The Donald doesn’t want to be a dictator. He doesn’t want us to become a dictatorship as we know them. He tells us how he adores Kim and Putin, but they are not his real hero. His real love is Benjamin “Bibi” Netanyahu. Supported by the Christian right even though he is far from a religious person, The Donald admires Bibi’s power and strength. He and his followers want the US to become a Christian version of Israel.
Take for example the “we are always under attack” and “we must do whatever we can to defend ourselves” philosophies. Don’t trust anyone who isn’t “our kind”? Build a wall? Israel had one first.
We all know Israel is the only democracy in the Middle East. We support it wholeheartedly, sometimes even when its policies don’t agree with ours. We always have. Now something new has been added: the idea that Israel is a model for a Trumpian version of a “Demotheocracy”.
The Donald admires that although Netanyahu has now been under investigation for more than a year, he seems to be more popular than ever even while running the government with a coalition of parties and not a real majority. He admires the Knesset’s (Israeli Congress) coalition of conservative religious folk who have turned Israel into a Theocratic Democracy devoted to only those who are “chosen”. He admires the power to take a very split populous politically to make the power of the government speak ONLY for approximately half of the population. Israeli political polls show this approximate 40/40/10 split on most issues.
Consider this current situation. In January, Israel blacklisted 20 organizations, including a Jewish group in the US, whose leaders it has barred from entering the country for supporting an economic, cultural and academic boycott of Israel.The list was drawn up under a nearly year-old law enacted to combat the boycott, divestment and sanctions movement.
“We have shifted from defense to offense,” said Gilad Erdan, the minister of strategic affairs, whose office drew up the list, according to an article in Ha’aretz, an Israeli newspaper. “The boycott organizations need to know that the State of Israel will act against them” and not allow them to “enter its territory to harm its citizens.” “These people are trying to exploit the law and our hospitality to act against Israel and to defame the country,” Interior Minister Aryeh Deri, who is responsible for enforcing the ban.
In March the Knesset passed another law barring entry to foreigners who have publicly supported the boycott Israel movement. The vote came as the Israeli government’s conservative majority been emboldened by President Trump and his love forPrime Minister Netanyahu.
Dov Hanin, who voted against the legislation, said that at a time when boycotts against settlements are being promoted around the world, the law “is really a law to boycott the world.” “A country that boycotts the world is basically isolating and boycotting itself,” he continued.
What can we say about a nation which aims to portray itself to the world as liberal and democratic, blacklists activists dedicated to nonviolent organizing and dissent? Isn’t that what we fear will happen under the Donald?
As RabbiRick Jacobs, the president of the Union for Reform Judaism, the largest Jewish movement in North America, said in a telephone interview from Jerusalem: “It’s going to be a giant sign up by the door of the Jewish state: ‘Don’t come unless you agree with everything we’re doing here.’ I don’t know what kind of democracy makes that statement.” Most US Jews are reform, as am I.
And now this: An American was barred from entering Israel after she was accepted for study for a master’s in human rights law at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. She landed on the night of Oct. 2 with a one-year student visa issued by the Israeli Consulate in Miami. Why? Because she was one of 19 University of Florida Students to launch a boycott an Israeli brand of hummus.
Does all of this sound familiar? Aren’t these the types of laws limiting freedom of speech we are afraid may be passed here?
Is this The Donald’s and the Conservative Religious Right’s real goal, to model the new US Democracy after Israel’s? We all know how much The Donald and the Bibi love each other.