Dec 07, 2019
President Donald Trump was accused Sunday of "pushing blatant antisemitism" and repeating his racist use of the word "Pocahontas" during a speech he gave Saturday evening at the annual conference of the Israeli-American Council.
"Trump's antisemitism and his racism are two sides of the same coin," said Yonah Lieberman, co-founder of progressive Jewish group IfNotNow.
In the remarks that were widely condemned on social media, Trump said that some people of the Jewish faith in the U.S. "don't love Israel enough"--a trope he's used previously.
After being introduced by right-wing megadonor Sheldon Adelson, the president told the audience, "A lot of you are in the real estate business because I know you very well. You're brutal killers. Not nice people at all. But you have to vote for me. You have no choice. You're not going to vote for Pocahontas, I can tell you that. You're not going to vote for the wealth tax. 'Yeah, let's take 100 percent of your wealth away.'"
The comments sparked sharp criticism from progressive Jewish group Bend the Arc, which said Trump, "his enablers in Congress, and his white nationalist base are targeting all of us."
"The GOP & far-right leaders regularly weaponize antisemitism against progressive leaders of color & use Jews as a shield," the group said in a Twitter thread. "Where is their outrage when Trump is blatantly antisemitic? When he insinuates Jews control money & power? When he calls us disloyal?"
\u201cHere's Trump pushing blatant antisemitism last night.\n\nHe says Jews are "not nice people at all."\n\nThen he claims Jews are "not going to vote for the wealth tax." invoking centuries-old tropes about Jews & money.\n\nDonald Trump is antisemitic.\nhttps://t.co/eonlIaFHST\u201d— Bend the Arc: Jewish Action (@Bend the Arc: Jewish Action) 1575826417
\u201cIt\u2019s especially disturbing that Trump pushes these harmful stereotypes & attacks against Jews while repeating his racist, anti-indigenous use of \u201cPocahontas.\u201d\n\nHe, his enablers in Congress, & his white nationalist base are targeting all of us.\n\nOur Jewish community rejects them.\u201d— Bend the Arc: Jewish Action (@Bend the Arc: Jewish Action) 1575826417
"This is personal," IfNotNow added in a tweet Sunday. "Trump is inciting his white nationalist base to attack 'bad Jews'--that is, Jews like us who support freedom and dignity for everyone. We have a duty to fight back. We have a duty to defeat white nationalism."
According to public school educator Jamal Bowman, a Democrat running for the 16th Congressional District in New York, the fact that Trump was off-script makes the comments even more revealing.
"When the president goes off-script, he reveals his true feelings and intentions," Bowman wrote Sunday. "The fact that he is incapable of addressing Jewish audiences without slipping in a few anti-Semitic quips speaks volumes."
The group behind the conference, the Israeli-American Council, advocates for "a strong Jewish and Israeli identity for the next generations." It was co-founded by real estate millionaire Adam Milstein, who, as The Interceptreported, has bankrolled attacks on the BDS movement. Milstein has called Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-Minn.) a "terrorist" and suggested she and Rep. Rashida Tlaib (D-Mich.) are not loyal to the United States.
Also on Saturday, before speaking at the conference, Trump attended a closed-door fundraiser during which he brought onstage Army 1st Lt. Clint Lorance and Maj. Mathew Golsteyn. The men faced war crimes allegations but were fully pardoned by the president last month.
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