White House calls Trump’s attack on American Jews antisemitic

White House calls Trump’s attack on American Jews antisemitic

The Washington Post reports:

The White House on Monday called Donald Trump’s attack on American Jews antisemitic after the former president wrote online that American Jews need to “get their act together” and show more appreciation for the state of Israel “before it is too late.”

Press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre, speaking to reporters in Washington on Monday, said, “Donald Trump has aligned with extremist and antisemitic figures” and that comments like the ones he made Sunday on his social media platform TruthSocial “should be called out.”

“Donald Trump’s comments were antisemitic, as you all know, and insulting both to Jews and to our Israeli allies,” she said. “But let’s be clear, for years, for years now, Donald Trump has aligned with extremist and antisemitic figures. … We need to root out antisemitism everywhere it rears its ugly head. We need to call this out. With respect to Israel, our relationship is ironclad and it’s rooted in shared values and interests. Donald Trump clearly doesn’t understand that either.”

American Jews have long been accused of holding secret loyalty to Israel rather than to the United States, and Trump’s post leaned on that antisemitic trope, suggesting that by virtue of their religion, American Jews should show more appreciation to Israel.

In the message Sunday, Trump also complained that “no president” had done more for Israel than he had but that Christian evangelicals are “far more appreciative of this than the people of the Jewish faith, especially those living in the U.S.”

Trump has previously suggested that American Jews, who traditionally have more often aligned with the Democratic Party on domestic policies, should be more supportive of him because of how he dealt with Israel. [Continue reading…]

Ruth Ben-Ghiat writes:

American Jews who continue to support Trump and the GOP might take a cue from the experiences of Italian Jews under fascism. Many of them supported Benito Mussolini for years, thinking he was the “good” authoritarian — he persecuted other groups, but not them, unlike Hitler — only to be hit in 1938 with il Duce’s antisemitic legislation and forced into ruin or exile. They learned the hard way that once violence becomes legitimized in a country, the roster of “enemies of the people” inevitably expands. [Continue reading…]

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