Trump invokes ties with Israel to attack liberal Jews in US
On the first day of the Jewish New Year, former US President Donald Trump posted on his social media platform Truth Social that liberal Jews in the US were destroying Israel and America, leading to outrage over what was widely seen as an antisemitic statement.
"Just a quick reminder for liberal Jews who voted to destroy America & Israel because you believed false narratives," he wrote in his post. He added a list of his policies related to Israel, including moving the embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, in an apparent show of solidarity with the country.
The former president was roundly called out for antisemitism, with critics saying that conflating Jews with Israel is a classic antisemitic trope.
Jonathan Greenblatt, CEO of the Anti-Defamation League, told USA TODAY, "It is dangerous and wrong to suggest an entire segment of the Jewish population voted to destroy America and Israel."
He added, "Whether or not it's intentional, President Trump is playing into conspiracy theories about dual loyalty here. Even worse, this is happening on one of the holiest days of the Jewish calendar, Rosh Hashanah."
Trump is not the only politician to use his Israeli policies to try to deflect from antisemitism. His main rival for the 2024 Republican presidential nomination, Ron DeSantis, has similarly brought up his ties to Israel when the subject of antisemitism has come up.
Over the past few years, Florida has seen growing racist and neo-Nazi demonstrations, often with the participants promoting the governor's name. Following a huge demonstration last year, he was asked to issue a statement of condemnation, which he refused to do. Instead, he tried to counter the criticism by bringing up his ties to Israel.
He said his administration has a proven track record of supporting Israel, including his multiple trips to the country and signing legislation to punish companies that practice an Israeli boycott.
Another instance in which a public figure was expected to condemn antisemitism was when Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu met with Tesla and X (formerly Twitter) CEO Elon Musk on Monday in California. The visiting head of state asked the executive to work to rein in antisemitism on his social media platform.
Musk responded vaguely by blaming bots for the proliferation of hate speech on the platform. This meeting follows recent threats by Musk to sue the anti-Defamation League after their criticism of hate speech on the platform.