Jewish groups condemn Trump’s ‘disloyalty’ remark

Jewish groups condemned President Trump’s Tuesday remarks calling American Jews who vote for Democrats disloyal. 

The groups said that the president’s Oval Office comment wrongly suggests Jews have a dual loyalty claim to Israel and plays on anti-Semitic tropes. 

“This is yet another example of Donald Trump continuing to weaponize and politicize anti-Semitism. 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,” said Halie Soifer, the Jewish Democratic Council of America’s executive director.{mosads}

Trump had earlier said, “I think Jewish people that vote for a Democrat — I think it shows either a total lack of knowledge or great disloyalty.”

Trump didn’t directly state who the disloyalty was being shown was to. 

“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,” she said. 

Left-leaning Jewish advocacy group J Street called the comment “disgusting.” 

The American Jewish Committee said that political affiliation is not tied to religious identity and urged Trump to stop making his “divisive” and “disrespectful” judgements.

Jonathan Greenblatt, CEO of the Anti-Defamation League, condemned the remarks and issued a call for Trump and others to “stop using Jews as a political football.”

“It’s unclear who @POTUS is claiming Jews would be ‘disloyal’ to, but charges of disloyalty have long been used to attack Jews. As we’ve said before, it’s possible to engage in the democratic process w/o these claims. It’s long overdue to stop using Jews as a political football,” Greenblatt tweeted.  

 But the Republican Jewish Coalition defended Trump and said his remarks are “right.” 

“President Trump is right, it shows a great deal of disloyalty to oneself to defend a party that protects/emboldens people that hate you for your religion. The @GOP, when rarely confronted w/anti-Semitism of elected members always acts swiftly and decisively to punish and remove,” it tweeted.  

Trump’s comments follow his push last week for Israel to block Democratic Reps. Rashida Tlaib (Mich.) and Ilhan Omar (Minn.) from visiting the country because of their support for a boycott of the nation. The move and his support of it were also widely condemned by some Jewish groups. 

Trump has previously conflated Jewish Americans with Israelis. In April, speaking to the Republican Jewish Coalition, Trump called Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu “your prime minister.”

Updated at 6:41 p.m.

Tags American Jewish Committee anti-Semistim Benjamin Netanyahu Donald Trump Ilhan Omar J Street Jewish Americans Jewish Democratic Council of America Racism Rashida Tlaib Trump

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