Former President Donald Trump on Sunday criticized American Jews for what he argued was their insufficient praise of his policies toward Israel, warning that they need to “get their act together” before “it is too late!”
The suggestion, made on Trump’s social media platform Truth Social, plays into the antisemitic trope that US Jews have dual loyalties to the US and to Israel, and it drew immediate condemnation.
“No President has done more for Israel than I have,” Trump wrote before saying it was somewhat surprising that “our wonderful Evangelicals are far more appreciative of this than the people of the Jewish faith, especially those living in the U.S.”
The head of the American Defamation League, Jonathan Greenblatt accused Trump of “Jewsplaining.”
“We don’t need the former president, who curries favor with extremists and antisemites, to lecture us about the US-Israel relationship. It is not about a quid pro quo; it rests on shared values and security interests. This ‘Jewsplaining’ is insulting and disgusting,” he wrote.
The Jewish Democratic Council of America similarly lambasted Trump’s remarks. “His threat to Jewish Americans and his continued use of the antisemitic dual loyalty trope fuels hatred against Jews,” the group tweeted. “We will not be threatened by Donald Trump and Jewish Americans will reject GOP bigotry this November.”
White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre called the comments “antisemitic” and “insulting both to Jews and to our Israeli allies.”
“Donald Trump’s comments were antisemitic, as you all know, and insulting both to Jews and to our Israeli allies. But let’s be clear, for years, for years now- Donald Trump has aligned with extremist and antisemitic figures and it should be called out,” Jean-Pierre said Monday.
Trump’s comments echo an argument he has made before. In an interview last December, the former President argued that Jewish Americans “either don’t like Israel or don’t care about Israel,” and also repeated his claim that evangelicals “love Israel more than the Jews in this country.”
A Pew Research survey released in 2021 found that 45% of Jewish adults in the US viewed caring about Israel as “essential” to what being Jewish means, with an additional 37% saying it was “important, but not essential.” Only 16% said caring about Israel was “not important.”
During his first campaign for president, Trump delivered a speech to the Republican Jewish Coalition that was rife with antisemitic stereotypes.