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The Trump administration’s three ‘court Jews’ disgrace themselves

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18.08.2017

What Gary Cohn, Steven Mnuchin and Jared Kushner did this week — or, rather, what they didn’t do — is a shanda.

They’ll know what that means, but, for the uninitiated, shanda is Yiddish for shame, disgrace. The three men, the most prominent Jews in President Trump’s administration, could have spoken out, to say that those who march with neo-Nazis are not “very fine people,” as their boss claims. Mnuchin, the treasury secretary, and Cohn, the chief economic adviser, were actually standing with Trump when he said it. They said nothing.

All three let it be known through anonymous friends and colleagues that they are disturbed and distressed by what Trump said — Kushner even got out word that he and his wife, Ivanka Trump, had counseled Trump otherwise — but none is speaking publicly about an outrage that makes millions of Americans feel as though they are living a nightmare.

We have seen such a character before in Jewish history: the stadlan. The stadlan, or “court Jew,” existed to please the king, to placate the king, to loan money to the king. He would dress like other members of the court, and he would beg the king for leniency toward the Jews but, ultimately, his loyalty was to the king.

I thought we were past the age of the stadlan. So did my........

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