When President Trump says an American citizen criticizing Israel is expressing hatred of Jews, he is wrong.
President Donald Trump paints the world in black and white, while issues are much more complex. I can be for saving endangered species and still oppose black vultures on my patio. I can be a member of a political party, and disagree with many of those who have been elected to represent my party. I can love my child, and discipline that child at the same time because my disciplinary action is designed to be constructive, not demeaning or vengeful.
I love the idea that Jewish people can have their own nation. I am Cherokee, and proud that my nation exists. I don’t always agree with everything the Cherokee Nation does, just as I don’t always agree with everything the United States does, and I do not agree with many things Israel has done, or does.
When President Trump says an American citizen criticizing Israel is expressing hatred of Jews, he is wrong. However, when he attacks Mexican leadership, where does he draw the line? Maybe that explains why Trump thinks critics of Israel are also critics of Jewishness.
We are free to form opinions about concrete things that nations do. We should be reticent, on the other hand, regarding disparagement of cultures or races.
Those categories are amorphous, not ruled by popularly selected officials. The people within cultures and races are not summarily guilty of anything that a portion of their entity does.
In a democracy, an aspect of a president’s job is to rally us together in times of crisis. Apparently, dividing American citizens along with the rest of the world serves Trump’s personal goals. Either he benefits monetarily by the actions he takes, or his personality craves to dictate to others.
Trump appears to enjoy dispersing pain. His divisive rhetoric is driving all of us, including me, to grapple with viewing the world in black and white. Nuances are hard to maintain in a world that says deploring an Israeli stance equates to being anti-Semitic.
KAREN COODY COOPER, LAKE WORTH BEACH