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

RELIGIONS NEWS AGENCY (REDNA) – Former President Donald Trump invoked a dual loyalty trope Monday by claiming Jews who vote for Democrats hate Israel.

According to NBC News Trump in an interview with Sebastian Gorka, his former administration official, on Gorka’s web show said “Any Jewish person that votes for Democrats hates their religion,”

“They hate everything about Israel, and they should be ashamed of themselves, because Israel will be destroyed,” Trump continued, going on to discuss Iran’s nuclear ambitions.

The remarks echoed a trope that American Jews have split loyalties to the U.S. and Israel.

Trump made the comments during a discussion about the Israel-Hamas war when Gorka asked about Democratic criticisms of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and the country’s conservative-led government. Trump responded that he thinks Democrats “hate Israel.”

It’s not the first time Trump has made such remarks. When he was president in 2019, Trump said that “any Jewish people that vote for a Democrat” show “great disloyalty” or are uninformed. Following those remarks, Anti-Defamation League CEO Jonathan Greenblatt said it was “long overdue to stop using Jews as a political football.”

Greenblatt responded to Trump’s comments Monday, saying on X that “accusing Jews of hating their religion because they might vote for a particular party is defamatory & patently false.”

Trump campaign press secretary Karoline Leavitt defended his remarks.

“President Trump is right — the Democrat Party has turned into a full-blown anti-Israel, anti-Semitic, pro-terrorist cabal,” Leavitt said in a statement, pointing to issues including the Biden administration’s aid to Gaza and the speech in which Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., who is Jewish, called for new elections in Israel.

Trump has touted his record on Israel by citing his moving of the U.S. Embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. The move ignited deadly protests, in which Israeli forces killed dozens of Palestinians. He has also highlighted his steps in office to withdraw the U.S. from the Obama-era Iran nuclear deal.

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