Trump again pushes ‘Jexodus,’ waiting for Jews ‘with open arms’
search

Trump again pushes ‘Jexodus,’ waiting for Jews ‘with open arms’

For the second time in a week, president tweets about fringe right-wing Jewish group that seeks to switch majority of US Jews to supporting Republican party

President Donald Trump speaks during a meeting with Irish Prime Minister Leo Varadkar in the Oval Office of the White House, Thursday, March 14, 2019, in Washington. (AP Photo/ Evan Vucci)
President Donald Trump speaks during a meeting with Irish Prime Minister Leo Varadkar in the Oval Office of the White House, Thursday, March 14, 2019, in Washington. (AP Photo/ Evan Vucci)

A fringe “Jexodus” movement seeking to weaken US Jews’ support for the Democratic Party got a boost Friday from President Donald Trump, who said Republicans “are waiting with open arms.”

The Jewish vote has long leaned solidly left but Trump puts major emphasis on his support for Prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu, and allies cast him as the most pro-Israeli US leader in history.

Trump’s latest gambit is to promote a tiny, newly created group called “Jexodus,” which wants to lure Jewish voters to the Republicans.

In a tweet supporting the bid to encourage “Jewish people to leave the Democrat Party,” Trump touted his decisions to move the US embassy from Tel Aviv to the disputed city of Jerusalem and to withdraw from the Iran nuclear deal.

In an earlier tweet this week, Trump quoted the spokeswoman for “Jexodus,” Elizabeth Pipko, who said that Democrats “don’t care about Israel or the Jewish people.” Pipko worked for Trump’s 2016 campaign.

Trump’s decision to give the fledgling group so much publicity comes as Republicans try and take advantage of turmoil in the Democratic Party over recent anti-Semitic comments by a congresswoman, Ilhan Omar.

Elizabeth Pipko at the Tribeca Grand Hotel in New York City in 2015. As a spokesperson for the Jexodus group, she has called the Democratic party anti-Semitic. (Jamie McCarthy/Getty Images via JTA)

But in the 2016 presidential elections, Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton scored 71 percent of the Jewish vote to Trump’s 24%.

Even Pipko, who is reported to be a former Trump White House staffer, seemed to question whether “Jexodus” will have much success.

Speaking on the “FOX & Friends” morning news show, a favorite of Trump’s, she said her Jewish friends “never changed their minds” over supporting Democrats and “I don’t think they’re going to change.”

The timing of Trump’s latest foray into Jewish-American politics raised eyebrows.

His tweet calling for Jews to abandon the Democratic Party came just after he tweeted an expression of sympathy for victims of mass shootings at two New Zealand mosques that killed 49 people.

One of the alleged perpetrators posted a lengthy statement expressing deep hatred for Islam.

read more:
less
comments
more