This is the season of the year when we all hear holiday songs and one of the most recognized has lyrics that include “Do you see what I see . . . Do you hear what I hear?”
I have been thinking about those questions in relation to our Jewish community and President Trump. This president took office with the proclamation that groups of people from certain places were “not welcome” in America. He also said that an Indiana-born judge of Hispanic heritage has no right to be sitting on the bench in this country.
When people are labeled as “the other,” we Jews know very well what that means; we have experienced it for millenniums. It is precisely how the Holocaust began – defining us as “the other.” And, when families are separated – one line to the right and another to the left and forced into detention facilities (as what has happened on our southern border), how can we not recall the “selections” that took place in the 1940s?
Were we listening to Trump’s comments on the Charlottesville riot on Aug. 12, 2017? “There are good people on both sides!” He believes that there are white supremacists that are “good people!” The spike in antisemitic incidents began when Trump took office.
I have friends who say “But, he has been the best president ever for Israel.” The extraordinary relationship between the U.S Congress and military and Israel wasn’t forged by Trump and will thankfully outlive his presidency. The absolutely worst thing that could confront Israel in today’s world is for its most important ally to be disrespected and mistrusted.
Our country, the place that used to be the world’s beacon of democracy and hope: “Give me your tired, your poor; your huddled masses yearning to breathe free . . .” has slammed its doors; no longer keeps its word; abandons allies and praises the world’s bullies. And the supposed leader of the free world blackmails a foreign leader for personal political gain.
Do you hear what I hear – do you see what I see? When lies become truth and truth becomes lies, we Jews need to be worried; we need to raise an alarm – not just for our own community, but for all Americans!
Lloyd Levin is a resident of Shorewood.