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  • Many Jewish groups support Palestinian rights, Trump has called them 'disloyal'

    Many Jewish groups support Palestinian rights, Trump has called them 'disloyal' | Photo: Wikipedia

Published 21 August 2019
Opinion

Many Jewish groups have been angered about ‘dual loyalty’ tropes, and about conflating Jews and the State of Israel as one and the same thing.

Donald Trump has attacked Jewish-Americans who vote Democrat, implying that the party is Anti-semitic. He said that if Jews vote Democrat then "it shows either a total lack of knowledge or great disloyalty". He comments are in response to the Palestine advocacy of some Democrats, which Trump believes that Jews must not support. 

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Trump continued; "Five years ago, the concept of even talking about this -- even three years ago -- of cutting off aid to Israel because of two people that hate Israel and hate Jewish people -- I can't believe we're even having this conversation," Trump added. "Where has the Democratic Party gone? Where have they gone where they're defending these two people over the State of Israel?”

Many Jewish groups have been angered about ‘dual loyalty’ tropes, and about conflating Jews and the State of Israel as one and the same thing.

Halie Soifer, executive director of the Jewish Democratic Council of America responded to the comments saying "If this is about Israel, then Trump is repeating a dual loyalty claim, which is a form of anti-Semitism. If this is about Jews being 'loyal' to him, then Trump needs a reality check. We live in a democracy, and Jewish support for the Republican Party has been halved in the past four years," 

Trump’s comments follow a concerted campaign to present criticism of Israel as a form of anti-semitism. This campaign has arguably been most prominent in the UK, where most mainstream media outlets accuse Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn of being an anti-semite, due to his long support for the Palestinian cause. 

Renowned Israeli historian Ilan Pape commented last week on the issue of accusing Israel critics of anti-semitism, as Trump did Friday. Pape said that such antisemitism allegations are “a tool to stifle the debate on Palestine, but it also, it kind of weaponises the allegation of antisemitism against the promotion to positions of power of people that Israel and it’s supporters do not want to be in those positions.”

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