Donald Trump says Jewish people who vote for Democrats show 'great disloyalty'

Cheryl Sanders
August 21, 2019

US President Donald Trump has faced a barrage of criticism after he said Jewish Americans who vote for Democrats display "either a total lack of knowledge or great disloyalty", sparking accusations that he is promoting and politicising anti-Semitism.

President Donald Trump said Jews who vote for Democrats are either ignorant or disloyal after two US congresswomen were blocked from entering Israel because they support a boycott of the country over its treatment of Palestinians.

The office of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, which has particularly close ties with the Trump administration, declined to comment on his remarks.

Israel had granted Omar and Tlaib permission to enter in principle last month, but banned them from visiting the country last Thursday under a 2017 law allowing it to expel or deny entry to anyone who backs BDS. "And all of a sudden I see this person who's crying because she can't see her grandmother".

American Jews have historically voted overwhelmingly for Democrats.

Many evangelical Christians, have embraced the idea that the return of Jews to the biblical land of Israel is in keeping with a Biblical prophecy and signals the second coming of Jesus Christ.

"It is risky and shameful for President Trump to attack the large majority of the American Jewish community as unintelligent and 'disloyal, '" J Street, a liberal Jewish-American lobbying group, said on Tuesday.

Following the outcry, Trump quoted right-wing radio show host Wayne Allyn Root on Twitter as describing the president as being loved by Israelis "like he's the King of Israel". But American Jews don't know him or like him.

She added that his remarks "fly in the face of President Trump's professed strong stance against anti-Jewish hate", adding: "American Jews - like British Jews - will vote for candidates from any party that best represent them on the full spectrum of issues, from healthcare and education, to fighting antisemitism".

Jonathan Greenblatt, the head of the Anti-Defamation League, said "charges of disloyalty have always been used to attack Jews", while the American Jewish Committee described the remark as "inappropriate, unwelcome and downright dangerous".

"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".

Trump has for weeks been attacking Tlaib and Omar, along with lawmakers Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Ayanna Pressley - all women of colour known as "The Squad".

A Pew Research Center poll conducted in April found that among Jewish Americans, 42% said Trump is favoring the Israelis too much, 6% said he's favoring the Palestinians too much and 47% said he's striking the right balance.

"Rashida has been one of the strongest allies of the Jewish people", Mayer added.

The Republican Jewish Committee, however, sided with Trump.

"You're not going to support me because I don't want your money", he said then. The campaign denied that the star carried any special meaning.

Ted Deutch, a Democratic congressman from Florida who has supported aspects of Trump's Israel policy in the past, including the decision to relocate the USA embassy to Jerusalem, was also harshly critical.

Other reports by iNewsToday