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Trump says Jewish Americans who vote for Biden don’t love Israel and ‘should be spoken to’

By Kate Sullivan, CNN

(CNN) — Former President Donald Trump on Monday again criticized Jewish Americans who don’t support him and said any Jewish person who votes for President Joe Biden doesn’t love Israel and “should be spoken to.”

It’s the latest example of the presumptive GOP nominee playing into an antisemitic trope that Jewish Americans have dual loyalties to the US and to Israel.

“Any Jewish person that votes for Biden does not love Israel and frankly, should be spoken to,” Trump said in an interview aired Monday night on Real America’s Voice.

Trump argued Biden was “totally on the side of the Palestinians” amid Israel’s war with Hamas in Gaza. Biden has largely remained steadfast in his support of Israel’s right to defend itself, only last week seriously threatening Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu with consequences if Israel did not change the way it was waging its war. And Trump just last week said Israel needed to “finish what they started” and “get it over with fast,” as he said Israel was “losing the PR war” because of the visuals coming out of Gaza.

Trump also argued on Monday that Jewish and Black Americans vote for Democrats “by habit.”

“A lot of it’s habit. Jewish people by habit, they just, they vote for the Democrats and Black people, by habit, vote for the Democrats,” Trump said.

His latest comments echo remarks he made last month that earned swift condemnation from Biden’s administration and reelection campaign. Speaking on a podcast hosted by his former White House aide Sebastian Gorka, Trump said any Jewish person who votes for Democrats “hates their religion” and hates “everything about Israel.”

Trump has long played into antisemitic tropes, lashing out at Jewish Americans he says don’t support him enough. During his first campaign for president, he delivered a speech to the Republican Jewish Coalition that was rife with antisemitic stereotypes, and shortly after he left office in 2021, he told reporters that Jewish Americans have turned their back on Israel.

A year later, he said American Jews weren’t praising his administration’s policies toward Israel enough: “Evangelicals are far more appreciative of this than the people of the Jewish faith, especially those living in the U.S.” And last year, during celebrations of the Jewish New Year, Trump shared a social media post that said liberal Jews who did not support him “voted to destroy America & Israel.”

At least 63% of American Jews said their place in American society is less secure than a year ago, according to a report released last month by the American Jewish Committee. The Anti-Defamation League tracked a total of 3,283 antisemitic incidents in the three months following Hamas’ October 7 attacks on Israel, CNN previously reported, a 361% increase compared to the same period the prior year.

Jewish Americans have for decades been a largely Democratic and politically liberal constituency, identifying with Democrats over Republicans by a wide margin, according to the Pew Research Center’s 2020 survey. While Orthodox Jews lean heavily Republican, American Jews of other denominations, including the Reform and Conservative branches, have identified with or leaned toward the Democratic party.

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Article Topic Follows: CNN - US Politics

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