US President Donald Trump visits the Western Wall, the holiest site where Jews can pray, in Jerusalems Old City on May 22, 2017.
Ronen Zvulun | AFP | Getty Images
Former President Donald Trump, in a newly aired interview, told an Israeli journalist that “the Jewish people in the United States either don’t like Israel or don’t care about Israel.”
“There’s people in this country that are Jewish no longer love Israel,” Trump said in the interview with journalist Barak Ravid.
“I’ll tell you, the evangelical Christians love Israel more than the Jews in this country,” said Trump, a Republican who won very strong support from white evangelical voters in the 2016 and 2020 presidential elections.
Jews in those elections, in contrast, were much more likely to vote for Democratic nominees Hillary Clinton and President Joe Biden, respectively, polls have shown. Muslims, Buddhists and Hindus also were more apt to vote for Biden than Trump.
Trump made the comments while he considers another run for the White House in 2024, and as he continues to spread the lie that the 2020 vote was illegally rigged against him.
The American Jewish Congress later condemned Trump for trafficking “radioactive antisemitic tropes” with his remarks.
Israel’s Basic Laws define that country as the nation-state of the Jewish people. Every Jew in the world had the right under Israel’s law to emigrate there and become a citizen.
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Excerpts of Trump’s interview were played on a new episode of the podcast Unholy: Two Jews on the news, which was posted online Friday.
In that interview, Trump said that when he grew up in New York City, his father Fred, a residential real estate developer, “was very close to many Jewish people, because it was Brooklyn real estate, Brooklyn and Queens.”
“Many Jewish friends, a great love of Israel, which has dissipated over the years for people in the United States,” Trump said.
“I must be honest, it’s a very dangerous thing that’s happening,” he added.
“It used to be that Israel had absolute power over Congress, and today I think it’s the exact opposite.”
“And I think [former President Barack] Obama and Biden did that,” he added. “And yet in the election, they still get a lot of votes from the Jewish people. Which tells you that the Jewish people, and I’ve said this for a long time, the Jewish people in the United States either don’t like Israel or don’t care about Israel.
“I mean, you look at The New York Times. The New York Times hates Israel. Hates ’em. And they’re Jewish people that run The New York Times, I mean the Sulzberger family,” Trump told Ravid, referring to the family that has operated that newspaper for more than a century.
Trump’s daughter Ivanka Trump converted to Judaism for her marriage to Jared Kushner.
The American Jewish Congress asked in a tweet, “Why is Mr. Trump once again fueling dangerous stereotypes about Jews?”
“His past support for Israel doesn’t give him license to traffic in radioactive antisemitic tropes — or peddle unfounded conclusions about the unbreakable ties that bind American Jews to Israel,” the group tweeted. “Enough!”
A spokeswoman for The Times declined to comment on Trump’s remark about the newspaper or the Sulzberger family.
CNBC has reached out for comment on Trump’s remarks in the interview to his spokeswoman, the Israeli Consul General’s Office in New York, and The American Israel Public Affairs Committee.