President Donald Trump has faced fierce opposition to his latest comments, in which he questioned whether Jewish Americans who vote for Democrats in elections are loyal or not to the interests of the United States or to Israel.
“I think any Jewish people that vote for a Democrat — I think it shows either a total lack of knowledge, or great disloyalty,” the president said on Tuesday.
By Wednesday, politicians, Jewish groups, and commentators alike had voiced grave concerns about Trump’s apparent ignorance on what is a widely-known anti-Semitic statement.
Joe Scarborough, a host of the MSNBC program Morning Joe, was among those who blasted the president for his word choice.
Trump’s commentary “lies right at the heart of anti-Semitic tropes,” Scarborough explained, per a report from Newsweek.
“I think any Jewish people that vote for a Democrat, it shows either a total lack of knowledge or great disloyalty.” It isn’t the first time that Trump has invoked the anti-Semitic jargon of dual loyalty. This is unacceptable. pic.twitter.com/IDLPoudlQw
— Jamil Smith جميل كريم (@JamilSmith) August 20, 2019
Scarborough, who left the Republican Party in July 2017 due to the party’s abandonment of conservative principles and embracing of Trumpism, pointed out that Trump’s rhetoric wasn’t anything new, and seemed to be borrowed from language bigoted political leaders had used in the past.
“For decades, for generations, for centuries – for centuries, this is exactly how Jews have been attacked not only in the Soviet Union, in [Nazi] Germany, across the world, that they are quote, insufficiently loyal,” Scarborough said.
Indeed, according to the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, attacks against the Jewish population by Adolf Hitler in Nazi Germany during the 1930s commonly used similar lines of arguments. Hitler attacked Jews in 1939 during his Reichstag Speech, for instance, accusing them of disloyalty to Germany as justification for the enactment of his policies against the Jewish people.
Anti-Defamation League CEO Jonathan Greenblatt blasted Trump’s comments immediately after they were made in a statement he shared on Twitter, and criticized his use of the Jewish people for political grandstanding.
“It’s unclear who [Trump] is claiming Jews would be ‘disloyal’ to, but charges of disloyalty have long been used to attack Jews,” Greenblatt said, per reporting from CNN. “As we’ve said before, it’s possible to engage in the democratic process without these claims. It’s long overdue to stop using Jews as a political football.”
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Chris Walker is a freelance writer based out of Madison, Wisconsin. A millennial with more than a decade of journalism experience, Chris aims to provide readers with the latest and most accurate news of national importance. Chris likes to spend his free time doing activities in his community with his family.