Sunday, March 3rd | 23 Adar I 5784

November 21, 2018 11:30 am

Are Jared and Ivanka Good for the Jews?

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avatar by Shmuley Boteach


Ivanka Trump. Photo: US Air Force Staff Sgt. Marianique Santos via Wikimedia Commons.

It’s rare that I repeat an exact headline from The New York Times, but this is the title of an actual story that appeared this past weekend.

The piece quoted many Jews who oppose Jared and Ivanka Trump, and think they are bad for the Jews. The Times also quoted Ethan Tucker, a rabbi and stepson of Senator Joe Lieberman, who asserted that, “I don’t think most synagogues would give them an aliyah. … I don’t think people generally honor people they feel were accomplices to politics and policies they abhor.”

Am I the only one who is amazed at what is happening in our country — the gross politicization of Jewish life by community members who despise Trump?

Let me be clear. I believe that President Obama’s Iran nuclear agreement was a betrayal of all American and Jewish values. But I would never demonize Jews who backed the deal, even as I opposed them on principle.

A woman converts to Judaism, is observant, and is totally committed to Israel and the Jewish people. She stands up publicly and proudly for the Jewish state. And what is her reward from the community she joined? Threats of excommunication.

As for Jared, his goal is to protect the Jewish people, as his father before him, and his grandfather, who was a Holocaust survivor.

The attacks on Jared and Ivanka are disgusting and unseemly. Blaming them for everything that happens in the Trump administration is as unfair as it is bizarre.

I have plenty to disagree with in the administration, and have voiced my objections on many issues. But on Israel, I’m grateful. And so are the citizens of Israel, where Trump enjoys an extremely high approval rating.

That does not mean Trump has been perfect on Jewish issues, especially on Charlottesville. But it does mean that his Jewish opponents, even if they won’t give him any credit, have to stop demonizing his family. This kind of behavior is an affront to decency.

I read The New York Times every day, and our organization has also taken out countless full page ads in the Times because of how much I respect its influence.

If the paper wants to attack Ivanka or Jared for their policies, go right ahead. This is America. And no public official is above criticism. But debating whether they are good for the Jews is an ugly question and beneath the dignity of the newspaper of record.

Rabbi Shmuley Boteach, “America’s Rabbi,” whom The Washington Post and Newsweek call “the most famous Rabbi in America,” is founder of The World Values Network and is the international best-selling author of 33 books, including Renewal, about the shared values of America and the Jewish people. Follow him on Twitter @RabbiShmuley.

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