Trump says Jewish people who vote Democrat are disloyal

Trump issues tone-deaf remarks that conflate Judaism with Zionism

By Nicole Karlis
August 20, 2019 9:31PM (UTC)
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President Donald Trump speaks to members of the media as he meets with President of Romania Klaus Iohannis in the Oval Office of the White House August 20, 2019 in Washington, DC. (Getty/Alex Wong)

In the Oval Office on Tuesday, President Donald Trump said that Jewish people who vote for Democrats are disloyal. The comment surfaced during a rant about two congresswomen who have spoken out against the U.S.–Israel alliance.

“I think any Jewish people that vote for a Democrat — I think it shows either a total lack of knowledge or great disloyalty,” Trump said.


He went on to criticize any Jewish American who supports the Democratic Party.

“The concept of even talking about this ... of cutting off aid to Israel because of two people that hate Israel and hate Jewish people, I can't believe we're even having this conversation," Trump said in the Oval Office.

"Where has the Democratic Party gone?" he continued. "Where have they gone ... where they're defending these two people over the state of Israel?"


At the press briefing, Trump continued to defend Israel’s decision to prohibit Reps. Ilhan Omar of Minnesota and Rashida Tlaib of Michigan from entering the country.

In a press conference on Monday, Omar and Tlaib denounced Israel's decision to bar them from visiting the Middle Eastern nation in which they also questioned whether Israel is a true ally of the U.S.

"Netanyahu's decision to deny us entry might be unprecedented for members of Congress, but it is the policy of his government when it comes to Palestinians," Omar said Monday in reference to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. "This is the policy of his government when it comes to anyone who holds views that threaten the occupation."


On Tuesday, Trump also denied having any involvement in the matter.

“That’s a decision of Israel. They can let them in if they want,” Trump said at the White House. He went on to criticize Tlaib at the press conference.

"All of a sudden, she starts the tears, and I don’t buy it for a second,” Trump said of Tlaib, who is the first Palestinian-American to serve in Congress.


“I’ve seen her in a very vicious mood. I saw a woman that was violent and vicious and out of control,” he added. “And all of a sudden I see this person who’s crying because she can’t see her grandmother.”

Trump's statements suggest that he believes that all Jews would by default support the Jewish state — an offensive and oft-untrue notion that belies a long history of anti-Zionist Jewish activism.

Nicole Karlis

Nicole Karlis is a staff writer at Salon. She covers health, science, tech and gender politics. Tweet her @nicolekarlis.

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