This past Wednesday, December 11, President Trump signed an executive order intended to attack pro-Palestine “#BoycottIsrael” movements on college campuses.
The order initially gained massively negative attention for its alleged redefinition of Judaism as a nationality rather than religion.
The final version of the order contained no such language, though many are still critical of the bill’s scope and the potential motivations behind it.
TRUMP'S MENORAH: Pres. Trump and First Lady Melania Trump are participating in a Chanukah reception at the White House days after receiving criticism for a speech some said contained anti-Semitic themes https://t.co/nZ5p6dmpa2— NowThis (@nowthisnews) December 11, 2019
Signaling Trump’s lack of actual empathy for the spread of antisemitism, he signed his executive order at a White House Hanukkah reception and invited a Christian evangelical leader with a long history of hateful comments towards Judaism to speak.
The President was joined on stage by Robert Jeffress who said Jews are going to Hell, and John Hagee who said the Holocaust happened "because God said my top priority for the Jewish people is to get them to come back to the land of Israel," that's pro-rapture, apocalyptic thought https://t.co/yzxgmSWUQc— Sean Morrow (@snmrrw) December 11, 2019
The guy currently speaking at Trump's anti-Semitism XO signing once said Jews are going to hell https://t.co/hrrljLfABy— Zack Beauchamp (@zackbeauchamp) December 11, 2019
Among those in attendance at the reception were Robert Kraft, owner of the New England Patriots, Alan Dershowitz, a Harvard professor and Trump supporter, and Pastor Robert Jeffress.
Jeffress, who Trump referred to as a “tremendous faith leader,” often appears on cable news and has described Trump as “the most pro-faith President in history.” Trump previously chose Jeffress to open the new US embassy in Israel.
You can’t make this stuff up. And Trump says Jewish Americans “have no other choice but to vote for him.” yeah right.— Roger Wolsey (@RogerWolsey) December 12, 2019
In 2010, however, Jeffress described Islam and Mormonism as “a heresy from the pit of hell.”
He went on to say of Judaism:
“Judaism ― you can’t be saved being a Jew.”
Holy antisemitism batman.— Nostradumbass (@Nostradumbass14) December 12, 2019
But that’s not all.
In a 2009 sermon, Jeffress said:
“Not only do religions like Mormonism, Islam, Judaism, Hinduism, not only do they lead people away from the true God, they lead people to an eternity of separation from God in hell. You know, Jesus was very clear. Hell is not only going to be populated by murderers and drug dealers and child abusers. Hell is going to be filled with good religious people who have rejected the truth of Christ.”
It’s fairly obvious why Trump was eager for Jeffress to speak at a Hanukkah reception—not his faith, but his support of the President himself.
Those of you #MAGA cultists screaming “TRUMP IS NOT ANTISEMITIC,” yeah.— Ben Jackson (@DadoftheDecade) December 12, 2019
He brought Robert Jeffress, the frothy-mouthed bigot CHRISTIAN pastor who bleated that all Jews are going to hell, to speak at the White House yesterday.
AT THE #HANUKKAH RECEPTIONhttps://t.co/UgEYOK4dA8
On Fox & Friends earlier this year, Jeffress said the country would suffer a “Civil War-like fracture” if Trump was impeached and removed from office.
He also claimed Democrats worship Gods that sacrifice children.
That a major evangelical leader and POTUS would choose to use the Civil War as a 21st century political weapon is, well, disturbing -- to say the very least.— Diana Butler Bass (@dianabutlerbass) September 30, 2019
Jeffress also attacked climate activist and frequent Trump target Greta Thunberg. For his part, Trump hasn’t been shy about what draws him to Jeffress.
At the Hanukkah reception, the President commented:
“I’d watch him on different shows, and I’d say, ‘I like that guy. Man, he talks really great about me.’ And I like people that talk well about me.”
The classic award-winning book Hershel and the Hanukkah Goblins: 25th Anniversary Edition is available here.
“On the first night of Hanukkah, a weary traveler named Hershel of Ostropol eagerly approaches a village, where plenty of latkes and merriment should warm him. But when he arrives not a single candle is lit. A band of frightful goblins has taken over the synagogue, and the villagers cannot celebrate at all! Hershel vows to help them. Using his wits, the clever trickster faces down one goblin after the next, night after night.”