A Rosh Hashanah message becomes a political flashpoint. * Donald Trump's social media greeting for the Jewish New Year causes uproar.
In a move that both surprised and appalled many, former U.S. President Donald Trump used his Rosh Hashanah greeting to lambast "liberal Jews," accusing them of voting to "destroy America and Israel." The message, published on Trump's social media website Truth Social, triggered a wave of reactions and has rekindled debates over the weaponization of religious observances for political aims. The original article, titled "Trump attacks 'liberal Jews destroying America' in Rosh Hashanah message," was published by the Jerusalem Post.
The essence of Trump's message went beyond extending holiday greetings. It consisted of a list of his administration's Israel-related accomplishments, accompanied by the provocative caption that liberal Jews voted to destroy America and Israel "because you believed false narratives." While the former president emphasized his recognition of Israel's sovereignty over the Golan Heights and the relocation of the U.S. embassy to Jerusalem, the post was rife with a tone of admonishment. "Let's hope you learned from your mistake and make better choices moving forward," the caption continued, followed by an incongruous "Happy new year!"
The greeting comes against a backdrop of existing debates on the role of religion in politics, anti-semitism, and the increasing polarization in America. Trump's accusation that Jews are monolithic in their views and intentions is flawed and does a disservice to the diversity of thought within the Jewish community. It also reawakens dormant tensions and prejudices, stoking the flames of division just when unity is sorely needed. Words have the power to destroy or to save, to divide or to unite. And in an era teetering on the edge of divisiveness, choosing words wisely has never been more critical.
In an increasingly fractured world, it's essential to rise above partisanship and find common ground. The Jewish tradition emphasizes Tikkun Olam, the repair of the world, which aligns with the universal aspiration for an era where justice, peace, and righteousness prevail. This time, also known as the era of Moshiach, is a notion that inspires hope amidst chaos.
Whether it's Rosh Hashanah or any other occasion, may we all use it as an opportunity to bring us closer to a world that reflects these timeless values. After all, hope and unity are not just religious tenets but the foundation upon which a better future can be built.