The Coalition for Jewish Values, representing over 1000 traditional rabbis in matters of public policy, today expressed thanks to President Trump for his expression of concern for Jewish interests, and both rejected and deplored comparisons of the President’s remarks to Antisemitic tropes. The President made his comments in the face of an ongoing anti-Semitic campaign against Jews and Israel from a pair of left-wing lawmakers — and the failure of others within the Democratic Party to call them out.
“While the President should not try to tell Jews which Jews are ‘disloyal,'” said Rabbi Yaakov Menken, Managing Director of the CJV, “his concern is reasonable and not remotely anti-Semitic. The President appreciates that Jews naturally have Jewish concerns, just as African-American, Latino and Asian Americans have theirs. This indicates friendship, not enmity, and has no relation to the hateful lie, so recently expressed by Rep. Ilhan Omar, that Jews are disloyal to their home countries in favor of Jewish interests.”
Responding to a reporter’s question about the pair of left-wing lawmakers, the President said, “I can’t believe we’re even having this conversation. Where has the Democratic Party gone? Where have they gone, where they’re defending these two people over the State of Israel. And I think any Jewish people that vote for a Democrat … I think it shows either a total lack of knowledge or great disloyalty.”
“In context, it is obvious that the ‘disloyalty’ to which the President referred was towards true Jewish interests and values, and respect for ourselves and our roots” added Rabbi Steven Pruzansky, Eastern Regional Vice President of the CJV. “Organizations which claim to represent the Jewish community should represent Jewish interests in a non-partisan fashion. Instead, left-wing Jewish groups are trying to paint the President as having used an Anti-Semitic trope, in order to avoid addressing the substance of his remarks. All Americans, and especially American Jews, should be concerned that anti-Israel lies are being promoted in Congress, and that Democrats are castigating Israel, Ambassador Ron Dermer and Ambassador David Friedman while behaving as if Tlaib and Omar’s Anti-Semitism is of little concern.”