American Jews decry Trump's comments on 'disloyalty'

Only the Republican Jewish Coalition defended Trump on Tuesday.

By
August 21, 2019 16:51
4 minute read.

American Jews decry Trump's comments on 'disloyalty'

American Jews decry Trump's comments on 'disloyalty'

Jewish leaders and groups reacted to comment's by US President Donald Trump saying that "I think any Jewish people that vote for a Democrat -- I think it shows either total lack of knowledge or great disloyalty."

Halie Soifer, executive director of Jewish Democratic Council of America, called the president's remarks "yet another example of  Donald Trump continuing to weaponize and politicize antisemitism.

"At a time when antisemitic incidents have increased -- due to the president's emboldening of white nationalism -- Trump is repeating an antisemitic trope," Soifer said in a statement. "If this is about Israel, then Trump is repeating a dual loyalty claim, which is a form of antisemitism. 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."

The American Jewish Committee (AJC) likewise sharply criticized Trump's remarks.

"Enough, Mr. President," the organization tweeted. "American Jews – like all Americans – have a range of political views. Your assessment of their knowledge or loyalty, based on their party preference, is divisive, disrespectful, and unwelcome. Please stop. "

 
AJC's CEO, David Harris, added that "for the President to assert that Jews who vote Democratic show 'disloyalty' is outrageous. This is a free country. Jews aren’t a monolithic bloc, nor single-issue voters/ Some will vote Democratic, others Republican. As Americans, that’s their right. Please keep loyalty out of it."

Jonathan Greenblatt, CEO of the Anti-Defamation League, joined the criticism. He tweeted, "It’s unclear who the president 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 without these claims. It's long overdue to stop using Jews as a political football."

 
Politicians, too, pushed back at the president.

"The President accused most American Jews of being disloyal," Rep. Ted Deutch of Florida told CNN shortly after Trump's remarks. "That’s not just deeply and personally offensive, it’s extremely dangerous."

He called on "everyone who cares about our democracy" to condemn Trump's comments.

 
Also, Senator Jackie Rosen of Nevada said that "questioning the loyalty of American Jews is antisemitic. This is unacceptable, and it’s something we must call out and confront head on."

And former Ambassador of the United States of America to the State of Israel, Dan Shapiro, tweeted that Trump is "disgusting."


"He's disgusting, of course," wrote Shapiro. "But this deserves to be mocked, even more than condemned. He's literally pushing the Jewish Democratic vote higher every time he speaks."


Senator Bernie Sanders responded to the controversial comments, saying "I am a proud Jewish person and I have no concerns about voting Democrat.”

Sanders added a video in which he joked he means to “vote for a Jewish man to become the next president of the United States,” meaning himself.



Only the Republican Jewish Coalition defended Trump on Tuesday.

"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 organization tweeted. "The GOP, when rarely confronted with antisemitism of elected members always acts swiftly and decisively to punish and remove." 



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