CNN reports, and it deserves a mention in this space:
Trump was speaking to the press in the Oval Office about two Democratic congresswomen barred from entering Israel over their involvement in the movement to end international support for the country because of its policies toward Palestinians.
“Five years ago, the concept of even talking about this — even three years ago — 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 added. “Where has the Democratic Party gone? Where have they gone where they’re defending these two people over the State of Israel?”
He added, “I think any Jewish people that vote for a Democrat — it shows either a total lack of knowledge or great disloyalty.”
The suggestion that any Jewish person who votes for a Democratic candidate is “disloyal,” though exactly to whom they would be disloyal wasn’t elaborated on by President Donald Trump, understandably did not sit well with Morgan Carroll, the chair of the Colorado Democratic Party who happens to be of Jewish descent:
“As a Jewish woman, I cannot begin to express the level of anger and disgust I have over President Trump’s disturbingly ignorant remarks. Considering that Trump himself is not a Jewish man, it is frankly insulting that he would presume to tell Jewish Americans how we should vote, and to basically call us stupid or ‘disloyal’ if we don’t support his party. It boggles the mind that Ken Buck, Cory Gardner, and the Colorado Republican Party continue to go to bat for this man.” [Pols emphasis]
Being accused of “disloyalty” is a very old anti-Semitic trope, one of the oldest in fact–though it’s entirely possible that Trump was accusing Democratic Jewish voters of disloyalty to Israel, which would turn the rhetorical device at least partway on its head. That would make this a case of Trump backhandedly trying to “support” Israel by trafficking in offensive stereotypes about Jewish people, which he has happily done before. But above all, a very large percentage of American Jews vote Democratic–and a few individual critics of Israel within the Democratic Party’s big tent won’t change that fundamental:
American Jews tend to favor Democrat candidates, with 71% of Jewish voters choosing Democrat candidates and only 25% choosing Republicans since 1968. [Pols emphasis]
At the end of the day, it’s not necessary to extract rhyme or reason from this latest offensive pronouncement, coming from a President who offends faster than the news cycle can keep up most days.
It’s enough to recognize that any way you look at it this is one of the worst yet.
And it should give even Trump’s most loyal Jewish supporters pause.