Trump’s ‘Happy Hanukkah’ and Support for Israel Challenges ‘Alt-Right’ Supporters

Donald Trump is a very vocal supporter of Israel. He has also been willing to cater to the interest of America’s Nazis, the so-called “alt-right,” which represents an effort to make not only white supremacism but anti-Semitism politically correct.

Never mind the irony of Trump supporters using political correctness at the same time they laud their leader for throwing political correctness out the window. Trump has a real problem here. His “Happy Hanukkah” tweet riled up American Nazis everywhere, who savor visions of, if not eradicating Judaism, at least excising it from their vision of “white America.”

One swastika-toting follower tweeted an eloquent “WTF?!” while another seconded that sentiment and added, “I hate trump now.”

How can their new Fuhrer love Israel and Jews? They thought he was one of them, as this tweet below shows:

Um…no. Trump flew into a tizzy over the UN vote against Israeli settlements in occupied territories. Sever ties? Not happening.

Hope and delusion spring eternal on the right.

It is safe to say Trump left them feeling a little betrayed. Back in November, The Times of Israel described Trump as “still navigating white supremacists’ support.”

“White nationalist leader Richard Spencer said he believes Trump, Bannon and the ‘alt-right’ are “all riding in the same lane.” Spencer explained that neither Trump nor Bannon is a movement “identitarian,” Spencer’s preferred term for his racially driven politics.

Again, never mind the obvious play at political correctness with a term like “identitarian.” It is difficult to see how Trump can reconcile his aping of Hitler tropes in his speeches with his support for Israel.

How, you have to wonder, does it make Nazis feel when Trump’s new ambassador to Israel, David Friedman, says things like liberal Jewish organization J Street is “far worse than kapos — Jews who turned in their fellow Jews in the Nazi death camps.”

Isn’t that the average Nazi’s own aspiration, to throw Jews in death camps? That’s what they’re always tweeting at any rate. Yet Trump’s guy – his bankruptcy lawyer now ambassador – just insulted them by saying it’s actually a bad thing.

And if Nazis are feeling left out, how about Jews? One graduate student tweeted,

The “poor” Nazis can’t even cheer Obama for allegedly sticking it to Israel over the UN vote because the president is one of the much-hated “Untermenschen” of Nazi ideology.

It is remarkable how many people let Donald Trump tell them what they wanted to hear without hearing any of the other things Donald Trump was saying to other groups. He had something for everybody, a real smorgasbord of hate.

Maybe, as American Nazi leader Richard Spencer told a rabbi at a recent forum at Texas A&M University, Trump’s white supremacist followers can find a way to admire Israel while hating on Jews:

“Jews exist precisely because you did not assimilate. That is why Jews are a coherent people with a history and a culture and a future. It’s because you had a sense of yourselves. I respect that about you. I want my people to have that same sense of themselves.”

It is difficult, however, to see America’s unreasoning Nazis championing Israel or anything Jewish. Trump’s appeal to Nazi tropes during the campaign may or may not hurt him with Jews. It hasn’t hurt him with his fellow conservatives in Israel.

When Benjamin Netanyahu says “His attitude, his support for Israel is clear,” turn to Vox‘s Matthew Iglesias and think about this: “Bibi going all-in on the US political faction that includes the neo-Nazis rather than the one Jews vote for sums it all up nicely.”

You also have to remember that Spencer is saying he wants Trump to stop funding Israel while telling Haaretz that his “Hail Trump” has to be understood in “The context of fun and exuberance.” Because Nazism is always fun and exuberant.

Of course, Trump is going to defund the UN for attacking Israel instead, and while Spencer is acting and talking like a Nazi, he doesn’t want you to call him a Nazi. And if you think Steve Bannon is bad, Spencer has said, “I don’t think Steve Bannon is an alt-right thinker.”

We could ask why Trump’s Nazi following is surprised he’d say “Happy Hanukkah” but that would be asking the business community why they are surprised Trump conned them. Adolf Hitler left a lot of people feeling conned too.

And Nazis shouldn’t feel bad. Their Fuhrer is busy trying to con Israel too, just like he tried to con American Jews, who by and large rejected him. Trump is a con man. It’s what he does.

Photo: Trump Campaign.