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Trump’s long history with anti-Semitic tropes

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Donald Trump was apparently envious of the attention Kanye West has received for his recent anti-Semitic comments, judging by his own social media posts over the weekend which on Monday drew criticism from the White House.

On Truth Social, the former president attacked American Jews for not supporting him enough. “Wonderful evangelicals appreciate much more [Trump’s record on Israel] than people of the Jewish faith, especially those who live in the United States,” Trump said.

Trump bet he was so popular in Israel that he could be elected prime minister, and added, “American Jews need to pull themselves together and appreciate what they have in Israel – before it’s too late! “

Although less blunt than West’s recent statements, Trump’s comments draw on the familiar anti-Semitic trope that American Jews have dual loyalties to Israel.

But while that stereotype is one of Trump’s favorites — and one he’s increasingly deployed since leaving office — it’s not the only one he’s offered during his political career.

Here’s a look at the various tropes Trump has been doctoring.

Trump has regularly spoken of American Jews as if Israel were their country, rather than the United States.

At a 2018 White House Hanukkah party, Trump said Vice President Mike Pence and Second Lady Karen Pence were visiting Israel “and they love your country. They love your country. And they love this country” – the implication being that “this country” is distinct from “your country”.

Over the years, President Trump’s rhetoric about American Jews has resembled the American Jewish rhetoric he has decried from other politicians. (Video: JM Rieger/The Washington Post, Photo: Jabin Botsford/The Washington Post)

In a September 2020 phone call after Rosh Hashanah, Trump told American Jewish leaders, “We really appreciate you; we also love your country.

In 2019, he called Benjamin Netanyahu “your prime minister” at a Republican Jewish Coalition event.

Trump has also regularly referred to his ambassador to Israel, David Friedman, as “your ambassador” when in the company of American Jews. Although this may be understood to refer to Americans’ ambassador rather than Jews, Friedman is the only ambassador for whom Trump has used this construct, according to Factba.se’s compilation of Trump’s public comments.

Along the same lines, Trump has framed American Jews as insufficiently grateful for his record on Israel, often saying or implying — as he did on Sunday — that his lack of support among them is inexplicable.

“We have people who are Jews who are great people — they don’t love Israel enough,” he said in 2019.

He added the same year: “Any Jewish people who vote for a Democrat, I think it shows either a complete lack of knowledge or great disloyalty.” When that exploded, Trump doubled down.

“Jews who live in the United States don’t like Israel enough,” he said in an interview last summer, adding, “I believe we got 25% of the Jewish vote, and that doesn’t makes no sense. It just seems strange to me. But I did very well in Florida. I did well in Florida.

In another interview in December 2021, Trump offered the same comparison between American Jews and evangelicals that he made on Sunday. He told an Israeli reporter that “the Jewish people in the United States don’t like Israel or care about Israel.” He added, “People in this country who are Jewish no longer love Israel.

Jews are powerful/control things with money

The most popular anti-Semitic trope in politics is that Jews control things behind the scenes – often due to their money and trickery. And Trump leaned into that as well.

At another RJC event in 2015 – at a time when some party members were not behind his candidacy – he repeatedly told those gathered that he did not want their money. He did it no less than five times.

“Again, I don’t want your money, so you’re probably not going to support me, because you stupidly want to give money,” he said.

Later in the campaign, Trump tweeted an image of Hillary Clinton surrounded by cash with the words “Most Corrupt Candidate Ever!” inside a six-pointed star, the shape of the Star of David. Trump also ran an ad featuring several prominent Jews — George Soros, Janet L. Yellen and Lloyd Blankfein — while warning against “global special interests.”

And in the December 2021 interview, Trump offered perhaps his most suggestive comments on that front.

“Previously, Israel had absolute power over Congress, and today I think it’s the exact opposite,” he said.

Trump has often spoken of Jews in extremely broad terms, portraying them as people who stick to themselves — or at least should — and succeed because of their business acumen.

During his 2015 speech to the Republican Jewish Coalition, he suggested those assembled were unparalleled “negotiators.”

“Look, I’m a negotiator like you guys; we are negotiators,” he said, adding: “This room is trading maybe more than any room I’ve spoken to – maybe more.

During a 2019 speech to the Israel-American Council, Trump told the gathering, “Many of you are in the real estate business because I know you very well. You are brutal killers. Not nice people at all. But you have to vote for me; you do not have a choice.”

He summed up his point by saying that these people should support him out of financial interest.

“Even though you don’t like me – some of you don’t like me, some of you don’t like me at all, in fact – and you’re going to be my biggest supporters because you’ll go broke in about 15 minutes” if the Democrats win the election, he said.

In 2020, Greg Miller of The Washington Post reported that Trump said after talking on the phone with Jewish leaders that they “are only here for themselves” and “stick together” in ethnic allegiance. And it is often suggested that ethnic allegiance should extend to him, because of his Jewish family members.

“You just love me because my daughter is Jewish,” he joked at RJC in 2015.

He added in 2019: “I saw a poll that in the last election I got 25% of the Jewish vote, and I said here that I have a son-in-law and a daughter who are Jewish, I I have beautiful grandchildren who are Jewish, I have all these amazing accomplishments. I’m amazed that it almost automatically seems like a Democratic vote.

This post has been updated with the latest news.