NEW YORK: US President Donald Trump has been hit by a wave of criticism for accusing Jewish Democratic voters of “disloyalty,” but his comment also highlighted the unease of some in the community with its traditional party of choice, reports AFP.
Trump, who has positioned himself as a staunch ally of Israel, made the remark on Tuesday night while criticizing Democratic politicians who support a boycott of the Jewish state.“Where has the Democratic party gone?” Trump said, adding: “I think any Jewish people that vote for a Democrat, I think it shows either a total lack of knowledge or great disloyalty.”
Asked about the comments before flying to Kentucky the following day, Trump—in typical fashion—doubled down: “You vote for a Democrat, you’re being very disloyal to Jewish people and you’re being very disloyal to Israel.”
Members of America’s more than five million-strong Jewish community — 80 percent of whom voted Democratic in the 2018 mid-term elections, according to the Pew Research Center—have denounced his notion of loyalty and blamed the president for fuelling anti-Semitism.
“It’s a bit unclear what the president was trying to say in terms of who Jews are disloyal to... While he wasn’t exactly clear about that, I will be exactly clear on what that was: anti-Semitic,” Jonathan Greenblatt, the CEO of the Anti-Defamation League, said on CNN.
The president “has no right to tell Jewish Americans he knows what is best for us or to demand our loyalty,” said Halie Soifer, executive director for the Jewish Democratic Council of America.