Skip to main content

Sign up for our newsletter.

Quality journalism. Progressive values. Direct to your inbox.

President Donald Trump speaks during a meeting with Romania's President Klaus Iohannis in the Oval Office of the White House in Washington, D.C. on August 20, 2019. (Photo: Mandel Ngan/AFP/Getty Images)

'A Bullhorn to His White Nationalist Base': Progressive Jews Hit Back After Trump's Anti-Semitic Smear

"This rhetoric from the president is going to get Jews killed. It already has."

Jake Johnson, staff writer

Progressive Jews accused President Donald Trump of blaring "straightforward anti-Semitism" after he said from the Oval Office on Tuesday that Jewish Americans who vote for the Democratic Party are either ignorant or disloyal.

The smear—which sparked widespread outrage and the trending hashtag #DisloyaltoTrump—came after Trump once again baselessly accused Reps. Rashida Tlaib (D-Mich.) and Ilhan Omar (D-Minn.) of hating Jews and Israel.

"This is an explicit dual loyalty charge wielded by the President of the United States against 80 percent of American Jews who voted against him."
—IfNotNow

"Where has the Democratic Party gone?" Trump said. "Where have they gone where they're defending these two people over the state of Israel? I think that any Jewish people that vote for a Democrat, I think it shows either a total lack of knowledge or great disloyalty."

IfNotNow, a youth-led progressive Jewish advocacy group, quickly hit back, condemning the president for once again deploying the kind of hate-filled rhetoric that has fueled recent anti-Semitic attacks in the United States.

"This is an explicit dual loyalty charge wielded by the president of the United States against 80 percent of American Jews who voted against him," the group said in a statement to Newsweek, alluding to 2018 midterm election data from the Pew Research Center.

"It is not merely an anti-Semitic dog whistle—it's a bullhorn to his white nationalist base," said IfNotNow. "American Jews and Democratic voters know full well the impact of the racist policies of Netanyahu and the Israeli government on the Palestinian people. This is why an overwhelming majority... oppose those policies, like unchecked settlement expansion."

Trump's attack on American Jews comes days after he publicly urged Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to stop Tlaib and Omar from entering Israel.

The Israeli government last week initially barred both lawmakers, but later said Tlaib could make the trip to visit her 90-year-old grandmother who lives in the occupied West Bank—provided that she refrain from expressing support for boycott activities.

Tlaib, the first Palestinian-American woman ever elected to Congress, refused to accept these "oppressive" conditions and decided on Friday to cancel her planned trip.

Trump has since been intensifying his attacks on Tlaib and Omar, and on Tuesday he expanded his smears to the Jews who have rallied in support of the two progressive lawmakers.

Beth Miller, government affairs manager at Jewish Voice for Peace Action, told Newsweek that Trump's comments "play into the anti-Semitic trope of Jews holding 'dual-loyalty'" and were "wildly disconnected from reality."

"A rapidly growing number of American Jews support conditioning, cutting, or ending U.S. military aid to a country that uses our tax dollars to violently oppress Palestinians," said Miller.

Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), a 2020 Democratic presidential candidate who is Jewish, also fired back at Trump.

"Let me say this to the president," Sanders tweeted. "I am a proud Jewish person and I have no concerns about voting Democratic. And in fact, I intend to vote for a Jewish man to become the next president of the United States."


Our work is licensed under Creative Commons (CC BY-NC-ND 3.0). Feel free to republish and share widely.
We need your help.

Support progressive journalism.

Common Dreams is not your average news site. We don't survive on clicks or advertising dollars. We rely entirely on your support. And without it, our independent progressive journalism simply wouldn’t exist. Every gift of every amount matters.

Join the fight and support our common dreams today.

MSNBC Declines to Voluntarily Recognize Newsroom Union Effort

Organizers said that "we want to support one another and make this an even better place to build a career."

Jessica Corbett, staff writer ·


Sanders Speaks Out Against 'Dangerous' Chorus Pushing for New Cold War With China

"Developing a mutually beneficial relationship with China will not be easy," the senator writes. "But we can do better than a new Cold War."

Brett Wilkins, staff writer ·


Indigenous Women Invite Deb Haaland to See Devastation of Line 3 for Herself

The tar sands project "poses a significant threat to water, Indigenous treaty rights, and worsens the global climate crisis," the group wrote to Biden's Interior Secretary.

Kenny Stancil, staff writer ·


After SCOTUS Upholds ACA, Progressives Set Sights on Medicare for All

Now, said campaigner Michael Lighty, "we can instead go to a system that will actually guarantee healthcare to everybody, which the ACA does not do and cannot do."

Jessica Corbett, staff writer ·


McConnell Makes Clear 'All Republicans Will Oppose' Manchin Voting Rights Compromise

"The idea that Manchin can pass a law to protect the vote with help from the very people it needs protecting from is suspect at best."

Jake Johnson, staff writer ·