Republican presidential candidate Ben Carson accused US President Barack Obama of using “coded” anti-Semitic “themes” in his attempts to convince Congress to back the nuclear deal between Iran and world powers.
The neurosurgeon charged in a Jerusalem Post op-ed last week that the president, in his speech at American University, launched a “diatribe” which was “replete with coded innuendos employing standard anti-Semitic themes involving implied disloyalty and nefarious influences related to money and power.”
“One can only imagine the sting of his words on members of his own Democratic party, especially those Jewish members of Congress who have publicly stated their opposition to this deal based on its merits or lack thereof,” Carson wrote.
Carson was likely referring to Obama’s remark during his address that “between now and the congressional vote in September, you are going to hear a lot of arguments against this deal, backed by tens of millions of dollars in advertising.”
Others had also complained that Obama’s remarks against Iran deal critics strayed into anti-Semitic territory.
The GOP candidate defended his remarks in an interview with Fox News on Sunday, telling an interviewer that the president’s downplaying of Israeli concerns about the deal were a form of anti-Jewish sentiment.
“I think anything is anti-Semitic that is against the survival of a state that is surrounded by enemies and by people who want to destroy them… And to sort of ignore that and to act like everything is normal there and that these people are paranoid, I think that’s anti-Semitic,” Carson said.
He said that on a recent visit to Israel, he couldn’t find “a single person who didn’t feel that this administration had turned their back on Israel.”
Carson said that as president, Obama should not “castigate those who believe different than you,” but rather bring people together.