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How Come Trump's So Quiet About Gaza?



              I went to Israel for the first time in 1967. At some point during that trip, I took a brief walk along the boardwalk in Tel Aviv or maybe it was Jaffa, I don’t recall which was which. But as I walked along looking out at the Mediterranean, I thought I was walking on the boardwalk in Rockaway, Queens or the boardwalk which ran alongside Collins Avenue in Miami Beach.

              Why did I think that Israel in those days was just like the United States? Because both Rockaway and Miami Beach were locations that attracted large numbers of older, often retired Jews, many of whom had come to the United States from Eastern Europe as refugees before and after World War II, and they still preferred to communicate with one another in Yiddish, which had been their native tongue.

              In 1967, a majority of the Jewish residents in Israel were cut from the same stripe – older immigrants from Eastern Europe who had somehow survived the Holocaust and had emigrated to more secure locations by leaving their country of origin and going East instead of West.

              Both the American and Israeli Jewish communities had one other thing in common – they were mostly Jewish in a cultural but not religious sense, which meant they were secular in outlook and belief. For the most part they were also politically liberal with a political outlook which reflected its Socialist, East European roots.

              That was then, this is now. And now, the American-Jewish community is still largely liberal and secular in its political and religious beliefs, but this is not the situation in Israel at all.

              In Israel, three successive waves of immigrants have created a national population which is very different from the Jewish community in the United States. These waves consisted of Jews from the former Soviet Union who began to come to Israel in large numbers in 1988-89; Sephardic Jews from Arab countries who now constitute at least half the population of current-day Israel; and the ultra-Orthodox populations who originally refused to recognize the Zionist state but now constitute one of the largest and most supportive electoral groupings of the current Parliamentary regime.

              Together, these three groups are largely responsible for keeping Netanyahu’s Likud party in control of the government and all three populations share an aversion, if not a downright hostility to the liberal, secular leanings of most American-born Jews.

              Which is why many of those pro-Muslim demonstrations in the United States calling for an end to the IDF demolition of Gaza are organized by Jewish groups, and why Chuck Schumer came out earlier this week with his demand that the Netanyahu governing coalition be thrown out.

              In the olden days (again), Israel was governed by a left-leaning coalition comprised primarily of the Labor Party, which was basically an adjunct of the Democrat(ic) Party here in the United States. But there’s no way that the current demographic or social alignment of the Israeli Knesset (read: parliament) would tilt back to the Left.

              If anything, unless there is a complete and unforeseen military disaster, the Likud coalition will continue to support the IDF mop-up operation in Gaza, particularly if the GOP maintains its control of at least one of the two chambers of Congress and Trump returns to the Oval Office in 2025.

              And there’s another reason why Schumer intervened in the political goings-on of another country, something which American politicians are never supposed to do, and that’s because of the ten states which hold the largest number of Muslims in the U.S. today, two of them – Michigan and Pennsylvania – happen to be ‘battleground’ states which flipped from red to blue in 2020 by less than half the number of Muslims currently living in those two states.

              It doesn’t matter how Muslim-Americans vote in states like California and New York – those states wouldn’t give their electoral votes to the GOP even if Trump came out tomorrow and said he would rename the Washington Monument after George Floyd.

              But Gaza could easily become the tipping-point for whether Joe will take the Presidential oath again on January 20, 2025.

              No wonder Trump has been uncharacteristically quiet about the current Gaza mess.  

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