TLV1 Extra: Unconventional Views on Current Events

A mural depicts President Donald Trump. Credit: FLASH90

David Benkof, a columnist at the Daily Caller, writes from a conservative Republican gay Orthodox Jewish perspective about why he voted for Hillary Clinton and moved to Israel as a Trump refugee, what counts as Presidential racism or anti-Semitism, and why religious pluralism in Israel is bad, but a peace with the Palestinians is good. Not your typical conversation, but one of healthy disagreement and topical relevance.



This season of the Tel Aviv Review is made possible by The Van Leer Jerusalem Institute, which promotes humanistic, democratic, and liberal values in the social discourse in Israel.


Tel Aviv Review is also supported by the Public Discourse Grant from the Israel Institute, which is dedicated to strengthening the field of Israel Studies in order to promote knowledge and enhance understanding of modern Israel.

1 comment on “TLV1 Extra: Unconventional Views on Current Events

  1. Greg Pollock says:

    Trump is not dangerous because he is a freakily successful outlier; rather, he measures a significant propensity in the nation, one that holds order and nation above individualism, indeed asserting that individuals cannot exist without conformity to the nation. He has pledged $1 million in Harvey relief. He has pardoned ex-Sheriff Arpaio of Maricopa County, saying the conviction for Federal criminal contempt was “very unfair,” praising Arpaio’s 24 year stint as Sheriff as protective to the community, so, rather explicitly, protective against Hispanic immigration (the conviction a political attack by the outgoing Obama Administration, he says, even though the ruling judge was not part of that Administration). At his never ending rallies Trump always mentions law enforcement, border patrol, and veterans, all cells of the nation dedicated to its protection. He has sought to globally ban immigration from some countries regardless of individual checks on applicants, setting a label standard for State action. The unpleasant reality is that, if honest, most of us can feel an attraction to these policies and actions. We are herd creatures, and Trump enrages perhaps not because of that, but because he is better at herding than others of many views. There are times when we would cheer his policies. Conformity is a fundamental tool of politics throughout the spectrum. I have not found leftists immune from its use.

    During the primaries, middle level Republican elites were unable to take the lead of its higher establishment (McCain, Romney) and block Trump’s ascendency. Even the very popular Teddy Roosevelt was stopped within the Republican Party by those loyal to its structure personified in Taft. What really worries is that the forces making us, of which nationalism and law and order are primary, may become unbridled. In opposition, we fear what We might do.

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