A Brief Flashback: Talking Trump in Tel Aviv

Mosaic of Peace, Day 3

Editor’s note:

It is always interesting to get a snapshot of what people in other countries think of the United States and its politics.

As we have stayed in Jerusalem, issues of displacement vs immigration have had a different tinge than in the United States. It is the Jewish people, primarily, who are moving into East Jerusalem. They name it “reunification,” while Palestinians call it “occupation.” But on the Israel side, at least, it is a nation of many immigrants. And yet, before our trip together began, Judy experienced a conversation in Tel Aviv between two Jewish men whose perspectives seems eerily familiar…

As you read, reflect on the disagreements which you face within your own religious communities at home.

Two Israeli flags flying in Jerusalem at night.

While sitting on a balcony off my room in Tel Aviv, I met two Jewish men. One said he was a Persian Jew/Palestinian since birth; the other identified himself as an Argentinian immigrant. One asked me, “What is your opinion of Trump?” I answered frankly: that I thought President Trump disrespected the Office of the Presidency with his crude, rude, insulting behavior, and that he did not represent America in a good light internationally. Then I turned the question back on them.

The first man said he was “going to build the wall,” which was “good.” He was “going to limit immigration, which was also good.” The second said the wall would not reduce illegal aliens, as they were mostly crossing our border with some kind of legal permission and then just staying. He added that President Obama expelled more “illegals” than any other President, and that the immigration problems were propaganda. He said Trump’s immigration policies were discriminatory. “Besides, he’s been divorced twice, hung out with porn stars, and mistreated women, which is against all religions.”

The first man seemed unconvinced.


This blog entry was contributed by Judy Aguayo, as part of our effort to bring back and share the stories of Mosaic of Peace 2018. The full blog is co-hosted by Unbound and by the Presbyterian Peacemaking Program.

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