Others have sought comfort in the fact that Trump has made some positive noises towards Israel, and that Binyamin Netanyahu has given him a friendly welcome. But this is to forget what European Jews learned long ago: that nasty rightwing nationalists can be pro-Israel – for reasons utterly alien to Jews’ own feelings about the country.
So ultra-nationalists might admire Israel either because they see it as standing up to those they deem the Muslim enemy or because they like the idea of a country far away that might take the Jews off their hands. Neither of these sentiments makes them pro-Jewish.
This distinction has set European Jewish communities at odds with Israeli governments repeatedly over the years. It’s happening again now in Austria, as the local Jewish community fears the far-right presidential candidate Norbert Hofer even as Israeli officials have engaged with him.
Small European communities have been saying for years now that pro-Israel is not the same as pro-Jewish. But they were too small to be listened to.
Jonathan Freedland: The US will no longer feel like a haven for Jews under Trump