Donald Trump is facing backlash after sounding off about what he called the “dangerous” apathy of American Jews towards Israel and claiming that the country once had “absolute power” over the US Congress.
During a recent interview with Israeli journalist Barak Ravid, Trump said that Jewish people in the US “either don’t like Israel or don’t care about Israel.” Audio excerpts from the sit-down were played on an episode of the podcast ‘Unholy: Two Jews on the news’, released on Friday.
I must be honest, it’s a very dangerous thing that’s happening. There’s people in this country that are Jewish [who] no longer love Israel.
Trump said that at one point, Israel had “absolute power over Congress,” adding that he thought it was “the exact opposite” today. He held Barack Obama and Joe Biden responsible for this supposedly diminishing support for Israel in Washington.
New quotes from Trump to @BarakRavid: Most US Jews don’t love Israel. Exclusive for Unholy podcast @Freedlandpic.twitter.com/Hv4joYkbCN
“I’ll tell you, the evangelical Christians love Israel more than the Jews in this country,” said Trump, who referenced his years in New York City to note how “many Jewish friends” had a “great love for Israel, which has dissipated over the years for people in the US.”
The fact that Jewish people still voted for Obama and Biden was evidence that they don’t like or care about Israel anymore, he said.
Trump held up the New York Times as an example of anti-Israel attitudes, claiming the paper “hates Israel,” despite being run by “Jewish people.” He pointed directly to the Sulzberger family, who have operated the paper for more than a century.
The former president’s comments quickly came under fire from Jewish groups, with the American Jewish Congress criticizing Trump for repeating “radioactive antisemitic tropes” and “fueling dangerous stereotypes” while “[peddling] unfounded conclusions about the unbreakable ties that bind American Jews to Israel.”