Jewish Groups Rebuke Trump Over Claim That U.S. Jews Voting Democrat Are 'Disloyal'

Trump said Jews who don’t vote for him are showing “ignorance” and “great disloyalty”. ADL noted that 'Charges of disloyalty have long been used to attack Jews'

Trump winks at a journalist while speaking during a meeting with Romanian President Klaus Iohannis in the Oval Office of the White House,  in Washington, on Tuesday, August 20, 2019.
Alex Brandon,AP

WASHINGTON — Prominent Jewish American organizations denounced President Donald Trump on Tuesday for his statement that Jews who don’t vote for him and his party are showing “ignorance” and “great disloyalty.”

Several large organizations — including some that came out against Democratic Congresswomen Ilhan Omar and Rashida Tlaib in the controversy surrounding their nixed visit to Israel and the West Bank — condemned Trump's remarks.  

Jewish Groups Rebuke Trump Over Claim That U.S. Jews Voting Democrat Are 'Disloyal'

“Enough Mr. President. American Jews – like all Americans – have a range of political views. Your assessment of their knowledge or loyalty, based on their party preference, is divisive, disrespectful, and unwelcome. Please stop,” the American Jewish Committee wrote in a direct plea to Trump.

Jonathan Greenblatt, chief executive of the Anti-Defamation League, the leading organization devoted to tracking and fighting anti-Semitism, also bashed Trump.

“Charges of disloyalty have long been used to attack Jews. As we’ve said before, it's possible to engage in the democratic process without these claims. It's long overdue to stop using Jews as a political football,” Greenblatt said.  

>> Read more: Trump and Netanyahu just broke the special relationship between America and Israel | Opinion ■ Nixing Tlaib and Omar visit, Netanyahu harms Israel to assuage Trump’s ego | Analysis ■ In the Tlaib-Omar saga, all the politicians are winners | Analysis 

Also criticizing Trump, the Israel Policy Forum said in a statement: “The president's words are appalling but unsurprising given his record of inappropriate remarks as well as his efforts to leverage Israel as a wedge issue in U.S. politics.”  

Rabbi Jonah Pesner, director of the Reform Movement’s Religious Action Center, wrote on Twitter: “Suggesting that Jews are disloyal for exercising the right to vote is irresponsible and dangerous. Political and religious freedom are hallmarks of this nation and protect people of all faiths and no faith. Stop using the Jewish community to score political points.”

Halie Soifer, executive director of the Jewish Democratic Council, accused Trump of "repeating an anti-Semitic trope.”

"If this is about Israel, then Trump is repeating a dual loyalty claim, which is a form of anti-Semitism. If this is about Jews being 'loyal' to him, then Trump needs a reality check. We live in a democracy, and Jewish support for the Republican Party has been halved in the past four years," Soifer said.

David Bernstein, CEO of the Jewish Council for Public Affairs, called Trump’s words “outrageous,” adding that Trump “should immediately apologize and Republican officials, in particular, should call him out for them.”

The Republican Jewish Coalition, the only Jewish organization that voiced its support for Trump, tweeted that the U.S. president meant Jews are “disloyal” to their own community by voting for Democrats.