Schumer: 'Trump is making highly partisan and hateful rants'

Trump: Jews who vote Democratic ‘hate their religion, hate everything about Israel’

Presumptive GOP nominee again lashes out at American Jews for overwhelmingly supporting Democrats, also takes shot at ‘crying’ Netanyahu’s failed 2015 bid against Iran nuke deal

Jacob Magid is The Times of Israel's US bureau chief

Former US president Donald Trump speaks during a Buckeye Values PAC Rally in Vandalia, Ohio, on March 16, 2024. (Kamil Krzaczynski/AFP)
Former US president Donald Trump speaks during a Buckeye Values PAC Rally in Vandalia, Ohio, on March 16, 2024. (Kamil Krzaczynski/AFP)

Former US president and presumptive Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump said Monday, “Any Jewish person that votes for Democrats hates their religion. They hate everything about Israel and they should be ashamed of themselves.”

The remarks on a podcast interview with his former far-right adviser Sebastian Gorka came a day after Trump criticized Israel for trying to maintain ties with the Democratic party, which is “very bad for Israel.”

Trump was again asked about Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer’s speech last week, in which the highest-ranking elected Jewish official in US history called for early Israeli elections to replace Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

“I actually think they hate Israel,” Trump said of Democrats, reiterating his belief that Schumer used to be pro-Israel and has turned on Jerusalem in pursuit of votes.

Responding to the interview, Schumer said, “To make Israel a partisan issue only hurts Israel and the US-Israeli relationship.”

“Trump is making highly partisan and hateful rants. I am working in a bipartisan way to ensure the US-Israeli relationship sustains for generations to come, buoyed by peace in the Middle East,” he wrote on X, formerly Twitter.

The White House also hit out at Trump, suggesting his comments could stoke violence against Jews already facing unprecedented levels of antisemitism in the United States since the Hamas terror group’s deadly onslaught in Israel on October 7.

“President Biden has put his foot down when it comes to vile and unhinged antisemitic rhetoric,” said White House spokesperson Andrew Bates.

“As antisemitic crimes and acts of hate have increased across the world — among them the deadliest attack committed against the Jewish people since the Holocaust — leaders have an obligation to call hate what it is and bring Americans together against it. There is no justification for spreading toxic, false stereotypes that threaten fellow citizens. None.”

Trump has frequently responded to accusations of antisemitism or criticism of his association with various antisemitic figures by pointing to his Israel record. He also often refers to Israel as “your country” in speeches to American Jewish groups and has repeatedly lamented what he sees as a lack of gratitude from “disloyal” US Jews, who continue to vote overwhelmingly Democrat.

In the interview Monday, Trump claimed that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu came to the US “crying [and] begging” then-president Barack Obama not to sign a nuclear deal with Iran in 2015.

Trump boasted of having pulled out of the deal three years later but laments that “they didn’t do anything with the ending of it.” The Biden administration has blasted Trump for withdrawing from the accord, arguing that it left no curbs on Iran’s nuclear production, which has accelerated significantly since.

“They’re very close to getting a nuclear weapon right now, and once they have that it becomes a… much more difficult negotiation,” Trump warned.

While he has criticized Schumer for his speech, Trump himself has made some highly critical remarks about Netanyahu.

Recalling how the Israeli premier congratulated Biden for winning the 2020 election, Trump told an Israeli reporter, “f**k him,” in reference to Netanyahu. He has also blasted the prime minister in campaign events for allegedly pulling out of commitments to help the US assassinate top Iranian general Qassem Soleimani in 2020.

In his Sunday interview with Fox News’s MediaBuzz, Trump said that he would tell Netanyahu to finish the war against Hamas in Gaza “quickly and get back to the world of peace” if he won the election in November.

Netanyahu has insisted that Israel is not far from completing the war and would be weeks away from doing so once it completes its still-yet-to-be-launched operation to dismantle the terror group’s remaining battalions in the southern Gaza city of Rafah.

Former president Donald Trump and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu attend the Abraham Accords signing ceremony on the South Lawn of the White House in Washington, September 15, 2020. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon, File)

Trump did not go as far as to call for a ceasefire in the Strip, but his remarks to Fox News’s MediaBuzz are the second time this month that the former president has hinted at discomfort with Israel’s ongoing war against Hamas.

In a March 5 Fox interview, Trump said Hamas’s October 7 “attack on Israel, and likewise, Israel’s counterattack… would never have happened if I was president.”

While the comment indicated questionable feelings regarding Israel’s prosecution of the war, Trump added that Israel must “finish the problem.”

Israel’s war with Hamas broke out on October 7 with the terrorist organization’s unprecedented attack in which it murdered some 1,200 people, mostly civilians, and kidnapped 253.

The US has continued to support Israel’s right to defend itself against such an attack throughout the five months of war, but has expressed concern for the situation in Gaza, which is facing a humanitarian crisis.

The Hamas-run health ministry in Gaza claims that almost 31,000 Palestinians have been killed by Israel in the war, but the number cannot be independently verified and is believed to include both Hamas terrorists and civilians, some of whom were killed as a consequence of the terror group’s own rocket misfires.

The IDF says it has killed more than 13,000 terrorists in Gaza, in addition to some 1,000 who were killed inside Israel on and immediately following October 7.

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