Controversy Erupts as Trump Claims Jewish Democrats ‘Harbor Dislike for Israel’

Controversy Erupts as Trump Claims Jewish Democrats ‘Harbor Dislike for Israel’

Donald Trump has come under fire for comments about Jewish Democrats after the former president said, “any Jewish person that votes for Democrats… [hates] everything about Israel”.

The comments reveal how Mr Trump intends to use the war between Israel and Hamas to attack President Joe Biden as the 2024 election nears.

Mr Trump made the comments on the America First radio show hosted by his former White House aide Sebastian Gorka. The former president criticised Democratic Senate leader Chuck Schumer, who recently suggested that Israel hold new elections as he criticised the leadership of Israel’s prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

Since the start of the war, the relationship between the Biden administration and Mr Netanyahu has deteriorated significantly – Mr Biden recently spoke to the prime minister for the first time in a month. After strongly supporting Israel, Mr Biden and other top Democrats have now taken to publically criticising the Israeli government for not taking enough care not to harm civilians – more than 30,000 Palestinians have died so far.

The Israeli counterattack was prompted by the Hamas attack on 7 October last year, when about 1,200 Israelis were killed.

“Why do the Democrats hate Bibi Netanyahu?” Mr Gorka asked Mr Trump on Monday.

“I actually think they hate Israel,” Mr Trump said. “And the Democrat Party hates Israel.”

Mr Biden has faced significant criticism from progressives for his steadfast support for Israel and for his administration continuing to send aid to the country.

“I really believe they hate Israel. And they also see a lot of votes. Don’t forget, when you see those Palestinian marches, I am amazed at how many people are in those marches,” Mr Trump said.

“And guys like Schumer see that, and to him it’s votes, I think it’s votes more than anything else – because he was always pro-Israel. He’s very anti-Israel now,” he added. “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.”

Mr Schumer retweeted a clip of Mr Trump making the comments, writing: “To make Israel a partisan issue only hurts Israel and the US-Israeli relationship. Trump is making highly partisan and hateful rants. I am working in a bipartisan way to ensure the US-Israeli relationship sustains for generations to come, buoyed by peace in the Middle East.”

Senator Brian Schatz of Hawaii, who is Jewish, blasted the remarks.

“It’s one of the most antisemitics things I’ve heard a public official say,” Mr Schatz told The Independent.

A Biden campaign spokesperson said in a statement, “The only person who should be ashamed here is Donald Trump”.

Maryland Senator Ben Cardin, the top Democrat on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, said the remarks were antisemitic.

“It is something you don’t want to see anyone say but you certainly a former president United States,” he told The Independent. “It’s something that is very harmful to this country. And just because he normalizes this type of speech doesn’t make it any better.”

“Donald Trump openly demeans Jewish Americans and reportedly thinks Adolf Hitler ‘did some good things’. He has said the only people he wants counting his money are ‘short guys wearing yarmulkes’, and praised neo-Nazis who chanted ‘Jews will not replace us’ as ‘very fine people’,” the spokesperson added.

Democratic Vermont representative Becca Balint said on X/Twitter that Mr Trump is a “truly hateful man who’s trying everything in his power to get Americans to hate each other”.

Steve Cohen, a House Democrat from Tennessee, told the outlet that Mr Trump “has no religion”, adding that he “never goes to church, certainly doesn’t know anything about Matthew and the New Testament and less about Jews and their commitment to social justice and Israel”.

Florida Democratic representative Debbie Wasserman Schultz told the outlet that Mr Trump “demonstrates daily his lack of fitness for the presidency by spreading dangerous stereotypes and embracing antisemites”.

On Monday, a Trump spokesperson pushed ahead with the former president’s narrative, saying, “The Biden Administration has given millions in aid to Gaza and the Iranian Regime, Democrats in Congress have signed petitions supporting Gaza terrorists and caved to the demands of far-left Palestinian extremists”.

“The Democrat Party has turned into a full-blown anti-Israel, anti-Semitic, pro-terrorist cabal,” spokesperson Karoline Leavitt said in a statement, according to Axios.

The Pew Research Center noted that in 2020 “US Jews are still a largely Democratic and politically liberal group today, as they have been for decades”.

Seventy-one per cent of American Jews identified with or leaned towards the Democrats in a survey conducted between 2019 and 2020.

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