Trump’s latest comments about Jews and Jewish loyalty is crystal clear to Jews but may not be to our neighbors/roommates/friends of other faiths. This is a PERFECT time to engage in conversation in an intellectual and non-emotional way to fight anti-Semitism in our own neighborhood. Our team suggests that the discussion focuses on understanding why this touches a nerve. Here are a few suggestions:
- History. Jews have historically been used or tolerated by kings and other leaders until the political tide turns, then they are expelled or forcibly converted. This happened across Europe and more recently across the Middle East.
- Point for discussion: Is this relevant to what’s happening with Trump?
- Political Loyalty. How Jewish individuals feel about Israel is complicated, but Jewish American and Canadian citizens are constantly questioned about loyalty to Israel vs. their home country.
- Interestingly, this was a trope long before Israel existed. One famous example was in 1894 – the Dreyfus Affair.
- This also a touch point for Catholics (loyal to the Pope or to America?) and recent immigrants, including Muslims and Latinos (loyal to your country or origin or to here?).
- Has this ever happened to your neighbor?
- Political Advantage for Trump. Regardless of how you feel about Trump, what is he trying to accomplish with his recent comments? What do you think his motivations are?
When discussing, make sure to be respectful – listen as well as talk. Don’t venture into politics if it makes you uncomfortable, but this is an important discussion to have, even with someone who you think knows it all. Each of us can fight back against Anti-Semitism – with love and discussion.