A revealing new interview peels back yet another layer.
By David Remnick | The New Yorker | Dec 21, 2021
It’s no surprise that Trump is willing to trash foreign leaders in the most vivid terms. What seems to have shocked some American readers is that he trafficked so fluently in traditional tropes about Jewish power, conspiracy, and disloyalty.
When hundreds of hours of tapes from the Nixon White House became public, two decades ago, the full extent of Nixon’s prejudices, including his contempt for Jews, came into sharp focus. “The Jews are all over the government,” he told his chief of staff H. R. Haldeman, at an Oval Office meeting, in 1971. What’s more, “most Jews are disloyal.” Nixon made allowances for some of his useful advisers, including Henry Kissinger and William Safire, but, he said, “generally speaking, you can’t trust the bastards.”
I thought about those tapes a few nights ago while listening to “Unholy,” a weekly podcast hosted by Yonit Levi, the anchor of Channel 12 news in Israel, and Jonathan Freedland, a longtime columnist for the Guardian. Their guest was Barak Ravid, a veteran Israeli journalist who has just published a book in Hebrew, “Trump’s Peace: The Abraham Accords and the Reshaping of the Middle East.” Ravid brought Levi and Freedland an audio treat: excerpts of an interview he’d conducted with Donald Trump for the book. One tumbling rant was especially revealing: “People in this country that are Jewish no longer love Israel,” Trump told Ravid, at Mar-a-Lago last April. “I’ll tell you, the evangelical Christians love Israel more than the Jews in this country. It used to be that Israel had absolute power over Congress and today I think it’s the exact opposite, and I think Obama and Biden did that. And yet, in the election, they still get a lot of votes from Jewish people, which tells you that the Jewish people—and I’ve said this for a long time—the Jewish people in the United States either don’t like Israel or don’t care about Israel. . . . When you look at the New York Times, the New York Times hates Israel, hates them, and they’re Jewish people that run the New York Times—I mean the Sulzberger family.”