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Trump says Jewish Democrats ‘hate’ their religion

Former president Donald Trump again claimed that the Democratic Party “hates Israel,” and that Jewish Americans who vote for Democrats “hate” their religion, echoing previous attacks he’s made about Jewish Democrats.

“I think they hate Israel,” Trump said of Democrats. He then said that Democrats “see a lot of votes” among Americans who oppose the Israel-Gaza war. The comments were in a lengthy interview with his former adviser Sebastian Gorka, a far-right agitator, posted online on Monday.

“Any Jewish person that votes for Democrats hates their religion,” Trump added.

Trump made the comments in response to a question from Gorka on Senate Majority Leader Charles E. Schumer’s (D-N.Y.) call for a “new election” in Israel last week.

Schumer, the highest-ranking Jewish official in the United States and a staunch ally of Israel, said on the Senate floor on Thursday that he thinks Israelis understand “better than anybody that Israel cannot hope to succeed as a pariah opposed by the rest of the world” and would choose better leaders if elections were held.

Schumer suggested that Israel hold new elections “once the war starts to wind down” to “express their vision for the postwar future,” and that the outcome of the election would be up to the Israelis — not Americans. But many Republicans took Schumer’s words as an attack on Israel, with Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) describing the call for a new election as “grotesque.”

Trump, in his interview with Gorka, went on a lengthy rant on the Democratic Party and Jewish Democrats. Doubling down on his attack on Schumer, the former president claimed that the Senate majority leader “was always pro-Israel” but that he’s “very anti-Israel now.”

“When you see those Palestinian marches, even I am amazed at how many people are in those marches,” Trump said. “And guys like Schumer see that and to him it’s votes.”

In a post on X on Monday, Schumer said making “Israel a partisan issue only hurts Israel and the US-Israeli relationship.”

“Trump is making highly partisan and hateful rant,” he said. “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.”

Spokespeople for the Democratic National Committee did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

In a statement to The Washington Post, White House spokesman Andrew Bates said there is “no justification for spreading toxic, false stereotypes that threaten fellow citizens. None.”

“As Antisemitic crimes and acts of hate have increased across the world — among them the deadliest attack committed against the Jewish people since the Holocaust — leaders have an obligation to call hate what it is and bring Americans together against it,” Bates said. “Like President Biden said, he was moved to run for President when he saw Neo Nazis chanting ‘the same Antisemitic bile that was heard in Germany in the 1930s’ in Charlottesville.”

This is not the first time Trump has targeted Jewish Democrats.

On the final day of Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish New Year celebration, Trump claimed last year that “liberal Jews” who didn’t support him were voting “to destroy America & Israel.”

In March 2019, he falsely said the Democratic Party is “anti-Israel” and “anti-Jewish.” Later that year, he tried to brand the Democratic Party as antisemitic by claiming that voters who support the Democratic Party were being “very disloyal to Israel and to the Jewish people.”

His use of the word “disloyalty” immediately drew criticism from Jewish groups who said Trump was echoing antisemitic tropes about where American Jews’ loyalty lies. Trump insisted then that his comments were not antisemitic.

Trump has repeatedly voiced his frustration over his unpopularity among Jewish voters, a bloc that supported Biden over Trump by a 70 percent to 27 percent margin in 2020 according to the Pew Research Center’s validated voter survey.

A different Pew poll released last month found that 79 percent of Jewish Americans have an unfavorable view of Trump, while 62 percent were favorable toward Biden. That same poll found that 35 percent of American Jews said Trump stands up for people with religious beliefs similar to theirs at least some of the time, while 59 percent said he does this “a little” or not at all.

Scott Clement contributed to this report.

This post appeared first on The Washington Post

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