We are living in turbulent times. COVID-19, economic upheaval, racial tension, protests, rioting, fires, hurricanes, challenges to law enforcement, property destruction, U.S. Supreme Court nomination, President Trump’s hospitalization and the rapidly approaching presidential election are overwhelming. It is as if we are holding our collective breath for what is next.
As a U.S. citizen, I share the concerns and consequences of all these events with all other Americans. However, I share with just 2% of the American population an additional turbulence that is particular only to Jews, and this is the continuing rise of antisemitism and anti-Zionism, all of which, together with other forms of today’s Jew-hatred, are grouped together as “Israelophobia.”
While there are many issues to grapple with today in common with 98% of the American population, the additional turbulence of antisemitism and anti-Zionism here in the U.S. has particular impact on me as a Jew and my fellow Jews. While I work to do what I can to fight against this growing threat against the Jewish people, I look to our political leaders to see what they are doing to address this particular scourge affecting the Jewish people as a whole and each Jew individually.
In this regard, I look back over the past three-plus years of the Trump administration and I see not just rhetoric by the Trump administration but unprecedented, concrete actions to fight antisemitism, anti-Zionism and other forms of Israelophobia.
The actions and results that I see as having occurred under the Trump presidency include the following:
- Recognizing Jerusalem as Israel’s capital
- Opening the U.S. Embassy in Jerusalem
- Recognizing Israel’s sovereignty on Golan Heights
- Withdrawing from UNESCO and UNHRC
- Signing the Taylor Force Act
- Defunding the Palestinian Authority & UN Refugee and Works Agency (UNRWA)
- Closing Palestinian Liberation Organization Mission in Washington, D.C.
- Withdrawing from Iran JCPOA
- Designating Iranian IRGC as a terrorist group
- Eliminating Iranian Major General Qasem Soleimani
- Continued military aid to Israel
- Opening Saudi Arabia airspace to Israel
- Issuing U.S. State Department statement that Jewish communities in Judea and Samaria are not per se inconsistent with international law
- Issuing Executive Order targeting antisemitism and BDS on college campuses under Title IV of the Civil Rights Act
- Proposing Peace to Prosperity deal between Israel and Palestinians
- Facilitating Abrahamic Accords between Israel and United Arab Emirates
- Opening direct flights from Israel to Sudan
- Brokering normalization agreement between Israel and Kosovo & Serbia
- Brokering Declaration of Peace between Israel and Bahrain
- Appointing Elan S. Carr as Special Envoy to Monitor and Combat Anti-Semitism
- Imposing sanctions on Iran
- Denouncing antisemitism in State of the Union address
- Initiating Department of Justice inquiry into relationship between BDS and BLM
I share many of the concerns that many people have expressed about both candidates and I see both good qualities and bad qualities of both candidates and both political parties. However, as I stated above, there is one significant issue that affects me and my fellow Jews that is unique to us and is not shared by 98% of the American population. Therefore, I have to take into account this particular issue and its special relevance because it directly affects me, my children and grandchildren. The present continuing Israelophobia cannot continue without a cogent and forceful strategy to counter this threat. It is inconceivable to me that in the fading hindsight of the Shoah we are confronted with this hatred again.
I do not want to go back to the Obama years that saw an Obama administration creating “daylight” between the United States and Israel that ultimately resulted in the United States’ intentional refusal to veto UN Security Council Resolution 2337, which in its most potent form declared that all the land captured by Israel in 1967, including the Old City of Jerusalem, is Palestinian territory.
In my opinion, the Obama/Biden administration gave wind to the sails of BDS and other organizations that seek to destroy the only Jewish state on earth and the antisemitism that we see today being directed at our children and grandchildren.
We all should agree, this hatred against Jews must end. The question each of us must answer for ourselves as we enter the voting booth this November is whose administration do we feel, based on their respective past actions and results, will work vigorously to bring this bigotry against us to an end.
My hope and prayer is that the Trump administration and all future administrations will continue the work that has begun by the Trump administration to support the sovereignty, legal rights, acceptance and security of Israel and to bring to an end antisemitism and that all Americans will join in this fight with the same vigor and resolve as is being waged now on racism.
Dallas attorney Charles Pulman is president of Why Israel Matters, Inc.