Burt Prelutsky / Nov. 19, 2018

Trump Is No Anti-Semite

As a Jew, I think one of the weirdest insults hurled at President Trump is that he hates Jews. I have no doubt that he harbors ill feelings towards the likes of Chuck Schumer, Dianne Feinstein, Bernie Sanders, Krysten Sinema, Richard Blumenthal, Ben Cardin, Jerry Nadler, Brad Sherman, Debbie Wasserman-Schultz, and Adam Schiff, but so do I.

As a Jew, I think one of the weirdest insults hurled at President Trump is that he hates Jews. I have no doubt that he harbors ill feelings towards the likes of Chuck Schumer, Dianne Feinstein, Bernie Sanders, Krysten Sinema, Richard Blumenthal, Ben Cardin, Jerry Nadler, Brad Sherman, Debbie Wasserman-Schultz, and Adam Schiff, but so do I.

But the hatemongers seem to ignore the fact that his son-in-law, Jared Kushner, is a religiously observant Jew; his daughter, Ivanka, is a convert to Judaism who keeps kosher; and three of his grandchildren are Jewish. On top of that, after several of his predecessors had promised to move the American embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, Trump is the one who finally had the moxie to do it. It’s also worth noting that among the world’s leaders, the one with whom he has the warmest ties is Israel’s Bibi Netanyahu.

Although Trump only received 25% of the Jewish vote in 2016, most of the votes he did receive were cast by orthodox Jews. What’s more, he received 80% of the evangelical vote of Christians, who, surprisingly, are more likely to be concerned with Israel’s well-being than liberal Jews are.

In spite of all that, as Caroline Glick points out, The Atlantic Monthly posted a piece by Franklin Foer headlined “Prayer for Squirrel Hill, and for American Jewry,” in which he wrote: “Any strategy for enhancing the security of American Jewry should involve shunning Trump’s Jewish enablers. Their money should be refused, their presence in synagogues not welcome. They have placed our community in danger.”

What idiots like Foer fail to understand is that when they write such abominable drivel, sending a quarter of American Jews to Coventry, their own version of Stalin’s Siberia, they are not speaking as Jews but as liberals.

In a world that is spinning madly out of control, it probably comes as no shock that members of the caravans heading this way have filed a lawsuit against the president, claiming he is violating their constitutional rights by announcing they will not be permitted to cross our border.

Apparently, there are baboons in the legal profession who have convinced themselves that people who are not Americans have constitutional rights. One can only hope that the addition of Neil Gorsuch and Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court will result in the majority restoring sanity to the highest court in the land, leading, one can only pray, to Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s finally deciding to throw in the towel.

I recently heard from a woman who is in the process of selling her home so that she could move closer to her two favorite children. It seems she has eight offspring in all — five daughters and three sons.

I let her know I was both shocked and delighted. I had grown so tired of hearing parents repeat the silly cliché “I love them all equally” that I had given up hope of ever encountering an honest parent.

I suppose parents can’t help lying, but I have long wondered if they were under the delusion that their kids didn’t recognize the well-intentioned lie.

In my own family, I was the youngest of three brothers, and I realized from a young age that I was in second place.

When I complimented the honest woman, she revised her comments slightly, saying: “Oh, yes, I did have favorites. I loved them all for different things or because they were our children, but I do have one I never liked. She has always been a pain in the tuchas…or however you spell the posterior in Yiddish.”

I let her know she nailed it. But it did make me question whether she really loved them all, as she now claimed. Or perhaps the “different thing” she loved about the brat was that it made her realize she shouldn’t ever take the seven good ones for granted.

When the street lights go out here in LA, I’ve noticed that drivers are pretty decent about policing themselves and taking turns to cross intersections.

Occasionally, some impatient jerk will hit the accelerator and jump the gun. But, by and large, drivers abide by the unwritten but widely understood rules of the road.

At such times, it occurs to me how well we all — regardless of race, religion, or nation of origin — could get along in America if the politicians weren’t always trying so hard to divide us. Wouldn’t it be great to get rid of politicians?

Just to get the ball rolling, and since it’s my idea, I suggest we get started by getting rid of the Democrats.

Morton Michaels let me know that if I had purchased $1,000 worth of shares in Delta Airlines five years ago, I would have $49 today. If I had purchased $1,000 worth of shares in AIG five years ago, I would have $33 today. If I had spent that same amount investing in Lehman Brothers, I would be dead broke today.

However, if I had bought $1,000 worth of beer just one year ago, drank it all, and then turned in the aluminum cans at a recycling center, I would have $214 to show for it.

Based on these facts, the best current investment plan is to drink heavily and recycle. It is called the 401-Keg.

And as a bonus, he adds: A recent study found that the average American walks about 900 miles a year. Another study found that, on average, Americans drink 22 gallons of alcohol a year. That means the average American gets about 41 miles to the gallon.

I might question the math, but, as an investment policy, I suspect it’s better than the one recommended by your broker.

I’ve been watching a lot of old movies lately and have decided that the most beguiling speaking voices belonged to Jean Arthur and Rex Harrison, the most mellifluous to James Mason, Joseph Cotton, and Herbert Marshall.

Speaking of old movies, one of Hollywood’s most fascinating characters was a former Chicago newspaper reporter named Ben Hecht.

He was one of the guys who responded to Herman Mankiewicz’s telegram urging his friends to come to Hollywood, where big money was waiting for them and where their only competition would be idiots.

No writer was paid more than Hecht, who, whether writing with his partner Charles MacArthur or on his own, was not only paid several thousand dollars for a script but was often paid as much as $10,000 a week in the ‘30s, '40s, and '50s to work as an uncredited script doctor, punching up the scripts of others.

Just some of the movies he got to work on included “Front Page,” which was based on the hit play he and MacArthur wrote, “Scarface,” “A Star is Born,” “Nothing Sacred,” “Gunga Din,” “Stagecoach,” “Wuthering Heights,” “Gone with the Wind,” “The Shop Around the Corner,” “Roxie Hart,” “Lifeboat,” “Spellbound,” “Gilda,” “Notorious,” “Kiss of Death,” “Strangers on a Train,” “Hans Christian Anderson,” “Guys and Dolls,” “The Man with the Golden Arm,” “Trapeze,” and “Cleopatra.”

But as was all too common with writers who came to Hollywood believing they were sacrificing art for money, Hecht held himself in contempt. The irony is that, for the most part, the serious books and plays they wrote are long forgotten and the movies they despised live on.

But at least Hecht had a sense of humor about it and about other things, as well. The following are among his more memorable observations:

“Love is the magician that pulls a man out of his own hat.”

“Trying to determine what is going on in the world by reading a newspaper is like trying to tell the time by watching the second hand on a clock.”

“People’s sex habits are as well known in Hollywood as their political opinions, and much less criticized.”

“In Hollywood, a starlet is the name for any woman under 30 who is not actually employed in a brothel.”

“The rule in the art world is: you cater to the masses or you kowtow to the elite; you can’t have both.”

“Hollywood had this double lure for me, tremendous sums of money for work that required no more effort than a game of pinochle.”

“I’m a Hollywood writer, so I put on my sports jacket and take off my brain.”

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