Middle East Monitor / September 21, 2020
US President Donald Trump told American Jews that he “loved their country” during a New Year greeting, sparking criticisms that he used an anti-Semitic trope.
Suggesting Jewish people have dual loyalties between Israel and their own country is considered anti-Semitic by many.
Whilst speaking to Jewish leaders on the important Jewish holiday of Rosh Hashanah, Trump turned the conversation towards his campaign for re-election as president, and stressed the importance that the Jewish people voted for him, warning if he didn’t win then “Israel is in big trouble”.
He said on the call: “And I have to say this, whatever you can do in terms of November 3rd is going to be very important because if we don’t win, Israel is in big trouble.”
He continued: “What really amazes me, and I have to tell you because I saw a poll, that in the last election I got 25% of the Jewish vote. And I said here I have a son-in-law and a daughter who are Jewish, I have beautiful grandchildren that are Jewish.”
“This is really a time that’s very important in the life of Israel and the safety of Israel. And we will do a great job,” he said. “If the other side gets in all bets are off. I think it’ll be a whole different story. I think it’ll be exactly the opposite.”
This is not the first time Trump has suggested American Jews have dual loyalties between the US and Israel, in 2019 he accused Democrat-voting American Jews they showed “great disloyalty” to Israel by not voting for him in the previous election.
Trump has gained a reputation for being incredibly pro-Israel, including recognising the occupied Golan Heights as Israeli territory, moving the US embassy to Jerusalem, launching a “peace plan” that would see Palestine decimated into pockets with a tunnel connecting the West Bank and Gaza, and has overseen the historic normalisation between Arab nations Bahrain and the UAE with Israel.
He was also declared as being “sent from god to save Israel from Iran” by US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo.