It has been nearly two months since Donald Trump's inauguration. To say his winning the presidency has created shock waves, and either fear and anger or great joy and exhilaration, would be an understatement.
This is certainly true for American Jewry, perhaps divided like no other time in recent history. Some Jews view his election as a great relief, auguring improved relations with Israel, and the expectation of carte blanche approval for the development of Judea and Samaria, as well as moving the U.S. embassy from Tel Aviv to Israel's capital, Jerusalem, as well as the end of the "two state solution."
On the other hand, a significant portion of American Jewry, less concerned with Israel and more with internal and social issues, grimace every time Trump's name comes up, angry that such an individual, with no political experience could have won the election. They see and hate Trump's agenda to put America first, and his plans to implement limited immigration, border security, increased military spending, a realignment of relations with America's allies, etc., and overall, to "correct" the wrongs of Obama's presidency during the past eight years.
So, during the past 50 days, have the expectations of either side been met? The answer: it's been a mixed bag. President Trump is trying to put the brakes on immigration, is planning the building of a wall on our southern border, has upended several economic positions of the previous administration, is appointing conservatives to the Supreme Court, and is looking to cut funding from many social programs once considered untouchable.
On the Israel and Middle East front, Trump has nominated several very pro-Israel individuals and has enabled others, not exactly fans of the Jewish state, to remain as holdovers from Obama's two terms. He (via Sec. of State Rex Tillerson) has threatened to leave the anti-Israel U.N. Human Rights Council, and has softened the United States' stand on backing that "two state solution." Yet, he has walked back the talk of moving the embassy to Jerusalem, and has requested that Israel refrain for a while on "settlement" building.
Thus, when it comes to American Jewry, all have reason to be satisfied by some of Trump's actions and statements, as well as to have misgivings from others. Welcome to the roller coaster.
How will it all go? Time will tell.
As Melanie Phillips states in her Jerusalem Post piece yesterday, "Everyone should calm down and stop jumping to conclusions with every phone call, visit or remark."
President Donald Trump continues to be the focus of confusion and division, not least within the Jewish world.
At first he was hailed as massively pro-Israel. He said he was opposed to the Iran deal and Israel's treatment by the UN, promised to move the US Embassy to Jerusalem and appointed as US ambassador a bullish supporter of the settlers. Jews on the Right were thrilled, Jews on the Left were dismayed.
But then he invited Mahmoud Abbas to the White House and sent his envoy Jason Greenblatt to make nice with him in Ramallah, asked Benjamin Netanyahu to hold back on settlement building and back-pedaled on moving the embassy. Jews on the Right are now dismayed, Jews on the Left are thrilled.
There is a lot more: