Judeo-American groups condemn Trump’s comment that every Jew voting Democrat is disloyal

WASHINGTON – Showing a new willingness to play politics along religious and racial lines, President Donald Trump said on Tuesday that American Jews who vote Democrats show “a complete lack of knowledge or great disloyalty “.

Trump’s claim sparked a quick outcry from critics who said the president was trading anti-Semitic stereotypes. It happened amid her ongoing feud with Democratic Congressman Ilhan Omar of Minnesota and Rashida Tlaib of Michigan, both Muslims.

Trump has aligned himself closely with Israel, including his conservative Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, while Muslim lawmakers have openly criticized Israel’s treatment of the Palestinians. Tlaib is an American of Palestinian origin, while Omar was born in Somalia.

“Where has the Democratic Party gone? Where have they gone where they are defending these two people against the State of Israel? Trump told reporters in the Oval Office. “I think any Jewish people who vote for a Democrat, I think it shows either a complete lack of knowledge or a great disloyalty. “

At Trump’s request, Israel last week blocked Omar and Tlaib from entering the country. Israel then agreed to a humanitarian visit for Tlaib to visit his grandmother, who lives in the West Bank. Tlaib refused, saying her grandmother had finally urged her not to find herself in what they saw as humiliating circumstances.

Trump called Omar a “disaster” for Jews and said he had not “bought” the tears Tlaib shed on Monday as she discussed the situation. Both members of Congress support the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement, a global protest against Israel.

Trump’s words were quickly denounced by American Jewish organizations.

“This is yet another example of Donald Trump continuing to militarize and politicize anti-Semitism,” said Halie Soifer, executive director of the Jewish Democratic Council of America. “At a time when anti-Semitic incidents have increased – due to the president’s emboldening of white nationalism – Trump is repeating an anti-Semitic trope. “

Logan Bayroff of the pro-Israel liberal group J Street said it was “no surprise that the president’s racist and spurious attacks on progressive women of color in Congress have now turned into defamation of Jews.”

“It is dangerous and shameful for President Trump to attack the vast majority of American Jewish community as being unintelligent and ‘disloyal’,” Bayroff said. A number of groups have noted that accusations of disloyalty have long been leveled against Jews, including in Europe in the 1930s.

Ann Lewis and Mark Mellman of Democratic Majority for Israel called it “one of the most dangerous and deadly charges that Jews have faced over the years.” Over the centuries, false accusations of disloyalty have led to the murder, imprisonment and torture of Jews.

The Republican Jewish Coalition defended Trump, arguing that the president was talking about people disloyal to themselves rather than to Israel.

“President Trump is right, it shows a lot of disloyalty to yourself in standing up for a party that protects / emboldens people who hate you for your religion,” the group said in a tweet. “The @GOP, when rarely confronted with the anti-Semitism of elected members, always acts swiftly and decisively to punish and eliminate. “

American Jews don’t necessarily support everything Israel does, nor do most voters who stick to one question.

Recent polls show that a majority of Jews identify as Democrats.

According to AP VoteCast, a 2018 electorate survey, 72% of Jewish voters supported the Democratic House candidates in 2018. Likewise, 74% said they disapproved of the way Trump handled his work.

A Pew Research Center poll in April found that among American Jews, 42% said Trump favored Israelis too much, 6% said he favored Palestinians too much, and 47% said he found the right one. balance. Jews were more likely than Christians to say that Trump was too biased towards Israelis, 42% to 26%.

Omar has been heavily criticized by members of both parties for saying in a town hall earlier this year that she wanted to discuss “the political influence in this country which says it is okay for people to pledge allegiance to a foreign country “.

This is not the first time Trump has come under fire for comments some consider anti-Semitic. In 2015, Trump, then a candidate, addressed the Republican Jewish Coalition and made a similar comment.

“You’re not going to support me because I don’t want your money,” he said then. “You want to control your politicians, that’s good.”

Later in the campaign, he tweeted a graphic critical of his opponent Hillary Clinton which featured a six-pointed star, a stack of cash and the words “most corrupt candidate of all time.” The star was considered by many to be the Star of David, which appears on the Israeli flag. The campaign denied that the star has any special meaning.

The president first attacked Omar and Tlaib, along with two other Democratic congressmen of color, last month, telling them to “return” to their home countries. All four are US citizens.

About Alma Ackerman

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