Former US president Donald Trump said that many American Jews don’t love Israel — otherwise, they would have voted for him — and charged that Israel used to have “absolute power over Congress.”
Trump’s comments from an interview in July with Israeli journalist Barak Ravid were broadcast Thursday on the Unholy Podcast, hosted by Yonit Levi of Israel’s Channel 12 news and Jonathan Freedland of The Guardian.
In his remarks, the former president returned to his frequently made accusations that American Jews were ungrateful for all he had done for Israel.
“There are people in this country that are Jewish, no longer love Israel. I’ll tell you, the evangelical Christians love Israel more than Jews in this country,” Trump said.
“It used to be that Israel had absolute power over Congress. And today, I think it’s the exact opposite. And I think Obama and Biden did that,” Trump continued.
“The Jewish people in the United States either don’t like Israel or don’t care about Israel,” Trump said in the recording.
— Yonit Levi (@LeviYonit) December 17, 2021
“I mean look at The New York Times, The New York Times hates Israel, hates them. And they’re Jewish people that run The New York Times. I mean, the Sulzberger family,” Trump added.
Trump spoke to Ravid for the reporter’s new Hebrew-language book, “Trump’s Peace,” about the normalization deals between Israel and Arab states, which were brokered with the help of the Trump administration.
In previous broadcast excerpts from the two taped interviews Ravid conducted with Trump, the former president savaged ex-prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu for congratulating Joe Biden on winning the presidency — “I haven’t spoken to him since. Fuck him,” Trump said — and said Netanyahu never wanted to make peace.
Trump has made similar comments regarding US Jews and Israel in the past, drawing criticism for insinuating that American Jews should base their political decisions solely on the Israel issue. Speaking to US Jews, he has also referred to Israel as “your country.”
While many US Jews are generally supportive of Israel, they have consistently rejected accusations of dual loyalty toward the Jewish state, typically seen as an antisemitic canard.
Trump has also drawn rebuke for saying that Jews who vote Democrat are “disloyal.”
Over the past decade, Jewish voters have shown stability in their partisanship, according to data from Pew Research Center. Jewish voters identify with or lean toward the Democratic Party over the Republican Party by a roughly 2-1 ratio.
Jews make up only a small portion of the national electorate, but in places like Florida, they can represent a crucial piece of the swing state electoral puzzle. Historically, American Jews have voted heavily Democratic.
No national exit polls on the Jewish vote were published after the 2020 election. A poll commissioned by the Republican Jewish Coalition found that 30.5 percent of Jewish voters voted for GOP incumbent Donald Trump nationally compared to 60.6% for Democratic challenger Joe Biden.
Meanwhile, a poll commissioned by the liberal group J Street found that 77% of Jewish Americans voted for Biden and only 21% for Trump.
In 2016, Pew found that Hillary Clinton won 71% of the Jewish vote to Trump’s 25%. In 2012, the numbers were slightly higher for the Republican candidate: Barack Obama won 69% of the Jewish vote while Mitt Romney won 30%.