Former president Donald Trump attacked American Jews in a post on his Truth Social platform on Sunday, saying Jews in the United States must “get their act together” and show more appreciation for the state of Israel “before it is too late.”
American Jews have long been accused of holding secret loyalty to Israel rather than the United States, and Trump’s post leaned on that antisemitic trope, suggesting that by virtue of their religion, American Jews should show more appreciation to Israel.
Trump also complained in the post that “no president” had done more for Israel than he had but that Christian evangelicals are “far more appreciative of this than the people of the Jewish faith, especially those living in the U.S.”
It was not the first time that Trump has suggested that American Jews, who traditionally have more often aligned with the Democratic Party on domestic policies, should be more supportive of him because of how he dealt with Israel.
“Jewish people who live in the United States don’t love Israel enough. Does that make sense to you?” he said in an interview last year with an Orthodox Jewish magazine, adding that it seemed “strange” to him that he did not have more Jewish support.
At a Hanukkah event at the White House in 2018, he drew criticism for referring to Israel as “your country” while speaking to American Jews. He was also rebuked when he said during an Oval Office meeting in 2019 that “any Jewish people who would vote for a Democrat, I think it shows either a total lack of knowledge or great disloyalty.”
Trump’s latest diatribe about Jews came as Republican candidates have made overt appeals to racial animus and resentments in the closing weeks of the midterm election campaign.
It also comes as leading Republican figures have failed to disavow musician and sometime-Trump supporter Ye, the rapper and fashion designer formerly known as Kanye West. Ye earlier this month tweeted that he wanted to go “death con 3” on “JEWISH PEOPLE,” an apparent reference to Defcon, the U.S. military defense readiness system. Instagram and Twitter removed posts by the artist, who had been featured on conservative Fox News host Tucker Carlson’s show.
Trump has long been frustrated that he has not drawn more support from American Jews, particularly when as president, he moved the U.S. Embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem and his Jewish son-in-law, Jared Kushner, helped negotiate new treaties between Israel and some of its Arab neighbors.
In Sunday’s post, Trump wrote that his support among people living in Israel is “a different story.” “Highest approval rating in the World, could easily be P.M.!” he wrote, contrasting his popularity in the foreign country with his support among American Jews.
Trump’s post drew quick criticism.
“We don’t need the former president, who curries favor with extremists and antisemites, to lecture us about the US-Israel relationship,” Anti-Defamation League chief executive and national director Jonathan Greenblatt said in a statement. “It is not about a quid pro quo; it rests on shared values and security interests. This ‘Jewsplaining’ is insulting and disgusting.”
On her personal Twitter account, Neera Tanden, a senior adviser to President Biden, wrote, “We should all stand against what feels like a growing chorus of anti-Semitism. There should be no quarter for it in our politics or culture.”