Several Jewish groups castigated President Trump this weekend over his speech on Saturday to the Israeli American Council’s national summit, accusing him of once again peddling dangerous anti-Semitic tropes while trying to appeal to Jewish voters.
In a 45-minute speech in Hollywood, Fla., Trump played on the anti-Semitic theme of Jews having dual loyalty to the United States and another country, before invoking the slur that Jews are hyper-focused on money, telling the crowd that to protect their money they will vote for him
Trump said, “We have to get them to love Israel more, because we have people that are Jewish people that are great people — they don’t love Israel enough.”
While speaking about moving the U.S. Embassy to Jerusalem, Trump appeared to invoke Jewish voters’ wealth while using broad stereotypes to describe their character.
“A lot of you are in the real estate business, because I know you very well. You’re brutal killers, not nice people at all,” he said. “But you have to vote for me — you have no choice. You’re not gonna vote for Pocahontas, I can tell you that. You’re not gonna vote for the wealth tax. Yeah, let’s take 100 percent of your wealth away!”
The Washington Post notes: “The president was using an insult aimed at Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.); also, none of the Democrats have proposed a 100 percent wealth tax.”
He continued: “Some of you don’t like me. Some of you I don’t like at all, actually. And you’re going to be my biggest supporters because you’re going to be out of business in about 15 minutes if they get it. So I don’t have to spend a lot of time on that.”
“This is outright and atrocious antisemitism coming from the President, and it is dangerous,” Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez tweeted.
This is outright and atrocious antisemitism coming from the President, and it is dangerous. https://t.co/E21xMrqSsP
— Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (@AOC) December 9, 2019
Trump “dipp[ed] into the deep well of anti-Semitic tropes that shape his worldview,” J Street, a liberal Jewish group, wrote on Twitter Sunday.
The Jewish Democratic Council of America slammed Trump’s remarks as “deeply offensive” and his use of stereotypes “unconscionable,” saying the Saturday night remarks “only reinforce our belief … that Donald Trump is the biggest threat to American Jews.”
“We strongly denounce these vile and bigoted remarks in which the president — once again — used anti-Semitic stereotypes to characterize Jews as driven by money and insufficiently loyal to Israel,” the group’s executive director, Halie Soifer, said in a statement. “He even had the audacity to suggest that Jews ‘have no choice’ but to support him. American Jews do have a choice, and they’re not choosing President Trump or the Republican Party, which has been complicit in enacting his hateful agenda.”
“Dear @POTUS,” the American Jewish Committee wrote to Trump on Twitter Sunday afternoon, “Much as we appreciate your unwavering support for Israel, surely there must be a better way to appeal to American Jewish voters, as you just did in Florida, than by money references that feed age-old and ugly stereotypes. Let’s stay off that mine-infested road.”
The Post reports:
Trump has a history of drawing the ire of Jewish organizations with comments invoking the same tropes that critics condemned this weekend.
In 2015, while speaking to the Republican Jewish Coalition as a presidential candidate, Trump suggested to a roomful of Jewish people that they wanted to “control” politicians through money, long decried as an anti-Semitic trope. He said, “You’re not going to support me because I don’t want your money. You want to control your politicians — that’s fine.” In 2016, his campaign released ads described as anti-Semitic. One, in the form of a tweet, featured Hillary Clinton superimposed over mounds of cash along with the Star of David and the phrase, “Most Corrupt Candidate Ever!” Another ominously suggested several powerful Jewish people — including billionaire George Soros, then-Goldman Sachs chairman Lloyd C. Blankfein and then-Federal Reserve chair Janet L. Yellen — were working with shadowy figures to support “global special interests.”
Most recently, in August, he invoked the “dual loyalty” trope — by suggesting American Jews who vote for Democrats are not loyal to Israel. His comments came in the wake of a separate dust-up involving Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-Minn.), who herself has been accused of using anti-Semitic stereotypes, and Rep. Rashida Tlaib (D-Mich.), who were barred by Israeli authorities from visiting the country. Trump, who has regularly derided the congresswomen, questioned why Democrats would support the U.S. congresswomen over the State of Israel.
Then he said: “I think Jewish people that vote for a Democrat — I think it shows either a total lack of knowledge or great disloyalty.”