Mr. Trump, don’t dare tell me I’m not an American.
When I was 16 in my last year of Hebrew School, the ongoing debate was whether I identified myself as an American Jew or a Jewish American. I can’t recall which way we were to be swayed.
It didn’t matter. It was all semantics to me anyway. I never thought it would enter into a national dialogue or be part of an Executive order signed by a US President. I was born in New York. In Queens, in fact, not too far from where Donald Trump lived.
That is my nationality. I also hold seders and light shabbos candles. That makes me a Jew.
They are separate but equal.
Hitler didn’t think so to the shock of German Jews. Now in a disturbing nod to those times, Trump is signing an order defining Judaism as a nationality, not just a religion. Keep in mind that in Hitler’s first written comment in 1919 on the so-called Jewish Question, he likewise defined the Jews as a race and not a religious community.
As the Other.
This only goes to promote the classically, bigotted idea that American Jews are not American.
The thought of that terrifies me. As a Jew. And as an American.
© Sally Edelstein and Envisioning The American Dream, 2019. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Sally Edelstein and Envisioning The American Dream with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.