I’m not going to comment now on the impeachment effort by the Democrats of President Trump. I’ll leave the legal worthiness of the impeachment up to the legal and political scholars. But I will pattern myself after Hizzoner Mayor Michael Bloomberg and now Democrat presidential candidate. Mr. Bloomberg said of Donald Trump during the 2016 presidential campaign, “I’m from New York, so I know a con artist when I see one. Donald Trump is a con artist.”
Well, I, too, am from New York, which hosted Barnum & Bailey for decades, so I know a circus when I see one. Perhaps what President Trump did with Ukraine was awful, perhaps it was innocent. But the way in which the Democrats carried on this charade was insulting to all watching. Both Congressmen Nadler and Schiff were an embarrassment to the process. The arrogance in which they decided who will be called upon as witnesses, the lies about the “whistleblower” and whether he had a political axe to grind and whether he met Adam Schiff or his staff beforehand, the partisan way in which the impeachment was carried out – these all made this impeachment a bad joke.
Worse was when the Democrats tried to feign this being a solemn moment, and many of the women representatives dressed in black to underscore the solemnity of the moment. Too bad Speaker Pelosi had to signal to these same Democrats not to cheer when the votes for impeachment came in. Or the steak dinner party that Adam Schiff attended in celebration. How stupid do they think we are? (I guess very.)
And remember how we were told that the impeachment was urgent enough to be put on a fast track, due to the present threat (“clear and present danger”) to our national security that Trump represented? Then, suddenly, Pelosi decides to take her time before handing it off to the Senate for trial, and is going to let it stew over the holiday break. Some emergency!
Let’s not forget that the Democrats went into full gear to impeach Trump from the moment he was elected. “Impeach 45!” was the constant refrain of viscous Congresswoman Maxine Waters for her well-articulated reasons. Upon our good friend and Rashida Tlaib’s inauguration, she famously screeched, “We will impeach the ---- now!” And nary a word of protest about her hatred and vulgar mouth by any of the Democratic leadership.
I can get why the Democrats want Trump out. He represents in every way the antitheses of what they stand for. He is success. They are failure. He is America first, they are America last. He is pro-economic growth; they are pro-poverty growth.
So now they have impeached him – probably the only achievement they can point to in the last three and a half years. I understand why our local congresswoman feels the need to join the band. I support her and have contributed to her re-election. She deserves our support. And she is a fine woman with real values. But for that reason it hurts to see her send a message accusing Mr. Trump of lies and corruption. They were all Democratic talking points and unbecoming of her. As we say, “Es pas nisht” for someone of her caliber. I hope she does not take the Orthodox vote for granted.
Although I understand that people have problems with Trump, due to his unorthodox style and occasional coarseness, but I do not understand the deep-rooted hatred for him, especially amongst Jews and even many Orthodox Jews. When I ask them about this, they tell me that he says vulgar things. Okay, let’s say that’s true. But where was your hatred for Bill Clinton? Trump may talk coarsely, but Clinton was perhaps the most actively promiscuous president the country has had – and in the Oval Office yet. And who led the war room to vilify the accusers? You know.
Unfortunately, most Jews today have put liberal ideals above all else. Even above Jewish interests and Israel. But, my Orthodox brethren, why are so many of you deeply anti-Trump? I’ve already posed this question in these pages over a year ago and was lambasted by a few Orthodox Never-Trumpers, including a Queens Orthodox rabbi, east of KGH, who to this day prides himself in being militantly anti-Trump. The Ivy League-trained son of a prominent Orthodox Queens leader accused Trump with the usual anti-Trump “tropes” (a favorite word when accusing Trump of anti-Semitism) in which he incredibly claimed that Trump fakes being pro-Jewish only to mask his anti-Semitism! The Washington Post in August was only too happy to publish the article.
So here’s my question for you: How much does supporting the most pro-Israel and pro-Jewish president count in your calculation of which president you will support? Consider the assistance Trump has given to Israel and the Jewish people:
He moved the US Embassy to Jerusalem
He appointed Nikki Haley as Ambassador to the UN with unabashed and aggressive support for Israel
He succeeded with equally pro-Israel Kelly Craft at the UN.
He cut funding to the PLO due to their terror.
He supported annexing the Golan Heights.
He supports the legalization of the Liberated Territories.
He deported Nazi war criminal Jakiw Palij from his home right here in Jackson Heights.
He declared war on college campus anti-Semitism and BDS.
He pardoned Shlomo Mordechai Rubashkin.
He has an 80% approval rate in Israel.
No other president came close to his support for Israel or the Jews. Certainly no Democrat candidate comes within miles of Mr. Trump.
So exactly what is your calculation, my friends?
Only in an upside-down world where he is she and she is he, where a political party in the State of New York can applaud the passing of the legalization of infanticide, where hardened criminals and repeat offenders will go free (e.g., the Stern College arsonist), where true anti-Semites are protected from the harsh eye of the press, could the perverse logic of detesting your friends and embracing your enemies take hold.
So are you happy now that Donald Trump is impeached? Will you be happy when, once again, the economy will tank? When African American unemployment goes back on the rise? When Israel will be considered as moral equals to the Palestinians? I hope you’re not.
Rabbi Yoel Schonfeld is the Rabbi of the Young Israel of Kew Gardens Hills, Vice President of the Coalition for Jewish Values, former President of the Vaad Harabonim of Queens, and the Rabbinic Consultant for the Queens Jewish Link.