April 21, 2024

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Trump says that Jews who vote for Democrats “hate Israel” and their religion

Trump says that Jews who vote for Democrats “hate Israel” and their religion

NEW YORK (AP) — Former Pres Donald Trump On Monday he accused Jews who vote for Democrats of “hating Israel” and hating “their religion,” sparking a firestorm of criticism from the White House and Jewish leaders.

Trump was asked, in an interview, about the Democrats' increasing criticism of the Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu Because of his handling of the war in Gaza as the civilian death toll continues to rise.

Trump responded to his former aide Sebastian Gorka: “I actually think they hate Israel.” I think they hate Israel. “The Democratic Party hates Israel.”

Trump, who last week became the presumptive nominee of the Republican Party, went on to say: “Any Jewish person who votes for the Democrats hates his religion. They hate everything related to Israel and they should be ashamed of themselves because Israel will be destroyed.”

The comments sparked immediate backlash from the White House, President Joe Biden's campaign and Jewish leaders. The vast majority of Jewish Americans identify as Democrats, but Trump has often accused them of disloyalty, perpetuating what critics say is an anti-Semitic trope.

At the White House, White House spokesman Andrew Bates called the comments “vile and despicable anti-Semitic rhetoric” without mentioning Trump by name.

“With anti-Semitic crimes and acts of hate on the rise around the world — including the deadliest attack against Jewish people since the Holocaust — leaders have an obligation to call hate what it is and unite Americans against it,” he said. “There is no justification for spreading toxic and false stereotypes that threaten citizens. no one.”

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“The only person who should be ashamed here is Donald Trump,” the Biden campaign said.

Spokesman James Singer said: “Trump will lose again next November because Americans are tired of his hateful resentment, personal attacks, and extremist agenda.”

“Accusing Jews of hating their religion because they might vote for a particular party is slander and a clear lie,” said Jonathan Greenblatt, president of the Anti-Defamation League.

“Serious leaders who care about the historic alliance between the United States and Israel should focus on strengthening, rather than dismantling, partisan support for the State of Israel,” he wrote on X, formerly known as Twitter.

Trump's comments come as he confronts Biden Pressure mounting From the progressive wing of his party at the expense of his administration Supporting Israel in its retaliatory attack on Gaza. more than 30 thousand Palestinians They have since been killed Hamas attacked Israel on October 7. According to the Ministry of Health in the Hamas-controlled Gaza Strip.

While Biden continues to support Israel's right to defend itself, he has increasingly criticized Netanyahu. After his State of the Union address, he said he needed to get… “Come to Jesus” Conversation with the Israeli leader. Netanyahu was also accused of this “It is more hurting Israel than helping it“He must pay more attention to the innocent lives lost as a result of the measures taken,” he said.

Trump was particularly interested in recent comments by Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, the country's highest-ranking Jewish official. In a speech Schumer gave last week He slammed hard Netanyahu dealt with The war in GazaWarning that civilian casualties harm Israel's standing around the world. He also called on Israel to hold new elections.

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While the White House formally distanced itself from Schumer's comments, the Democratic leader and key ally was increasingly expressing an opinion of the Biden administration.

Schumer — whom Trump accused of being “very anti-Israel now” — responded by accusing Trump of “making very partisan and hateful statements.”

“Making Israel a partisan issue only harms Israel and the American-Israeli relationship,” he wrote on X.

Pew Research Center It reported in 2021 that Jews are “among the most consistently liberal and Democratic groups in the United States,” with 7 in 10 Jewish adults identifying with or leaning toward the Democratic Party. In 2020, it found that nearly three-quarters of American Jews disapproved of Trump's performance as president, with only 27% rating him favorably.

Americans are also increasingly dissatisfied with the Israeli military operation in Gaza Polls from The Associated Press and NORC Center for Public Affairs Research. In January, 50% of American adults said the Israeli military response in the Gaza Strip had gone too far, compared to 40% in November.

This number was higher among Democrats, with 6 in 10 saying the same in both polls.

___ AP White House correspondent Zeke Miller contributed to this report from Washington.