tv Discussion on President Trump Jewish Voters CSPAN September 11, 2019 5:58am-7:31am EDT
georgetown university posted this 90 minute event. >> good afternoon ladies and gentlemen. i want to welcome everyone to the jewish center for civilization event titled disloyal american judaism in the trump era. i am the associate director and professor at the center if you don't know much about it where the home for jewish scholarship here at georgetown university especially pertaining to middle east politics jewish humanities. to gather we have 22 faculty including the esteemed panelist today.
approximately 100 students and we offer over 40 courses per year. you should have received a copy of our full event loan up the neck lineup. the next event is the launch of the most recent book and that would be held october 17 at 5:00 o'clock p.m. in the center. please rsvp and also visit our website. be all very much look forward to seeing you there. and for students who are also in the room if you are interested in learning more or
that has an equal part informative and captivating this afternoon. and for the jewish civilization to join us today to my right the senior vice president for foreign defense policy studies. [laughter] [applause] and from the brookings institution middle eastern policy. [laughter] [applause] and my far left into combat anti- semitism under president barack obama. and all members of the faculty then our students will be about and there will be no cards on the distinguished
panelist with georgetown university if you see me glancing my phone please check my - - i'm receiving messages from staff managing the event and showing our distinguished panel. and then with barack obama addressing the congregation right here in washington dc. >> the life that i insist upon for all people here in the united states that tells me to stand up for israel and look
out for the rights of the jewish people. the rights of the jewish people compelled me to think about the palestinian child feels trapped. >> now that's what judeo-christian means. [applause] >> now looking at president trump after the horrific shooting tree of life synagogue in 2018. >> make this evil somatic attack it is an assault on all of us. it is an assault on humanity it will require all of us working together to extract
the hateful poison of anti-semitism from our world. this was an anti- somatic attack. this gorge of anti-semitism cannot be good and it cannot be tolerated and it cannot be allowed to continue. >> finally president trump talks about the strength of the unbreakable alliance of the united states and israel. . . . .
and if they wanted to the embassy for many years and many decades am frankly many present presidents and we got it done. we also got it built in a slight cost saving like about 1 billion-dollar cost saving. and i want to thank ambassador david friedman for the job he's done and jared and everybody that works so hard together. thank you very much, ambassador. we stand for years away from president obama speech and three years into the trump administration so i'm going to ask each of you to reflect for a minute or two on the current moment which come from the jewish community and prompt you as follows what is different about the community today
compared to five years ago either safety, security and war its political allegiances. ranging from anti-semitism and domestic terrorism to the u.s. israel relationship, i think if we are talking about the situation of american jews, what has changed is a well-documented rise in anti-semitic hate crimes both violent and nonviolent, and i would say that is part of a context in a discourse that has become more polarized, course, unrestrained and corrosive of
some of the bonds that hold us together as a country despite our political differences and religious differences and cultural differences so what is happening is something that happens to all of america and it is a conversation the jewish community needs to have and there are a set of specific things we need to demand of our community leadership and national leadership, but i also think that most institutional jewish responses have done this, we need to look at the broad context as well at strengthening our ability as an american society to dialogue or cross difference and in trying the clerk of the sum that is at the heart of american democracy. that's what it's allowing anti-semitism and a lot of other
bigotry on such a platform. there's an old adage in politics that american voters pick when they choose a new president the office of what they just had true be very different style. i come from a partisan background. initially most of my career. i've been working on anti-semitism the last six years and i think one of the most damaging things we can do is politicize this issue. one of the things that has changed is the politicization of the issue of israel which i think is damaging, but i just
began seeing at the end of my tenure the end of 2016 and beginning of 2017 this politicization it's one of the most dangerous things we can do is hide our hands behind our back to fight anti-semitism and this is a real problem. as mentioned, we have a continued polarization. what the jewish community is essentially just following what is happening in israel but also more importantly with happening in the united states with polarization of attitudes. we have strengthening extremes and for an example there was a column in the times about the strengthening of the extreme left. there is no question that one of the gifts that happened is this whole controversy over loyalty and disloyalty to the two
congresswomen from minnesota and michigan. so, i think that is both in the country and in the jewish community. security wise, all you talk about is what kind of security we have. we are three or 4 miles north of the white house and across the street from each other. across the street they have armed guards all the time and we don't. i'm not sure about armed guards is the answer but people are really concerned about someone walking in and opening fire. we haven't seen that. we had security in these institutions but the degree of concern and just even sometimes the hysteria is huge and it is getting larger. one thing i read a full clip and
you have both presidents with a few things they agreed upon at least a state is the unbreakable bond in the united states and israel that since cooperation has never been stronger you heard that from president obama. i think that we agree on the pillars of the conversation which is that anti-semitism is a college and the politicization and it's been the enemy of the clear conversation of solution.
in the political persuasionthe d religious persuasions, whatever it is, we need to talk about this challenge and the more that we try to use it as a tool that we can hang around the next, the more it becomes a problem we need to talk about it in an intelligent way. the one thing that strikes me is they are sitting here in the capital of the united states of america so it is natural that we talk about our own president and politics and jewish community but the reality is if you look at jewish communities in the united states, i say they are still safer than those that are living in fear in certain instances that have been not the subject of one terrorist attack itself, but many. cnn just did a poll and it's
absolutely illuminating and will bring us to a conversation about some of the questions that lie at the root of this because we talk a lot about the phenomenon. anti-semitism is terrible, but we don't talk about when it springs. it empowers people to express those that were once unspoken and i debate did before we broup an interesting question before we sat down arguing an anti-semi if you only think these thoughts but you don't express them, maybe we can talk about that. these numbers are illuminating and horrifying.
there is a cnn poll by the way. more than a quarter of the poles believed that they have too much influence in business and finance. nearly one fourth to much influence in conflict and the war across the world. one in five say they have too much influence in the media and the same number believe they have too much influence in politics. meanwhile, and this is the last fax i believe that everybody because this is broken down according to the country as well. a third of europeans in the poll said that they view just a little or nothing about the holocaust. when you go by the way to millennial, whether in the united states or europe it drops even further. >> thank you. let's get into the secon to the. there's a domestic and international political behavior of jewish america. we will get to the domestic issues momentarily. as for the international
dimension, let me ask you this, what is the most relevant difference between the obama and trump administration with the policy towards israel and in what way if any are the policy is quite similar. >> you have two different administrations and policies towards the state of israel. i would not come and i would lament the growing efforts to sort out who put anti-semitism towards israel together. while there is an element unfortunately at the end of the day, especially for people like us are having a serious political conversation on this part i don't see anti-semitism as being part of it. i talk about this often with my colleagues as more liberal institutions because i think that we agree there is a
tendency to believe that israel is the republican country. saudi arabia, the united arab emirates and that the shiites belong to the democrats. this is one of the dumbest things that i've seen develop in recent american foreign policy is this weird notion that the democrats are wrong and the republicans are good for israel and saudi arabia. first, who would have ever thought that we would see that in the same breath as a whole different topic. it's become increasingly much more pro- israel. i don't think that that insinuates smokers are less pro-israel the reality is of course most mainstream people who deal with the middle east in
a national security matter as we wheelchair concerns about the failure to resolve a decades long between israel and the palestinians. so are there differences come absolutely. at the end of the day i would say that both administrations represent what i thin think it't the core of an american view is that israel is an ally into the american israeli relationship is a vital one not just to them come out to us. >> since you are so why you're in your answer, is there a policy difference we don't know about under the radar that experts such as resolve if that comes up in the flow, tell us about it. >> if i can think of ac approach to the conflict that hasn't been publicly discussed, i will let you know.
believe me, it would be interesting to discover. for the democratic and republican administrations, the relationship with israel is a national security issue and it has also been for both parties partly domestic and political issue as well. i would agree that the fundamental policy approach of the united states to has been consistent in the sense of a strong u.s. israel relationship is an american interest that brings a lot of benefits to the united states and what it's trying to achieve in the region of the israeli-palestinian conflict is not only a tragedy with human cost but also the stabilizing and unhelpful for bubble othe love of american gon the region.
those have been the policies and the democratic administration policies. there are changes within two areas that are shaping the way that we talk about it now. one change is on the ground between israelis and palestinians the situation of the conflict itself and efforts to resolve the. they've had this framework as a way of describing how they are trying to square the circle on this issue and as a way of shaping american engagement on this club at what they framework set by the oslo declaration of 93 and subsequent agreements and theragreements andthere are thel status issues that are yet to be negotiated. that's been the premise of the foreign-policy up until very
recently, and i think it was with the secretary carries final effort at the end of the obama administration. anyone who thought that there was still alive in the oslo process had to conclude a have e end of the day was over. now that presents a policy problem for the united states of america which means okay, then what is our approach to resolving the israeli-palestinian conflict, and we have yet to answer a that question so that is one reason that it's a different kind of conversation today than it was a few years ago. it is a dynamic situation and the political elite are shifting. in the united states i think within the american public there
are two key developments and we have been tracking this for years. this isn't about obama and trump, this is stuff that has been happening in the american public that's being reflected in what their leaders say and do and that is americans by and large favor a two state solution if no two state solution is possible, in the significant majorities two thirds and above if they prefer one state with equal rights for everybody because we are americans and that is kind of our political culture. but when they look at the situation as it exists today, there are differences between left and right, younger and older. on the left side of the political spectrum, more and more especially younger americans, especially latino and
african americans are looking at this conflict through the lens of human rights. that makes them particularly sensitive to certain israeli policies like housing demolition, like the closure on gaza that they see as infringing on human rights and the them more critical of the policy. on the other side of the political spectrum, and that is a growing constituency the numbers demographically are growing in the united states into thandto the public and theg constituency for the party. so the republican party the growing constituenc constituence evangelical americans who look at the israeli-palestinian conflict through the lens of the prophetic fulfillment. we are there to trigger the second coming and that is our
purpose. this gives them a conflict that includes the notion that conflict in and of itself isn't necessarily a bad thing because it might be a signal of the end time. and these are real attitudes and shape people's political preferences and the readers respond to that. so i don't think that it is unusual given the situation on the ground. it's not just a shift in the discourse but a political football. i will close with this. we have a problem not the introduction of thinteraction on american politics where in israeli politics attitude towards the united states have changed as israel has become
more self-confident and there is a tension between the relationship on the united states and its office self-confidence and security on the other hand and it creates a degree of sometimes resentment just like you often saw in the french security relationship with the united states even though they clung on to it. i think you see that dynamic into politics. it didn't used to be true and that leads to israeli politicians to be a little more political about the relationship with the u.s. than they used to be so now we are feeding off of each other in a way that i find unfortunate. >> there are differences or similarities. >> let me start by echoing my colleagues that reminds me of
the saying everything has been said that not everybody has had the chance to say it. so this is my chance to say it. i agree the idea of the security cooperation is something that is one of the few things that common to separate the rhetoric in support of israel. i do think one of the fundamental difference is that y colleagues have touched on but that really strikes me is in the obama administration and others there is a commitment to the two state solution. now, it isn't a cartoon commitment like the all hold hands and sing around the fire. there is an understanding and they are not the basis for that. and i'm sure on both sides they are not willing to cut any type of deal the government can see right or left and which would
keep the jewish state. a different part o of it is the strong feeling that israel should be a democracy as well as a jewish state, democratic and jewish state and if you abandon the idea and abandon at least the moving over very long perif time. this creates problems for the american public for someone like obama who just really believe that this is a jewish value. but even more so to the vast majority of american jews. zionism and the united states was really founded in some ways i brandeis and justice brandeis had this idea that it wasn't a dual loyalties to be a zionist because the jewish state in palestine that with either the
jewish homeland it's very much a part of the american dream sitting on the hill align dominations etc.. it shows how we look at israel as well. you move away from even the possibility that creates all kinds of problems. even though i have more interaction with him, i don't know exactly, but certainly the rhetoric, the talking about these things come if you were going for a one state solution,
it becomes not jewish or not democratic. it's hard to believe policymakers believe he won the state. they speak about what happens behind the scenes. i have an open question i don't know if anyone here knows the answer. is there a similarly tense relationship behind the scene in the government that we just don't know about but maybe some people in this room do.
>> although i wasn't working on the u.s. israel should primarily what i would say is that pensions are a regular feature of the u.s. israel relationship where the u.s. and israel don't have their priorities wind up. in the trump administration's approach on the key issues, take iran as a very clear example. president trump campaigned on getting rid of the jcp oa because i08because it was a badd through the intense pressure he came into office and within a year repeated the deal with an
intensive campaign that had an impact on the iranian economy. and then secretary pompeo laid out the objectives of the policy and it was a laundry list of changes not only on nuclear issues and ballistic missiles, not the sponsorship of terrorism, but it's when the islamic republic is no longer the islamic republic and we will let up on this campaign and achieve the goal. so, that is a sort of pie in the sky objective that i don't think the partners disagreed with in principle, but i don't think that they thought it was realistic using that setup means. more recently they said we have no preconditions for talks. all we want is that they don't go nuclear and i think they were like wait a minute, there's a lot of other stuff going on at
the iranians are doing that we have a problem with. so, the tensions arise from inconsistencies in the trump administration's policy and like i said that is not unique to israel. another example that isn't unique to israe israel is presif the announcement last summer that he wanted to withdraw troops from syria. he did this in a conversation with the turkish president that hadn't been a friend to israel and hasn't been a friend of her other partners in the region. or are ver very much a friend tt had persuaded the president that he was going to make it possible to withdraw from syria super regional parties are affected and these are the kind of things that create tension. in a previous administrations including the obama administration you see the tensions emerge where the u.s.
wants israel to do something it doesn't want to do, and sometimes or that u.s. wants to do something israel doesn't want it to do. so during the administration he wanted to sell advanced aircraft to the saudis and the israeli government didn't want to and in the obama administration they wanted a settlement freeze. >> d. want to add anything to that? >> for sure we can definitely go all day and if you guys have time -- but no, i think that these are separate question, but the perception is a very important part. tammy laid out the facts and there's a lot of confusion about the policy.
i don't think that that is what fuels the troubles. a few different kinds. during the obama administration, i'm not saying that he was, but he was wisely perceived, and in particular it was perceived in places like riyadh where they set themselves on my god, the americans come if they are going to treat them so badly, what are they going to do to us? this is going to be terrible. ...
except in times of extreme like after 9/11 if you have a conflict but we shouldn't have a conversation to fool people into thinking somehow this is about the jews this is separate from the israelis in the middle east. as much as president trunk may be confused about this but the reality is it is 100 percent the truth that i would go further to say that in europe , weirdly we see embracing the anti- semitic stereotypes for pro israel which is completely random. i don't understand how that happens but it is a phenomenon that you see. >> in precisely that instrumental essays and.
>> and he may reconcile this. is a great country they are the jews that i don't like. but this is very common. you laugh but this is one of the oldest jewish jokes in the book how do you define an anti- semite quick the person who hates all the jews but likes the individuals. the other is hates the jews but loves the individuals. [laughter] >> the adl releasing a steady stream of research with a sharp rise in anti- somatic
hate crimes in 2016 through 2017 the jump was an astonishing 56 percent wine interpretation of the material was tied to the election of donald j. trump although it never explicitly drew the connection but it is not causation but anti-semitic strain has been present in america for centuries this was not the creation of the republican party or any party for that matter to look at social media and stagnation. so what do you think drives that dramatic increase of hate crimes? and in particular are there any less obvious factors whose impact we need to think about quick. >> first i note these numbers.
it is in the weeds but they are very different so we had a young man in 2017 who made 60 calls all 50 that's not counted as one. now the fbi keeps all hate crime incidents and that is a trend upward. i mention this because all of the data has limitations. so for example up to the nineties you will see even higher numbers. and the problems also with a hate crime data so now i'm doubtful but they just don't
so dependent on local and state law enforcement. so having said that i keep something on the website in all of the english language press around the world you can't help but notice the reporting of it. so what else is behind us? >> and danielle said it befor before, with all problems of the anti-semitism the strongest jewish community in the world with all the violent problems we're having with the anti-semitism we think of but it is compared to south american communities or the middle east we are safer.
looking at violence and we have had this past year to attacks on synagogues. and were likely to get more. now one of the things we don't want to get into because when you do it anti-semitism, my most important principle was let's just be brutally honest. you don't take a political position to take the policy out. first largely it has been right wing. stop. don't kid yourself this is just right wing stuff. >> we are already getting reports of security agencies of hezbollah planning attacks
around the world with the bombing were 80 some people were killed. and i don't know the violence yet is necessarily right wing. so let's be honest number one. the levels of violence are still relatively low but that could change that will have a major impact on psychology. already has on american jews. if you look at opinion data in the united states, still the pew report to your different religious ethnic groups what
is the warmest? it is the jews. it continues to be but that tells you something about what is happening. and speaking about anti-semitism it still remains probably within the same group of five or ten years ago. for some reason they are correlating with the presidential election which is not unusual because normally you can track the election cycle but the perception and the data indicate something has changed. >> it has. >> so the original question what is driving the change? we are all curious about trying to push you but the rhetoric of the 2016 campaign is one issue but we have been going through this worldwide. this is not just in the united
states. what happened in europe before i came here we are not immune. we had the 2008 downturn of the largest economic recession since the great depression perk why don't it contribute all of that but a breakdown of trust in less than democratic institutions. with all kinds of dislocation in the society. usually but not always. so something is happening. so what might we do about it? but also i don't want anyone to look at one set of numbers because it's not because then look at the data you have to look at what's going on is definitely violence the bottom
line that words eventually turn into violence if you start calling jews cockroaches as mister farrakhan has done, then if that has not been encountered very strongly. but we are not in that era yet. >> i think he lays us out in a very fair way without bias. but you point at the question of dislocation anytime there is a serious financial downturn but i think it's much more serious of the industrial revolution that is happening right now. i would have liked to have thought 1945 when we said never again that in fact it
was meant and the answer is in the data. you don't know what happens if you have no sense of history then the taboo is .. but that's just not the case. is it so this is the challenge so how do you educate? how do you make people aware? not the worst of the worst weather we talk about terrorism or races are anti-semitism it is those that excuse them and create room for them in society and tolerate them those are the
ones that enable them and part of that is we become extremely loose with accusations which is a problem on the other side. is a just one guy? will the numbers skyrocket? but on the other hand too many people are willing to tolerate. you are right it preceded donald trump. he is the symptom of this larger challenge. and there was an article in the wall street journal the anti-semitism talking about the yellow vest holding up signs talk about the horror of the jews. i'm sorry?
but that was just simply because he worked for a financial firm. it was thrown out to but this is the kind of thing we need to figure out. >> and to put their finger on it to say the guard rails on political discourse is evident in a whole variety of ways to define those political opponents than anything is justifiable to attack them see might weaponize the charge of anti-semitism and that category and that campaign makes that harder but at the same time if you are in a war against all of your enemy then you will not ever criticize anyone on your side even if
they say something that should be well beyond the balance of political discourse so what we have it is interesting i had this debate with my 21 -year-old last night about these statistics. does this represent the fact there are more anti- semites or have there always been the same but now they feel free to speak and act? i tend to think it's more of the latter. and our broader political discourse has degraded and created this permissive environment not only to deter people but it also makes it easier for the real haters to
simulate this content into political discourse in way that other peoples may not be educated enough. and i think that is what we see is white supremacist inserting insinuations of labels into discourse with social media on the right and we have seen the same things and if we didn't get a good course in world history. if we are not from a marginalized community and therefore to know this history then you might look at that image and not to understand that subtext and it is anti- semitis semitism.
>> we haven't talked about social media if you go to any conference i used to go to her three times per year they were talked about two or three things that has to be done so talk about education that the other is social media. some people said it took hundreds of years to deal with the printing press. we didn't know how to deal with electronic media for a long time we don't know how to deal with social media no question. another thing i want to say is that anti-semitism is just like racism or islamic will be a. know it is not. is not worse or better but they each have different manifestations although they are connected. talked about the jews are
often the first to feel it but not always and russia the last 300 years now the caucuses have no jews generally they have the best situation never in russia because they only had them sent 17 nineties so in that. this is the best so the problem with that is that they keep leaving the soviet union and one of that things is even though they are good, when other people are being persecuted, jews leave authoritarian countries because when putin goes for changes his mind that there are no institutions to protect you. one of the things we have to look at other forms of bigotry and they often have a relationship with anti-semitism as well. it is different but they do
have commonalities. but europe is a problem and in western europe in particular as part of anti- semitism very small parts is definitely coming from those communities. but also attacking jews. >> coming from his remarks about jewish disloyalty. and then we breakdown the remark itself. >> in my opinion the democrats of a very controversial i don't understand how they could do that. they want to take away foreign aid they want to do things to israel and in my opinion if
you vote for a democrat you're being very disloyal to the jewish people and to israel. and only anybody else to say anything to that. >> can you help the younger folks in our audience why this raised concerns. >> historically charges of disloyalty is anti-semitism you could go back to earlier periods like poisoning the well or the black death to kill jewish christian babies for their blood or children would disappear or found dead but in the modern era napoleon said tell us you are a part of us that you are a loyal french
man. that was critical and the jews said yes we give up our communal institutions and our economy but we just have a different religion. and then 80 years later and again it is the jew who is disloyal to france even though all the evidence points to somebody else. you have a lot of history 1853 pointing to the jews as buying cotton and bands jews from the whole area in tennessee. now the president says no. father abraham comes to the aid of the jews had that
throughout american history to and world war ii. look at gallup polling and ask who was the greatest threat to america? are they germans? no. they are jews. 1944 they are killed by the millions in europe and they are the disloyal people in america. so in less crude ways with that implication no it's okay. do we have other people who are attacked?
so that idea of disloyalty resonates through the years on the first day he didn't mention but he also said disloyalty does all these things for israel from his perspective and they are not thankful. what is this? no loyalty. this doesn't make him an anti- semite. if president trump is the problem then there are things he has done do not help the cause. many times he talks about how he's against anti-semitism. that when he says disloyal talk about congresswoman omar. >> we will get to her.
>> we are aligning some issues that we will get to that. did you think is just another weird thing that he said? >> it wish i could say i still listen in a critical fashion to donald trump. that's the first time i've actually seen the video i saw it on twitter it was followed by the extremely weird tweet about keying of the jews and blah blah blah. i hesitate to impute anything as there is a long history as i have loyalty and disloyalty
that you rightly noted. i don't think that's what he was talking about any more than i think that's what he was talking about like america first as a slogan which also by the way was anti- somatic. lawn - - somatic. those who are not psychiatrist engage in talks psychology and psychiatry. i have no idea what he is thinking it was persuaded after several years of immersion here in washington he does not think about these things the way any normal person does. he is not informed by history he doesn't think about lindbergh and even after being even after being told, he thinks to himself i will redefine this. not that i can't possibly have any hint of america first in my
history. you now associate with this with me and i am awesome and that is great. that is pop psychology. i don't know if it is true but the same case, that is not to negate, not to diminish the meaning of words even when they are stupid because i think they were stupid but at their base unfortunately i think they are much more rooted in how you say, ignorance, than anything else. >> there are some cards, if you have any questions you would like to direct towards us our students will pick them up. >> i want to hammer home, ira gave you a sense of the legacy of this loyalty disloyalty issue through the history of jews and the enlightenment and that is important but there is
something different about the united states, something different about the liberal democracy established in the united states that is different for jews and that is what i think people feel threatened in this moment and statements like this make them feel concerned that it may be threatened and i want to explain why. when napoleon said that, the emancipation that was conditional citizenship. that was a man in the street, you don't get to be jewish in the street. you don't get to bring your jewish identity into the public square. the united states is the first place in modern jewish history where jews were able, have been able to create a vibrant, communal life for themselves
and be full participants in society and politics not just as individuals but as jews. that is precious and not because of something special about american jews, something special about america, the nature of this pluralistic liberal democracy. in that context, particularly concerning when we hear charges of disloyalty no matter where they come from. i think we need to think about this not just in terms of jewish livelihood but the health of our liberal democracy. >> quick follow up. we have to get to yours. >> the united states is different in many ways. mainly or mostly different since the last half of the 20th
century. >> along effort. >> washington talking about the synagogue, that we have no loyalty to bigotry etc.. we have a long history but also have a history of jews remembering their history and i just read this great piece, a letter from secretary haig, he had been -- the jews were complaining, they were worried about fellow jews in russia being killed in pogroms and wanted to push the administration to come out and hey was sympathetic. he was not as much of an anti-semite as most people and he wrote about the jews they think were all bully boys, we did not have that sense, we
have a sense -- you came to america and were part of the melting pot, you were not jewish american this. when it came to politics, talk about jewish issues but this stuff in the 30s, it is qualitatively different than europe ever was in today's different from europe. but we should always remember, not a memory of just fear or a memory of everything is great, but they could change not just anti-semitism but our very liberal democracy, we are very tied as a jewish community to pluralistic liberal democracy. if we lose the goal in medina we are going to lose as well.
>> and other issues get to before we wake up. >> i will be as extinct as i can. i understand it is troubling to hear the president say things even when they come from a place of stupidity rather than a place of hate. nonetheless i do feel, being in the political bustle every day, a lot of the expressions of hysteria about the plight of the jews, the plight of women in the plight of every other group are at risk because of donald trump is wrapped up in the hyperpartisan politicization of everything. i don't want to dismiss those things. >> no matter where it comes from.
>> i understand and i know you're giving a good segue into our next, what i hope will be our next segment but it is important to remember about hysteria, the hyperventilation comes from antipathy towards this president some of which he has earned. >> i'm going to put on the table the 3 of you have made passionate arguments against the politicization in washington dc, not the east village so i will push the 3 of you on this and i don't see how we get outside politicization in this town. let's go this way. donald trump's remarks about loyalty and disloyalty were made in the context of his ongoing feud with a group of four democratic congresswomen perhaps misleadingly known as the squad. two members of this group are
critics of israel and the vehemence of their activism has sparked accusations of anti-semitism of the left. let's talk about that. my question is a hard one and concerns whether these charges are justified and whether an equivalent can be drawn with the right. bds initiatives and attempt to delegitimize the state of israel with an equal, lesser or greater danger to american jews, who would like to have the first crack? >> i will take the first crack by saying i don't think equal, lesser, or greater is the issue. the 3 of us have described an environment that is degraded.
and is bad for the jews and bad for american democracy and bad for other vulnerable people. anything that contributes to that makes it worse so give me a break. >> you've got to locate resources. that is an equal or later discussion. >> that is about threat assessment. that is about violence. i am going to answer your question. i went to oberlin in the 1980s. i know a little bit about identity politics on the left. is there anti-semitism on the left? yes. there always has been just like there has always been anti-semitism on the right. do people within the left, in
making their passionate arguments sometimes ignorantly, sometimes knowingly glom onto anti-semitic rhetoric, ideas, programs, absolutely. as it happens on the right. many of the scenes are the same, jewish power, jewish money, jewish royalty. anti-semitism is anti-semitism. you said the president's ongoing feud with the squad. this takes me back to the disloyalty comment, this is not a feud, this is a fight the president picked, he is instrumental rising this issue for political purposes. when he spoke about loyalty and disloyalty i don't think -- he wasn't talking to me but evangelical voters. he instrumental i asked this
issue, people on the left to do it too. i don't like describing that is a feud. i think he is pulling out the new members of congress and holding them up as if they are the face of the entire democratic party. i would love to be able to say as confidently about the republican party that some of the rhetoric i hear from donald trump does not represent the republican party but i can say pretty confidently the four freshman members, iona presley is not a freshman. four freshman members of congress from solidly democratic districts do not represent the entire democratic party. i think that there is diversity in the democratic party on his relays there is diversity in the republican party on his real.
ask rand paul. you can have a debate within the democratic party, within the republican party across the two parties about israel and the us israel relationship and you can do it without indulging in anti-semitism and that is what we need to be demanding of everybody. we need to be -- those on the left side of the split -- political spectrum need to demanded of our own side and call it out when we see it and those on the right side of the political spectrum need to do the same and what i try to do in a fever swamp environment is try to lift up the people who are doing that. one of my favorite people to retweet, in terms of holding up models of substantive conversation that avoid anti-semitism and calling out anti-semitism in their own camp
when they see it is seth mandel, a conservative writer who writes for the examiner, he edits the examiner section. he and i disagree on many things but on this one we are 100% in tune. i have worked diligently as a foreign policy person on the democratic side of the spectrum to cultivate a substantive, meaningful debate about israel, the us israel relationship and the israeli-palestinian conflict that does not indulge in islamohphobia or any form of bigotry or ignorance. we need to have a conversation about it. and it can be done. but there's going to be this
kind of politically motivated dust in the air for every election cycle. the job of those of us who care about pushing anti-semitism to the margins and having a substantive policy conversation about bigotry, our job is not to fixate on the dust. our job is to try to get the dust out of the air. >> i agree wholeheartedly that donald trump has instrumental lies to these four women, democratic representatives because i think it serves him well. to paint them as the face of the democratic party. every struggle democratic leadership has had to try to condemn it, he has amplified as
a sign of a drift in the democratic party. there is a drift in the democratic party. there is a drift in the republican party. both parties are drifting in directions that are unsavory to a lot of us. you are not going to find on this day us the people who are going to try to defend one side, the what aboutism that is the phrase of dc. i don't buy it. i think those women are anti-semites and enablers, i do and i think there are anti-semites and enablers in the republican party. in the charlottesville, you saw people holding up signs and chanting against the jews. that was a disgrace, and the president's failure to call
them out immediately is his shame and his failure and i will say there were plenty of people not spoken for the republican party by the president. i agree with you 100%. our job is to call people out when we see them but much more it is to elevate those who are above this, far better than this because there are still so many people here in washington, in politics who get into this gross and dirty business because that is what politics has become. we may not agree about what those good things are, but their intentions and their thinking about it is absolutely something we should support in this democracy. one more tiny thing. you mentioned seth mandel.
many of you, look at the twitter feed this morning because there you see the ultimate in the abusive the label of anti-semitism. i'm not going to go into a complicated story about it but you will be interested to see turning it upside down, labels we should be very careful with, when we see it we should call it out and elevate people who are better than this. >> which is more important, which is more important? i see it in the political system, it is on the other side. on the left, you have people saying anti-semitism, anti-racism, how can we be anti-semitic or farrakhan says something, they have no power so it is meaningless, not really anti-semitism.
i can talk about it is on both sides. west anti-semitism, it is not avoiding it. let's call out where it is. it morphs, depends on time and place, the problems change. 5 years ago i would have told you the best place to be a jew is the uk, not anymore. not anymore. it is a classic case in the labor party of this cartoonish view of the middle east, you are either with us and against colonialism and racism, that means palestinians and anybody on the left or in some ways
your zionists or live with the zionists, or jews who don't condemn zionism. this is a cartoon. decisions reality. when people in the labor party there is a great piece called institutional anti-semitism by johnson. 100 pages where he calls this up, people in the labor party, people taking david duke type of racism, actual david duke cartoon or quote and read tweeting them and this is a lesson for the democratic party and the republicans only have to look at hungary or poland and they can take questions themselves. it is not here yet. it can come here. the point is at any given time and place you analyze this is a problem and rarely is it just left or just right. there are no movements, no left, it is all about the
right. in france, it is 3 or 4 types of anti-semitism. a level of violence among a small number, but just two weeks ago, three weeks ago, security forces broke up a ring, it can change. being brutally honest about what is happening and where. it wasn't politicized for many years. sharon is not one of my favorite characters, but he said we have no leaders anymore. they are all politicians. you can't be a politician on anti-semitism. i am not going to accept it. you don't use it and don't tell me your against anti-semitism and only talk about it on your own side. at the president's conference
meeting, call it wherever it is. sometimes you don't use the word anti-semitism. you don't have to use it every time. you can criticize, you do that, you have to call out josh pauly, a brilliant young man using the term cosmopolitan. and all kinds of anti-semitic overtones. i will criticize him for using the term. if we defeat anti-semitism it will be essential that we are better than that. >> we can't get to questions which i would like our panelists to wrap us up in 30 or 45 seconds and begin with
tamara cofman wittes. >> i don't have a need some asian. i will tell you what i have been trying to do in the midst of this difficult environment. number one, be clear, careful, precise, in my own beliefs, in my own understanding. number 2, try not to ascribe motives. there are people who engage in a pattern of behavior and at a certain point you say if they are not interested in changing, i can infer something about their attempt to but don't jump to ascribe motives. number 3, lift up the kind of political conversation we want
more of. what has been so difficult about our conversation is we have this assumption from economics that good money drives out bad money. turns out in politics that is not true. good discourse doesn't drive out bad discourse if you just leave it to the market and especially in the social media market, it is extreme, the triggering labels, outrageous charges and the smears, those are the things that crowd out a good democratic conversation. if we want a good democratic conversation we have to lift that up, we have to amplify it and do more of it ourselves and there is a way to both name, call out if you like that term,
marginalize bigotry and things that go against our democratic principles and have a civil conversation. in fact, doing the one is necessary for doing the other. that's the best we can do in this moment. we are deeply divided country and we are going to stay a deeply divided country, but we don't have to be ugly about it. we each have a role in stopping that. >> i don't have a summary but i have one further point. there is no silver bullet answer here. we need bipartisanship. i will talk about one thing we haven't talked about, social ostracism. the fight against anti-semitism and other forms of bigotry starts at the grassroots. we have the strongest civil society in this country in the world and that civil society is
capable of ostracizing haters and bigots. a classic example, 20 years ago in montana, a young jewish kid had a menorah in his window and white nationalists were growing in that area and someone through a finger box in the area. someone -- the community came together spontaneously, local politicians, churches etc. and in the local paper, a printout of a menorah. people put that menorah in their windows and there were marches of people holding menorahs. the message was this kid and his family is part of our community. whoever through that brick is not. we don't want you, you are not part of us and if we find out who you are we will make your life miserable. a very powerful tool. we do it sometimes in the united states. we don't do it enough. it almost never happens in europe.
that social ostracism if we can build that muscle in civil society hopefully we can have political leaders who will respond and attack anti-semitism not as a partisan tool but where they see it, that is part of the way. >> i don't have a good summing up. this afternoon, i think we are at real risk when our civil society becomes part of the problem and not part of the solution. there has been a real effort to do that, the women's march, why does a march about women suddenly have to be imbued with hatreds towards the jews and similarly on the right, people hold their attitudes up as a
shield to guard against accusations they might be somehow haters of some kind or another and that is something we need to be vigilant about but i will digress for a second and end where i opened. an important lesson. i am reading a book called the germans about what happened on the homefront in germany during world war ii. one of the things we all know, those of us who pay attention to history and that part of history, there was a strong strain of anti-semitism that was part of the nazi party, that wasn't the view of all germans. a compromise candidate came to power in 1933, you read this
book and suddenly realize how attitudes about everything, whether it was the loss of world war ii or the territorial expansion necessary or it was the role of the church, suddenly became about the jews so that where it had been a minority view it became a strain of social thought. it became part of what everybody was thinking and they didn't necessarily admit it, it spread through their diaries and letters home, we must do something, we must deal with these enemies who have been dehumanized, the jews, the easterners, dehumanizing your enemy is where this problem starts. as you said, there are always going to be bad guys who think
the plan things, people who hate jews, women, muslims, whatever it is there are always going to be those bad people. it is our job to ensure that those threads don't spread throughout society, that we don't create room for them in any way. i fear that we have, that those guardrails are down, that we have created room for this and we need to put it back together again, put those guardrails where they are and where they belong. that is one of the most important lessons for all of us. >> if i could answer my first question, what is different from 5 years ago, 5 years ago we didn't have the two gentlemen from the the permit of public safety in the back, we should thank them for protecting us. [applause] >> if you were to ask me, that is one of the biggest differences in american public discourse and now we have security guards when we speak. i want to thank our distinguished panelists for their performance.
[applause] >> tamara cofman wittes. [applause] >> in the inevitable danielle pletka. [applause] >> i want to thank the staff of cjc and our friends at c-span, thank you all for coming to the cjc today and see you in a few weeks. thank you so much. [applause] >> wednesday on the c-span networks, live coverage marking the 18th anniversary of the september 11th terrorist attacks. on c-span the pentagon memorial service with remarks from donald trump, defense attorney
mark asper and joint chiefs of staff chair joseph dunford. at 10:00 eastern the house returns, on oil and natural gas legislation. on c-span2, the senate comes in at 9:30 for debate on a series of votes on executive and judicial nominations. the speeches expected throughout the day on the 9/11 terror attacks. on c-span3 the remembrance service from new york city marking the 9/11 anniversary. that starts at 8:30 eastern. >> saturday at 6:00 pm eastern on the civil war, the 1863 campaign in tennessee. >> the night of the 26, brag orders everybody to concentrate, the campaign after they leave the highland rim at this point isn't eclectic because with manchester, brag is ready to fight in the trenches. >> at 8:00 on lectures in