Weeks after feting Trump, ZOA lashes him for hosting antisemites Kanye, Fuentes

Luke Tress is a JTA reporter and a former editor and reporter in New York for The Times of Israel.

Former US president Donald Trump addresses the Zionist Organization of America in New York City, November 13, 2022. (Luke Tress/Times of Israel)
Former US president Donald Trump addresses the Zionist Organization of America in New York City, November 13, 2022. (Luke Tress/Times of Israel)

Weeks after giving Donald Trump a major award, the Zionist Organization of America says it “deplores” his meeting with antisemites Kanye West and Nick Fuentes.

The organization quotes Trump’s State of the Union Address from 2019, in which he said, “We must never ignore the vile poison of antisemitism, or those who spread its venomous creed.”

“The Zionist Organization of America calls upon President Trump to live up to his own powerful words, to condemn in the strongest possible terms Jew-hater Kanye West and avowed Holocaust-denying, white supremacist, Jew-hater Nick Fuentes,” the organization’s president Morton Klein says in a statement.

Trump hosted West at his Mar-a-Lago estate last week, and the rapper brought Fuentes, an outspoken antisemite and Holocaust denier to the meal. Trump praised West, but claimed he did not know Fuentes, though reports indicated the two got along well. The dinner has fueled condemnation of Trump, including from many allies.

“ZOA deplores the fact that President Trump had a friendly dinner with such vile antisemites. His dining with Jew-haters helps legitimize and mainstream antisemitism and must be condemned by everyone,” Klein says.

Two weeks ago, ZOA presented Trump with its Theodor Herzl Gold Medallion in recognition of his support for Israel and Jews.

Klein said at the time that the organization rarely grants the award, reserving it for “world leaders and dignitaries” such as Lord Arthur Balfour, former British prime minister Winston Churchill, former US president Harry Truman, Israeli founding father David Ben-Gurion, and former prime minister Golda Meir.

In his acceptance speech, Trump criticized Jews he deemed disloyal, saying, “You do have people in this country that happen to be Jewish that are not doing the right thing for Israel. Too many.”

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