Showing a fresh willingness to play politics along religious lines, United States President Donald Trump on Tuesday said that American Jews who vote for Democrats show either a total lack of knowledge or are disloyal.
Coming amid his ongoing feud with Democratic congresswomen, Trump’s latest claim has triggered a quick uproar from critics who say the president is trading in anti-Semitic stereotypes.
While Trump has closely aligned himself with Israel, including its conservative Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, the Muslim lawmakers in the US have been outspoken critics of Israel’s treatment of the Palestinians.
“Where has the Democratic Party gone? Where have they gone where they are defending these two people over the state of Israel? I think any Jewish people that vote for a Democrat, I think it shows either a total lack of knowledge or great disloyalty,” Trump told reporters in the Oval Office.
At Trump’s urging, the Israel government last week blocked two US Muslim congresswomen, Ilhan Omar and Rashida Tlaib from entering the country.
Israel later agreed to a humanitarian visit for Tlaib to visit her grandmother who lives in the West Bank but she declined, saying her grandmother had ultimately urged her not to come under what they considered to be humiliating circumstances.