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The White House on Monday called Donald Trump’s attack on American Jews anti-Semitic, after the former president wrote online that American Jews “must pull themselves together” and show more appreciation for the State of Israel “before it’s too late.”
Press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre told reporters in Washington Monday that “Donald Trump has allied himself with extremist and anti-Semitic figures” and that comments like those he made on his social media platform TruthSocial on Sunday “should be called out.” “.
“Donald Trump’s comments, as you all know, were anti-Semitic and offensive to both Jews and our Israeli allies,” she said. “But let’s be clear that Donald Trump has been aligning himself with extremist and anti-Semitic figures for years. … We must root out anti-Semitism wherever it rears its ugly head. We need to call that out. With regard to Israel, our relationship is ironclad and rooted in shared values and interests. Donald Trump obviously doesn’t understand that either.”
American Jews have long been accused of being more loyal to Israel than to the United States, and Trump’s post drew on this anti-Semitic expression to suggest that American Jews should show more appreciation for Israel because of their religion.
In Sunday’s message, Trump also complained that “no president” has done more for Israel than he has, but that Christian evangelicals “appreciate this much more than people of the Jewish faith, particularly those living in the United States.” .
Trump has previously suggested that American Jews, who traditionally have more often aligned with the Democratic Party on domestic politics, should give him more support for his dealings with Israel.
Trump, whose daughter Ivanka converted to Judaism before marrying her husband Jared Kushner in 2009, has long been frustrated that he has not received more support from American Jews. As president, Trump moved the US embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, and Kushner, who worked as a senior White House adviser, helped negotiate new treaties between Israel and some of its Arab neighbors.
In his Sunday post, Trump wrote that his support among people living in Israel was “a different story.” “Highest approval rating in the world, could easily be PM!” he wrote, juxtaposing his popularity abroad with his support among American Jews.
On a related matter, the White House also announced Monday that it will welcome Israeli President Isaac Herzog on Oct. 26 for a visit “underscoring the enduring partnership and friendship between the United States and Israel.”
Jean-Pierre said President Biden and Herzog “will consult on key issues, including regional and global challenges of common concern, ways to deepen Israel’s regional integration, and ways to advance equal action for freedom, prosperity and security for Israelis and Palestinians.” ”
Trump’s latest diatribe against Jews came as Republican candidates openly appealed to racist animus and resentment in the closing weeks of the midterm campaign. Trump’s comment also came shortly after the rapper, formerly known as Kanye West, posted anti-Semitic messages on Twitter and Instagram last week, which the platforms removed for violating their hate speech policies.
Republicans have been largely silent on Trump’s comments, while several Democrats and the Anti-Defamation League have condemned them.
“We don’t need the past president currying favor with extremists and anti-Semites to lecture us on US-Israel relations,” Jonathan Greenblatt, executive director and national director of the Anti-Defamation League, said in a statement Sunday . “It’s not about something in return; it is based on shared values and security interests. This ‘Jewsplaining’ is insulting and disgusting.”
Rosalind S. Helderman contributed to this report.