Jewish Groups Slam Trump for 'Radioactive Antisemitic Tropes' After Saying U.S. Jews 'Don't Like Israel'

Trump's remarks to an Israeli journalist are 'overtly antisemitic and disgusting,' says Democratic senator, as ADL blasts 'classic antisemitic stereotypes about Israeli and Jewish control of Congress and the press'

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Former President Donald Trump speaks during a rally in Georgia, in September.
Former President Donald Trump speaks during a rally in Georgia, in September.Credit: Ben Gray,AP
Ben Samuels
Ben Samuels

WASHINGTON – Jewish establishment organizations and lawmakers on Friday slammed former U.S. President Donald Trump for saying that "the Jewish people in the United States either don't like Israel or don't care about it."

The former president made the comments – not his first binding together Jewish identity and support for Israel – in an audio clip from an interview with Israeli journalist Barak Ravid revealed on the podcast "Unholy."

The American Jewish Committee accused Trump of "once again fueling dangerous stereotypes about Jews," noting "his past support for Israel doesn’t give him license to traffic in radioactive antisemitic tropes – or peddle unfounded conclusions about the unbreakable ties that bind American Jews to Israel. Enough!"

Anti-Defamation League CEO Jonathan Greenblatt said Trump "used classic antisemitic stereotypes about Israeli and Jewish control of Congress and the press to bolster his argument." 

Sen. Brian Schatz, a Democrat from Hawaii, called Trump's remarks "overtly antisemitic and disgusting," saying "every American Jew of every political affiliation must denounce this."

Jewish Democratic Council for America CEO Halie Soifer tweeted "What [Trump] doesn't understand is that American Jews despise him - and all he stands for in the GOP because he's a depraved bigot who continues to attack our democracy & his policies are antithetical our values."

Trump told Ravid in the audio clip, "There's people in this country that are Jewish who no longer love Israel," claiming that "the evangelical Christians love Israel more than the Jews in this country." 

Trump also repeated an allegation he issued before that "it used to be that Israel had absolute power over Congress. And today, I think it's the exact opposite. And I think Obama and Biden did that."

Trump said the fact that Democrats "still get a lot of votes from Jewish" people is evidence of American Jews not liking or caring about Israel. "You look at the New York Times, The New York Times hates Israel – hates them – and the Jewish people that run the New York Times, I mean, the Sulzbergers."

Trump has repeatedly issued statements such as these, claiming that he was surprised more Jews did not vote for him in the 2020 presidential election due to his support for Israel.

He told ultra-Orthodox Ami magazine, for example, that "I did the [Golan] Heights, I did Jerusalem, and I did Iran — the Iran Deal was a disaster, right? And I also did many other things. Jewish people who live in the United States don't love Israel enough. Does that make sense to you? I'm not talking about Orthodox Jews. I believe we got 25 percent of the Jewish vote, and it doesn't make sense. It just seems strange to me."

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