As Jews all over the world this weekend celebrated Rosh Hashanah – the start of the new year and one of the holiest days on the Jewish calendar – former President Donald Trump accused those who did not support him in 2020 of voting “to destroy America and Israel" in a post on his social media platform.
The attack drew condemnation as antisemitic by Jewish leaders and politicians.
What You Need To Know
- In a social media post on Sunday, former President Donald Trump accused those who did not support him in 2020 of voting “to destroy America and Israel”
- The post, which came on the final day of Rosh Hashanah, drew condemnation as antisemitic by Jewish leaders and politicians
- Jonathan Greenblatt, the Anti-Defamation League’s CEO, said in a statement the post was “dangerous and wrong” and that “even as an organization that supported many of these policy decisions, ADL doesn’t believe that our community needs to be lectured about how to vote”
- For years, Trump has aired his frustrations that American Jews are not sufficiently supportive for his liking, often citing his administration pro-Israel policies
- Seven-in-ten American Jews identify or lean towards the Democratic Party, according to the Pew Research Center; polls taken immediately after the 2020 presidential election show Jewish support for Joe Biden ranged from 60 to 77%
The 2024 Republican frontrunner posted an image on his Truth Social platform on Sunday, the final day of Rosh Hashanah, criticizing “liberal Jews” for not appreciating his support of Israel and for buying into accusations of antisemitism leveled at Trump.
“Just a quick reminder for liberal Jews who voted to destroy America & Israel because you believed false narratives!” the image read. “Let’s hope you learned from your mistake & make better choices moving forward! Happy New Year!”
The post was created by JEXIT, a group that aims to encourage American Jews to leave the Democratic party. It went on to say “Wake Up Sheep” and ask “What Natzi/Anti Semite ever did this for Jewish people or Israel?” as it listed off Trump administration policies regarding Israel and the treatment of Jews in the U.S.
In a statement confirming it created the flyer, the group said that it is "thankful" Trump shared it, before going on to say that "there has been no greater friend to American Jews and the State of Israel" than the former president, while adding it is "deeply concerned that many Liberal Jews in America" do not recognize those accomplishments.
Jonathan Greenblatt, the Anti-Defamation League’s CEO, said in a statement the post was “dangerous and wrong” and that “even as an organization that supported many of these policy decisions, ADL doesn’t believe that our community needs to be lectured about how to vote.”
The CEO of the Jewish Council for Public Affairs, Amy Spitalnick, called the post “antisemitic.” The Tel Aviv Institute, an Israeli nonprofit combating antisemitism, said Trump’s remarks are “strengthening antisemitic attitudes in America.” The daily newspaper Haaretz, the oldest in Israel, described it as “an ominous warning to American Jews,” noting the majority of U.S. Jews are not supporters of the former president.
“Next time you attack American Jews, think twice before about doing it on one of our holiest days. Your antisemitism is loud & clear,” wrote Rep. Jerry Nadler, a Jewish Democrat who long represented the most Jewish congressional district in the country. “And your fear of democracy supporters here & in [Israel] is showing because you [love] authoritarianism.”
Sunday was not the first time Trump has attacked American Jews for his dissatisfaction with their loyalty, nor was it the first time he was willing to engage with antisemitism for political means.
In November, Trump dined with rapper Ye, formerly known as Kanye West, and white supremacist Nick Fuentes, both of whom have praised Adolf Hitler and denied the Holocaust. Last month, Trump’s campaign compared his federal prosecution connected to his effort to overturn the 2020 election results to Nazi Germany, a statement the ADL denounced as “completely inappropriate and flat out offensive.”
When white supremacists chanted “Jews will not replace us” as they marched in Charlottesville, Virginia, in 2017 and a neo-Nazi murdered a counterprotester, Trump said there “were very fine people, on both sides,” a remark he defended for years after.
Trump has also blamed one of his prosecutions — the case in New York regarding alleged hush money payments made to two women who claim they had affairs with him — on billionaire Democratic donor George Soros, a Holocaust survivor and frequent right-wing bogeyman.
For years, Trump has aired his frustrations that American Jews are not sufficiently supportive for his liking, often citing his administration pro-Israel policies like the move of the U.S. Embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem or the recognition of disputed territory as wholly Israel’s.
"I think Jewish people that vote for a Democrat — I think it shows either a total lack of knowledge or great disloyalty," Trump said in 2019.
"No President has done more for Israel than I have. Somewhat surprisingly, however, our wonderful Evangelicals are far more appreciative of this than the people of the Jewish faith, especially those living in the U.S.," Trump wrote in a Truth Social post last year, adding: "U.S. Jews have to get their act together and appreciate what they have in Israel – Before it is too late!"
Seven-in-ten American Jews identify or lean towards the Democratic Party, according to the Pew Research Center. Polls taken immediately after the 2020 presidential election show Jewish support for Joe Biden ranged from 60 to 77%.
A June poll from the Jewish Electoral Institute showed Biden is leading Trump 72% to 22% among registered Jewish voters this election cycle.
“It is dangerous and wrong to suggest an entire segment of the Jewish population voted to destroy America and Israel. Whether or not it’s intentional, President Trump is playing into conspiracy theories about dual loyalty here,” said Greenblatt, the head of the ADL. “Even worse, this is happening on one of the holiest days of the Jewish calendar, Rosh Hashanah.”