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Trump: American Jews “Don’t Like Israel Or Don’t Care About Israel”

Former President Donald Trump said in an interview with Israeli journalist Barak Raviv that American Jews “either don’t like Israel or don’t care about Israel.”

Aaron Bandler is a staff writer for the Jewish Journal, mainly covering anti-Semitism and anti-Israel bias. Originally from the Bay Area, his past work experience includes writing for The Daily Wire, The Daily Caller and Townhall.

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Aaron Bandler
Aaron Bandler is a staff writer for the Jewish Journal, mainly covering anti-Semitism and anti-Israel bias. Originally from the Bay Area, his past work experience includes writing for The Daily Wire, The Daily Caller and Townhall.

Former President Donald Trump said in an interview with Israeli journalist Barak Raviv that American Jews “either don’t like Israel or don’t care about Israel.”

The interview, parts of which were played on a December 17 edition of the “Unholy: Two Jews on the news” podcast, featured Trump telling Raviv: “There’s people in this country that are Jewish [who] no longer love Israel. I’ll tell you the evangelical Christians love Israel more than the Jews of this country. It used to be that Israel had absolute power over Congress, and today I think it’s the exact opposite. And I think [former President Barack] Obama and [President Joe] Biden did that.

“And yet in the election, they still get a lot of votes from Jewish people, which tells you that the Jewish people––and I’ve said this for a long time––the Jewish people in the United States either don’t like Israel or don’t care about Israel,” he added. “I mean, you look at The New York Times, The New York Times hates Israel. Hates them. And they’re Jewish people who run The New York Times, I mean the Sulzberger family.”

The Anti-Defamation League (ADL) and American Jewish Committee (AJC) criticized Trump’s remarks.

“Once again, former President Trump has linked his lack of strong support among most US Jews to their feelings about Israel and used classic #antisemitic stereotypes about Israeli and Jewish control of Congress and the press to bolster his argument,” ADL CEO Jonathan Greenblatt tweeted. “It’s sad that once again we have to restate this point, but the vast majority of American Jews support and have some type of connection to Israel, regardless of which political candidate they vote for.

“Let me be clear: insinuating that Israel or the Jews control Congress or the media is antisemitic, plain and simple. Unfortunately, this is not the first time he has made these offensive remarks.” In an October 29 radio interview, Trump said that “Israel had such power, and rightfully over Congress, and now it doesn’t.”

The American Jewish Committee tweeted, “Why is Mr. Trump once again fueling dangerous stereotypes about Jews? His past support for Israel doesn’t give him license to traffic in radioactive antisemitic tropes — or peddle unfounded conclusions about the unbreakable ties that bind American Jews to Israel. Enough!”

Former Congressional staffer Boris Ryvkin defended Trump in a Twitter thread. “Israel is a solidly center-right to right wing country, and seems to be getting more right with each passing year,” he wrote. “[Former Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin] Netanyahu was barely ousted from power [because] of Netanyahu rather than his policy positions which are broadly popular and the Israeli consensus.”

He added: “American Jews, by contrast, have veered ever more to the political left — a process which Trump helped to hasten. Their views on Israel and what it should do would be squarely on the fringe of Israeli politics today. They either don’t understand that or don’t much care.” Ryvkin argued that Trump’s policies on Israel were “fully aligned with the Israeli mainstream, but out of step with the American Jewish mainstream. He apparently thought the two were on the same page and expected some gratitude from the latter. He just didn’t get it.”

 

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