David Friedman, US President Donald Trump’s nominee for ambassador to Israel, has managed to anger Jewish Voice for Peace, J Street, Rep. Jan Schakowsky and the Union for Reform Judaism. It’s a safe bet that every Jewish leftist who ever cut a check to the New Israel Fund is enduring sleepless nights. Friedman must be doing something right.
The nomination reflects a growing divide in the Jewish community, one that was partially etched into the voting returns in Brooklyn on election night. The Orthodox neighborhoods voted for Trump. The secular ones went for Clinton.
The legacy of Obama and Kerry is changing the calculus of American Jewish voters. The political apostasy has caused families to rupture and friendships to unravel, exacerbated by Trump’s unanticipated victory. The intensity is palpable as seen in Peter Beinart’s questioning Jared Kushner’s Jewishness in The Forward. Liberal Jews not only believe they have a monopoly on the moral high ground, but their corrupted perspective of Tikkum Olam (repairing the world) justifies action that has made the world a more dangerous place for Jews and Christians.