going back to the early days of Trump’s real estate empire and Nadler’s political career in New York City, according to the Washington Post. Perhaps Trump is more interested in the benefits from the conservative, Israel-loving Jews than he is about the problems presented by the Jews in the Democratic Party like Jerry Nadler and Adam Schiff. Trump doesn’t seem to see his political problems as originating with powerful Jews. I will be curious to see how this dynamic plays itself out.