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Chief of Anti-Defamation League has condemned Trump for using anti-Semitic tropes

Photo Credit: Mathew Imaging/Filmmagic

Jonathan Greenblatt says that ‘insinuating that Israel or the Jews control Congress or the media is antisemitic’ The Anti-Defamation League’s chief executive led the condemnation of Donald Trump after the former president used antisemitic tropes in remarks about American Jews and Israel.

“Insinuating that Israel or the Jews control Congress or the media is antisemitic, plain and simple,” Jonathan Greenblatt said. “Unfortunately, this is not the first time he has made these offensive remarks.”

Trump was speaking with journalist Barak Ravid, who is writing a book about Trump and the Middle East. Unholy: Two Jews on the News, a podcast, aired parts of the interview on Friday.

“It’s a very dangerous thing that’s happening,” Trump said. “There are people in this country that are Jewish and no longer love Israel. I’ll tell you, the evangelical Christians love Israel more than the Jews in this country.”

Trump also used a line about Israel and Congress that he had previously delivered to a Jewish audience in 2019.

“It used to be that Israel had absolute power over Congress,” he said, “and today I think it’s the exact opposite. And I think Obama and Biden did that. And yet in the election, they still get a lot of votes from the Jewish people. Which tells you that the Jewish people, and I’ve said this for a long time, the Jewish people in the United States either don’t like Israel or don’t care about Israel.”

Trump also said “they’re Jewish people that run the New York Times” and claimed the newspaper “hates Israel”.

On Twitter, Greenblatt said: “Once again, former President Trump has linked his lack of strong support among most US Jews to their feelings about Israel and used classic antisemitic stereotypes about Israeli and Jewish control of Congress and the press to bolster his argument.

“It’s sad that once again we have to restate this point, but the vast majority of American Jews support and have some type of connection to Israel, regardless of which political candidate they vote for.

“Let me be clear: insinuating that Israel or the Jews control Congress or the media is antisemitic, plain and simple. Unfortunately, this is not the first time he has made these offensive remarks.”

The American Jewish Committee said: “Why is Mr. Trump once again fueling dangerous stereotypes about Jews? His past support for Israel doesn’t give him license to traffic in radioactive antisemitic tropes – or peddle unfounded conclusions about the unbreakable ties that bind American Jews to Israel. Enough!”

Notably, Republicans who have previously condemned Democrats, including Minnesota Rep. Ilhan Omar, for allegedly using antisemitic tropes did not rush to respond to Trump’s remarks.

Amid widespread anger, the former Obama adviser Ben Rhodes said: “If Ilhan Omar said the same things Trump did it would dominate politics and media for a week, statements issued from every organization, (bipartisan) resolutions in Congress, etc. What bullshit.”

Bill Pascrell, a New Jersey Democrat, said: “There can be no question that the words by Donald Trump are vile, despicable antisemitism … This level of hate is not just tolerated but invited by the modern GOP.”

Qasim Rashid, a human rights lawyer, and radio host, said: “While American Jews represent only 2% of Americans, FBI data shows Jews suffer more than 60% of religiously motivated hate crimes.

“Donald Trump’s reckless antisemitism further endangers Jewish Americans, and the GOP proudly standing by him makes them complicit. Unacceptable.”

Ravid, like many other authors, interviewed Trump at Mar-a-Lago following his defeat by Joe Biden in the 2020 election and his attempts to overturn that result, including stoking the deadly attack on the US Capitol on January 6.

Ravid’s interview has already made news, just after Trump’s claimed remark about former Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, a key ally when he was in power: “Fuck him.”

According to Axios, Trump said: “The first person that congratulated [Biden] was Bibi Netanyahu, the man that I did more for than any other person I dealt with … Bibi could have stayed quiet. He has made a terrible mistake.”

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