Lieberman: Democratic Party is not anti-Jewish, but some members say anti-Semitic things

Lieberman: Democratic Party is not anti-Jewish, but some members say anti-Semitic things
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Former Sen. Joe Lieberman (I-Conn.), who was once a Democrat, said in an interview broadcast Sunday that the Democratic Party "is not an anti-Jewish party" but that it has members who say anti-Semitic things.

"The Democratic Party is not an anti-Jewish party, but there are some people in the party now, including in Congress as we've seen from Congresswoman Omar...who are saying explicitly anti-Semitic things," Lieberman, who is Jewish, said in an interview with radio host John Catsimatidis on AM 970 in New York. 

Lieberman was referring to remarks from Rep. Ilhan OmarIlhan OmarMaher rails against anti-Israel boycott movement: 'A bulls--- purity test' for Democrats Pelosi hits Trump, Netanyahu for 'weakness' amid tensions over Omar and Tlaib Ocasio-Cortez brushes off Trump tweet claiming she is 'fuming' over Tlaib, Omar attention MORE (D-Minn.) in recent weeks that were widely panned by lawmakers from both parties as involving anti-Semitic tropes.

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Meanwhile, Democrats have pushed back in recent days on President TrumpDonald John TrumpTrump watching 'very closely' as Portland braces for dueling protests WaPo calls Trump admin 'another threat' to endangered species Are Democrats turning Trump-like? MORE after he accused the Democratic Party earlier this month of being "anti-Jewish." 

“His comments show the president is only interested in playing the politics of division and not in fighting anti-Semitism. Mr. President, you have redefined chutzpah," Senate Minority Leader Charles SchumerCharles (Chuck) Ellis SchumerAppropriators warn White House against clawing back foreign aid Colorado candidates vying to take on Gardner warn Hickenlooper they won't back down Trump ahead of New Hampshire speech: Lewandowski would be 'fantastic' senator MORE (D-N.Y.) said last week.

Lieberman, a centrist who ran for vice president on Al GoreAlbert (Al) Arnold Gore2020 Democrats release joint statement ahead of Trump's New Hampshire rally Deregulated energy markets made Texas a clean energy giant Gun safety is actually a consensus issue MORE's Democratic ticket in 2000, weighed in after Trump this week continued promoting a "Jexodus" or push for a "Jewish exodus" from the Democratic Party.

“'Jewish people are leaving the Democratic Party. We saw a lot of anti Israel policies start under the Obama Administration, and it got worsts & worse. There is anti-Semitism in the Democratic Party. They don’t care about Israel or the Jewish people,'” Trump tweeted Tuesday, quoting activist Elizabeth Pipko.

He urged Jewish voters to become Republicans again on Friday, implying that Republicans have been more supportive of Israel.

"The ‘Jexodus’ movement encourages Jewish people to leave the Democrat Party. Total disrespect! Republicans are waiting with open arms," he tweeted. "Remember Jerusalem (U.S. Embassy) and the horrible Iran Nuclear Deal!"

While doing exit polling during the 2018 midterms, CNN found that 79 percent of Jewish respondents said they voted for Democrats while 17 percent said they voted for Republicans. 

Trump's comments were sparked by remarks by Omar. The freshman lawmaker sparked backlash when she equated support for Israel to allegiance with a foreign country. Her supporters said she was criticizing the Israel lobby, but opponents slammed her remark as playing into an anti-Semitic "dual loyalty" trope.