Jay Michaelson says what he and many Jews were looking for from the president’s trip to Pittsburg was not an apology but some remorse or some taking of responsibility for not condemning white supremacy except when pushed to do so and sometimes supporting it outright. ‘We need to hear that we’re not insane, that anti-Semitism has gotten worse on Donald Trump’s watch, that he bears some responsibility for it happening. We are yearning to hear this.’
- If Trump accepts some responsibility for rising anti-Semitism will he seem weak?
- Was it wrong for Pence to invite a messianic rabbi to say a prayer for the victims?
American Jews need to hear from the president that we are not crazy, that anti-Semitism has gotten worse, and that he bears some responsibility for it. Instead he blamed the media.
No human being is perfect. We all make mistakes, and look back on our actions, occasionally, with remorse.
From this ineluctable fact of human life, arguably, springs one of the sources of religion itself: the knowledge that we cause harm, deliberately or inadvertently, and we feel sorry, and we don’t know what to do. Elaborate theologies of sin and forgiveness, reward and punishment, issue from this brute reality of the human condition.
What I, and I think many Jews, wanted to hear from President Trump, as he visited the site of the worst massacre of Jews in American history, was, if not an outright apology, at least some taking of responsibility, some expression of remorse.