Trump slammed for saying Jews disloyal if they vote for Democrats

Amid ongoing attacks against Rashida Tlaib and Ilhan Omar, Trumps calls majority of Jews in the US uninformed.

    US President Donald Trump answers questions from reporters as he meets with Romania''s President Klaus Iohannis in the Oval Office of the White House [Kevin Lamarque/Reuters]
    US President Donald Trump answers questions from reporters as he meets with Romania''s President Klaus Iohannis in the Oval Office of the White House [Kevin Lamarque/Reuters]

    Activists, politicians and many within the American Jewish community slammed US President Donald Trump on Tuesday for saying any Jewish person who votes Democratic shows "either a total lack of knowledge or great disloyalty".

    He made the comments despite recent polling, which shows that a majority of Jews in the US identify as Democrats.

    Reacting to the remarks, Senator Bernie Sanders, an Independent running for the Democratic presidential nomination, said he is "a proud Jewish person I have no concerns about voting Democratic". 

    “In fact, I intend to vote for a Jewish man to become the next president of the United States," he said at a campaign event in Iowa. 

    Trump did not specify who he believed Jewish Americans would be disloyal to, but the president's remarks came amid his ongoing attacks on Democratic Congresswomen Ilhan Omar and Rashida Tlaib, who are outspoken against Israel's treatment of Palestinians.

    After Trump's urging, Israel last week blocked the pair, who are Muslims, from entering the country. Israel later agreed to a humanitarian visit for Tlaib to visit her grandmother who lives in the occupied West Bank. 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 has called Omar a "disaster" for Jews and earlier on Tuesday said he didn't "buy" the tears Tlaib shed Monday as she discussed the situation over the travel restrictions. 

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    Immediately following Trump's comments on Tuesday, community leaders, politicians, activists and others took to social media to blast the president.

    "This explicit dual loyalty charge is not an antisemitic dog whistle - it's a bullhorn to his white nationalist base," tweeted IfNotNow, a group of young American Jews who advocate for the end of US support for the Israeli occupation.

    "American Jewish leaders and Democratic politicians need to call out this out," the group added.

    "I'm Jewish. My relatives were killed in the Holocaust. Take anything about Jewish people out of your lying, racist mouth. I stand with Reps Tlaib and Omar. I condemn Trump and  @GOP  brand fascism," tweeted author Nancy Levine. 

    J Street, a US-based Jewish organisation that advocates for a two-state solution in Israel and Palestine, called Trump's comments "dangerous". 

    "It is dangerous + shameful for Trump to attack the large majority of the American Jewish community as unintelligent + disloyal," the group tweeted. "But it's no surprise that his racist attacks on progressive women of color in Congress have now turned into smears against Jews."

    Jonathan Greenblatt, the CEO of the Anti-Defamation League, 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". 

    "As a Jewish American, this is fascism, period," tweeted Lucy Carlson-Krakoff. 

    SOURCE: Al Jazeera and news agencies