Trump Derangement Syndrome reached a new low last week, as Jewish leftists in America and Britain waged a brutal assault against Lord Jonathan Sacks, the former chief rabbi of Britain.
It isn’t only President Donald Trump that the “Resistance” seeks to destroy. And their bloodlust isn’t limited to those who work for him, or even to his voters.
If you so much as help the administration achieve a goal that you believe in, for the “Resistance,” you are a criminal.
Sacks served as Britain’s chief rabbi from 1991 through 2013. He is arguably the most widely respected Jewish religious leader in the English-speaking world.
Sacks stands out for his universal accessibility. His written and oral Torah commentaries appeal to Jewish and non-Jewish religious scholars, and to the Jewish and non-Jewish layman, alike.
During his long tenure as Britain’s chief rabbi, Rabbi Sacks developed close working relationships with Britain’s leaders. Tony Blair and Gordon Brown, David Cameron and John Major all sought his guidance during their respective tenures as prime minister. They called on Sacks to help them prepare public comments that touched on themes of his scholarship.
And so, too, did U.S. Vice President Mike Pence.
Last week, Pence gave an extraordinary address before Israel’s Knesset. It isn’t often that a single speech rises to the level of an historic event. But Pence’s address easily crossed the line that separates a great speech from an epic address.
In his speech, Pence gave the clearest expression of Zionism – the Jewish national liberation movement — any non-Jewish leader has ever presented. In so doing, he demolished former President Barack Obama’s narrative legacy in the Middle East. This was a critical achievement.
In June 2009, Obama laid out his ideological approach at his speech “to the Muslim world,” which he delivered at Cairo University. Obama embraced the Islamist view of Israel as a colonialist outpost of European imperialists, and of the Jews as rootless wanderers, with no historical ties — let alone indigenous rights — to the Land of Israel.
Israel, under the Arab-Islamist interpretation, is either the consequence of a conspiracy of Europeans to oppress, divide and conquer the Arabs, or a means for Europeans to expiate their collective guilt for the Holocaust.
Obama said that America’s “strong bonds” to Israel are “based upon … the recognition that the aspiration for a Jewish homeland is rooted in a tragic history that cannot be denied. Around the world, the Jewish people were persecuted for centuries, and anti-Semitism in Europe culminated in an unprecedented Holocaust…”.
Israeli politicians and commentators from across the political spectrum were scandalized by Obama’s remarks.
Obama was almost as contemptuous of America as he was of Israel.
Throughout his speech he drew a moral equivalence between the U.S. and its Islamist enemies: Iran and America were equally responsible for their bad relations; the U.S. was just as bad at respecting religious freedom as Islamic regimes; and so on and so forth.
By adopting the anti-American and anti-Semitic Islamist narrative of history, Obama destroyed America’s ability to wage a war of ideas in the Muslim world.
So long as the Trump administration failed to renounce this view, it remained America’s position.
But Last Monday, in his speech before the Knesset, Pence relegated Obama’s intellectual legacy on the Middle East to the dustbin of history.
In elegant prose rich in quotes from the Scriptures, Pence transported his audience through space and time over thousands of years and three continents. He disavowed Obama’s perception of Israel as a colonial outpost born of Holocaust guilt. Instead, Pence restored Israel and America to their rightful positions in human history as the bearers of the torch of freedom.
Pence said, “We stand with Israel because we believe in right over wrong, in good over evil, and in liberty over tyranny.
“We stand with Israel because that’s what Americans have always done, and so has it been since my country’s earliest days.”
He continued, “In the story of the Jews, we’ve always seen the story of America. It is the story of an exodus, a journey from persecution to freedom, a story that shows the power of faith and the promise of hope.”
Without mentioning it, Pence rejected the Islamist libel that Jews have no roots in the land of Israel. He said, “The Jewish people held fast to a promise through all the ages, written so long ago, that ‘even if you have been banished to the most distant land under the heavens,’ from there He would gather and bring you back to the land which your fathers possessed.”
Far from being regrettable but understandable byproducts of the Holocaust, as Obama alleged, Pence demonstrated that Zionism and the State of Israel are the natural consequences of the millennial attachment of the Jews to the land of their forefathers.
In the weeks before he came to Israel, Pence told his associates that he was determined to give the most pro-Israel speech ever delivered by a non-Jewish leader at the Knesset. So as he prepared his speech, like Blair and Browne, Cameron and Major, he turned to Rabbi Sacks for guidance.
Rabbi Sacks met with the Vice President in New York for ninety minutes. He helped Pence to develop the themes he wished to discuss in his address. In the weeks that followed their meeting, Pence’s office sent early drafts of his address to Sacks for his comments.
If Pence’s name had been Joe Biden, he would have been congratulated by the entire Jewish world for reaching out to Sacks. And Sacks would have been celebrated by one and all as a towering Jewish figure who helped to craft one of the most important speeches about the Jewish people, the Jewish faith, and the Jewish state ever given by a non-Jewish leader.
But alas, we are not living in normal times.
We are living at a time where the left deems anyone who treats the Trump administration as legitimate as an enemy of the people. We live in times when Jews on the left are unable to distinguish friend from foe, or discern their own interests.
The leftist Jewish media flew into a rage when Sacks’ role in drafting Pence’s speech was reported.
By helping Pence, Batya Ungar-Sargon at the far-left Jewish Forward raged, Sacks empowered Pence’s faith, which she abhors.
“Pence believes God has a plan, not just for him but also for everyone, especially if he agrees with his numerous co-religionist white evangelicals who believe that we are living in the end times.”
At London’s liberal Jewish Chronicle, the writers are beside themselves. Referring to Pence as “loathsome,” Marcus Dysch wrote: “What on earth is Jonathan Sacks, the erudite, polite, shy Englishman doing getting involved with the homophobic, extreme Christian campaigner against women’s rights who is currently serving as Vice President of the United States?”
Dysch then all but accused Sacks of selling his soul for money, writing, “There will be countless wealthy churches across Republican states now falling over themselves to invite Lord Sacks to speak.”
Matthew Gindin, an anti-Zionist Jewish leftist and former Buddhist monk, wrote that Sacks “embodies a communal failure which threatens both the Jewish soul and future.”
Sacks, Gindin said, “has chosen to sell out for Jewish power and glory.”
Notably, neither Dysch nor Gindin wrote a word about Pence’s support for Israel. They didn’t applaud his stated commitment to finding a path to peace between Israel and the Palestinians, for instance, which was a section of the speech that drew a standing ovation from Israel’s leftist lawmakers at the Knesset.
They didn’t care about that. Like Ungar-Sargon and a half dozen other writers that piled on against Pence, they hate Pence, and they hate Sacks for helping Pence, because Pence is Trump’s vice president, and because he is an evangelical Christian who takes his faith seriously. And now they hate Sacks because he helped Pence to prepare and deliver the most stunning message of support for Israel any non-Jewish leader has ever given.
It is hard to see a happy end to this madness for the Jewish Left.
Under President Trump, America is moving from strength to strength.
Just as Trump’s tax cuts brought immediate benefits to the U.S. economy, so his decision to make truth, rather than jihadist propaganda, the basis of his Middle East policy is already paying dividends.
After eight years in which Obama wouldn’t say a bad word about jihad but had no end of bad words for America and its allies, less than a week after Pence ground to dust Obama’s ideological legacy in the Middle East, the impact was already being felt.
The Muslim World League served for decades as one of the largest disseminators of jihadist doctrine worldwide. Ahead of International Holocaust Remembrance Day on January 27, the leader of the Muslim World League published a letter condemning the Holocaust and Holocaust denial.
Sheikh Mohammed Al-Issa called the Holocaust “an incident that shook humanity to the core and created an event whose horrors could not be denied or underrated by any fair-minded or peace-loving person.”
“True Islam,” he added, “is against these crimes.”
Where President Trump’s determination to base America’s Middle East policy on the truth will lead is still unknown. But what is abundantly clear is that wherever it takes us will be a far better place than where Obama’s obsequious appeasement was moving the world.
Sacks should be proud of his contribution to Pence’s epic speech. He did a great service to America and to the Jewish people by helping to formulate the clearest expression of America’s historical ties to the people of Israel ever spoken. Pence is to be congratulated for turning to him for advice.
As for their liberal Jewish detractors, the longer they are moved by their hatreds rather than their reason, the more irrelevant they will become as the world moves on, freed from the moral and cognitive shackles of Obama’s intellectual legacy.