Trump’s “Jewish Nationality” Argument Lays Groundwork for the US as a White Ethnostate. Don’t Ignore it.

Many white supremacists admire Israel.* And by “white supremacists” here, I mean self-identified ones–the kind who call themselves “racial realists” and are explicit in their desire to make the US a white ethnostate. They admire Israel as a place that defines itself as for Jews and that uses apartheid strategies to oppress non-Jews within the state. (It also, conveniently for white supremacists’ anti-Semitism, contains about 43% the world’s Jews, and I mean the word contain here–from an anti-Semitic standpoint, it keeps an increasing percent of the world’s Jews out of other nations and in a central location where they are a consolidated target.)

This is important because the Trump administration, in a continued Republican effort to punish “liberal” universities,undercut free speech laws, and rally evangelicals, is working on an executive order to withhold funding from universities that fail to combat anti-Semitism on campus. Now, don’t mistake this for concern about swastikas on campus or white supremacists recruiting on campuses. No, it’s about punishing people who speak out against Israel’s human rights violations of Palestinians. That is, this isn’t for Jews but for End Times Christians who need to keep seeing Trump as their Messiah and any of his opponents as Satanic.

For Jews, it’s a deal with the Devil. For white evangelicals, it’s a way to enact white supremacy while proclaiming to love Jews.

To make this executive order comply with the law, Trump will define Jewishness not as a religion–which isn’t protected under Title IV of the Civil Rights Act of 1964–but as a race.

That is, to receive these protections, Jews must have “race, color, or national origin” that is distinct.

This is the first major problem. One of the core strategies of anti-Semitism is that Jews are not of the nation in which they live: they are always, eternally outsiders. They have a “dual loyalty” (something Trump believes about American Jews)–and it is always first to Judaism and other Jews. Anti-Semitism says that Jews cannot be trustworthy citizens, that they will not put nation first, that they cannot ever truly belong. This is anti-Semitism 101.

Yes, I am explicitly comparing Trump to Hitler–and, by now, you should be too.

The second major problem is that this sets up a larger logic that justifies making the US into a white ethnostate. If Jews aren’t Americans, then who is? You can guess.

And who isn’t? The people he’s threaten to force to register. The ones he’s trying not to allow to count in the Census.

Trump’s logic here isn’t about loving Israel. It’s about making the US a white ethnostate. There is no love of Jews in this. The creation of a “Jewish nation” within the US (one we can track and, eventually, expel) isn’t an unintended consequence of his love for Israel; it’s the intended consequence of his white supremacy.


*I’m not linking to primary sources of white supremacists explaining their love of Israel. But if you want to know more, let me know.

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