Trump demands ‘Radical Left Congresswomen’ apologize to Israelis

Trump demands ‘Radical Left Congresswomen’ apologize to Israelis

Digging in against progressive female members of Congress, US president slams their ‘foul language’ and ‘horrible & disgusting actions’

US President Donald Trump talks to reporters on the South Lawn of the White House before departing for his Bedminster, New Jersey, golf club, July 5, 2019. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)
US President Donald Trump talks to reporters on the South Lawn of the White House before departing for his Bedminster, New Jersey, golf club, July 5, 2019. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

WASHINGTON — US President Donald Trump lashed out again Monday at the progressive Democratic congresswomen he attacked over the weekend, calling on them to apologize to Israelis.

“When will the Radical Left Congresswomen apologize to our Country, the people of Israel and even to the Office of the President, for the foul language they have used, and the terrible things they have said,” Trump wrote on Twitter.

“So many people are angry at them & their horrible & disgusting actions,” Trump said.

It wasn’t clear what statements, actions or Israel-related remarks Trump was referring to.

The remarks appeared to be aimed at a group of young, outspoken, liberal women of color, all first-time members of the House of Representatives.

These include Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York (commonly referred to as AOC), Ilhan Omar of Minnesota, Rashida Tlaib of Michigan and Ayanna Pressley of Massachusetts.

Trump later tweeted paraphrased remarks made by Republican Senator Lindsey Graham on Fox News Radio, saying that “AOC and this crowd are a bunch of Communists, they hate Israel, they hate our own Country.”

He mentioned recent comments denounced as anti-Semitic, including Ocasio-Cortez saying facilities for migrants on the US-Mexico border are “concentration camps,” and Omar accusing pro-Israel politicians of being paid off by the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) and saying “it’s all about the Benjamins.”

Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) (C) confers with U.S. Rep. Rashida Tlaib, (D-MI) (2nd R) and Rep. Ayanna S. Pressley (D-MA) (R) during a House Oversight and Reform Committee hearing July 12, 2019 in Washington, DC. (Win McNamee/Getty Images/AFP)

“They are Anti-Semitic, they are Anti-America… They talk about Israel like they’re a bunch of thugs, not victims of the entire region… Their policies will destroy our Country!” Trump quoted Graham as saying, adding: “Need I say more?”

Tlaib and Omar are fierce critics of Israel and have voiced support for the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) campaign against the Jewish state. Ocasio-Cortez has also criticized Israel on multiple occasions. Pressley, on the other hand, has said she opposes BDS and supports the two-state solution.

Tlaib is organizing a congressional visit to the West Bank in August, to compete with Israel trips organized by the American Israel Education Foundation, an affiliate of AIPAC.

In his initial attack on Sunday, Trump said the congresswomen — whom he did not name at that stage — came from corrupt, poorly managed countries to which they should return.

They “originally came from countries whose governments are a complete and total catastrophe, the worst, most corrupt and inept anywhere in the world,” Trump tweeted.

He accused the women of “viciously telling the people of the United States, the greatest and most powerful Nation on earth, how our government is to be run.”

“Why don’t they go back and help fix the totally broken and crime infested places from which they came. Then come back and show us how it is done,” Trump wrote.

All but one of the four women were born in the US. Ocasio-Cortez, who was born in New York, is of Puerto Rican ancestry, while Tlaib, who was born in Detroit, is the first American of Palestinian descent elected to Congress. Omar, who fled war-torn Somalia as a child and came to the United States as a refugee, is the first black Muslim woman in Congress, and Pressley, who was born in Cincinnati, is the first African American elected to Congress from Massachusetts.

Democratic presidential candidates and senior legislators branded the comments racist and xenophobic.

Trump last year reportedly referred to countries in Africa as “shithole” nations, and has often described the influx of US-bound migrants as an “invasion.” He was also a leading proponent of the “birther” conspiracy theory that former president Barack Obama was not born on US soil and therefore could not legally be president.

Trump’s tweets drew a sharp rebuke from House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, who said the president wants to “make America white again.” Republican Rep. Justin Amash of Michigan, a Palestinian-American Trump critic who recently took steps to leave his party, called the remarks “racist and disgusting.”

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