Trump says Jews who vote for Democrats ‘hate Israel and their religion’

(Meg Kinnard/Associated Press)

Trump says Jews who vote for Democrats ‘hate Israel and their religion’



March 19, 2024

Former President


Trump charged Monday that Jews who vote for Democrats “hate Israel” and hate their religion, sparking a firestorm of criticism from the White House and Jewish leaders.

Trump was asked in an interview about Democrats’ growing criticism of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu over his handling of the war in Gaza as civilian casualties continue to rise.

I actually think they hate Israel, Trump responded to his former aide, Sebastian Gorka. I think they hate Israel. And the Democratic party hates Israel.

Trump, who last week became the Republican Party’s presumptive nominee, went on to charge: Every Jewish person who votes for Democrats hates their religion. They hate everything about Israel and they should be ashamed because Israel will be destroyed.

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The comments prompted immediate backlash from the White House President


Biden’s campaign and Jewish leaders. The vast majority of Jewish Americans identify as Democrats, but Trump has often accused them of disloyalty, perpetuating what critics say is an anti-Semitic trope.

At the White House, spokesman Andrew Bates dismissed the comments as vile and unhinged anti-Semitic rhetoric “without mentioning Trump by name.”

As anti-Semitic crimes and acts of hatred have increased around the world, including the deadliest attack against the Jewish people since the Holocaust, leaders have a duty to call hate what it is and unite Americans against it, he said. There is no justification for spreading toxic, false stereotypes that threaten fellow citizens. No.

Biden’s campaign said: The only person who should be ashamed of this is Donald Trump.

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Trump will lose again in November because Americans are tired of his hateful grudges, personal attacks and extreme agenda,” said spokesman James Singer.

Jonathan Greenblatt, head of the Anti-Defamation League, said: “Accusing Jews of hating their religion because they might vote for a particular party is slanderous and patently false.”

Serious leaders who care about the historic US-Israel alliance should focus on strengthening bipartisan support for the State of Israel, rather than unraveling it, he wrote on X, formerly known as Twitter.

Trump’s comments come as Biden faces increasing pressure from his party’s progressive wing over his administration’s support for Israel in the retaliatory offensive in Gaza. More than 30,000 Palestinians have been killed since Hamas attacked Israel on October 1. 7, according to the Ministry of Health in the Hamas-ruled area.

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While Biden continues to support Israel’s right to defend itself, he has increasingly criticized Netanyahu. After his State of the Union address, he said he needed a “Come to Jesus” conversation with the Israeli leader. He has also accused Netanyahu of hurting Israel more than helping Israel.” He says he needs to pay more attention to the innocent lives lost as a result of the actions taken.

Trump was particularly concerned about recent comments from Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, the nation’s top Jewish official. In a speech last week, Schumer sharply criticized Netanyahu’s handling of the war in Gaza, warning that the civilian toll was damaging Israel’s standing around the world. He also called on Israel to hold new elections.

While the White House formally distanced itself from Schumer’s comments, the Democratic leader and key ally expressed a view that has been increasingly shared under the Biden administration.

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Schumer, who accused Trump of being deeply anti-Israel, now responded by accusing Trump of making highly partisan and hateful rants.

Making Israel a partisan issue only harms Israel and the American-Israeli relationship, he wrote on X.

The Pew Research Center reported in 2021 that Jews are among the most consistently liberal and Democratic groups in the US, with seven in 10 Jewish adults identifying with or leaning toward the Democratic Party. In 2020, it found that nearly three-quarters of American Jews disapproved of Trump’s performance as president, while only 27% viewed him favorably.

Americans have also become increasingly upset about Israel’s military operation in Gaza, according to surveys by the Associated Press and the NORC Center for Public Affairs Research. In January, 50% of American adults said Israel’s military response in the Gaza Strip had gone too far, up from 40% in November.

That number was higher among Democrats, six in 10 of whom said the same in both surveys.

Jill Colvin writes for the Associated Press. AP White House Correspondent Zeke Miller contributed to this report from Washington.


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