Jews tweet 'disloyal to Trump' after Trump calls them disloyal

Trump doubles down on remarks, saying "if you want to vote Democrat, you're being disloyal to Jewish people and Israel".

    Trump's attacks on two Muslim congresswomen and Jewish Americans have prompted sharp criticism online [Mandel Ngan/AFP]
    Trump's attacks on two Muslim congresswomen and Jewish Americans have prompted sharp criticism online [Mandel Ngan/AFP]

    Politicians, activists and other Americans are tweeting how they are proudly "disloyal to Trump" after the US president said on Tuesday that any Jewish person who votes for Democrats shows "either a total lack of knowledge or great disloyalty".

    The hashtag, #DisloyalToTrump, trended on Twitter on Tuesday evening into Wednesday with many calling the president's comments anti-Semitic.

    The majority of Jewish Americans identify as Democratic, according to recent polling.

    President Donald Trump doubled down on his comments on Wednesday, telling reporters, "if you want to vote Democrat, you are being very disloyal to Jewish people and very disloyal to Israel." In a series of tweets on Wednesday morning, Trump also praised a conspiracy theorist for saying Jews in Israel love the US president because he is like "the King of Israel". 

    Trump's controversial remarks come amid ongoing attacks against the first two Muslim congresswomen, Rashida Tlaib and Ilhan Omar, Democrats who are outspoken critics of Israel's treatment of Palestinians.

    After Trump's urging, Israel last week denied the congresswomen entry to the country. Israel later agreed to allow Tlaib to visit her grandmother in the occupied West Bank for a humanitarian visit. Tlaib declined, saying she would not allow Israel to use her love for her grandmother to force her to "bow down to their oppressive & racist policies".

    Trump's attacks on the congresswomen and Jewish Americans have prompted sharp criticism online. 

    "The popular vote was #DisloyalToTrump," Omar tweeted late on Tuesday. Trump defeated his Democratic opponent in the 2016 presidential election, despite losing the popular vote. The election is determined by the electoral college.

    "I'm an American Jew and an American patriot, and I'm proudly disloyal to Trump," tweeted Jon Cooper, the chairman of the Democratic coalition, a group against Trump.

    "I'm Jewish. I'm an American & served our country in the CIA. I love musical theater, 'as seen on TV' products and carbs. Oh and I'm super duper one gazillion percent #DisloyalToTrump!" tweeted Emily Brandwin, a former CIA agent and public speaker. 

    Jonathan Greenblatt, the CEO of the Anti-Defamation League (ADL), tweeted: "It's unclear who @POTUS is claiming Jews would be 'disloyal' to, but charges of disloyalty have long been used to attack Jews. As we've said before, it's possible to engage in the democratic process without these claims. It's long overdue to stop using Jews as a political football."

    Some called the president anti-Semitic for the attack on Jewish Americans. 

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    Activist Barbara Malmet tweeted: "I'm an American Jew and an American patriot. I am a social justice warrior. I am proudly disloyal to racist, misogynist anti-Semitic Trump. #DisloyalToTrump."

    Naomi Hess added, "I am a proud Jewish Democrat. There are countless reasons why the majority of American Jews voted against Trump. His comments today are yet another sign of his anti-Semitic nature."

    Rise of anti-Semitic attacks

    Others pointed to the rise in anti-Semitic attacks across the US since Trump took office. According to the ADL, more than 1,800 anti-Semitic incidents took place across the country last year, the third-highest year on record since the organisation began tracking the incidents. That was a five percent decrease from 2017, but a 99 percent increase compared with 2015 figures, the ADL said. 

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    This included an October 2018 shooting at the Tree of Life synagogue in which 11 Jewish worshipers were killed.

    "Always #disloyaltotrump as a Pittsburgh Jew who lost 11 neighbors due to his anti-Semitic rhetoric and support for assault weapons," tweeted Sami Naomi.

    Halie Soifer, the executive director of the Jewish Democratic Council of America, said on Twitter that Trump's comments are "yet another example of [his] continuing to weaponize and politicize anti-Semitism".

    She also said, "NO one buys @realDonaldTrump feigning concern for the Jewish community when he has emboldened white supremacists. Trump will continue to falsely portray Omar & Tlaib as the face of Dems, while Jews are more concerned that racists & anti-Semites have become the face of the @GOP."

    SOURCE: Al Jazeera News