Former President Donald Trump, in a newly released interview, claimed that Jewish Americans “either don’t like Israel or don’t care about Israel,” while also suggesting that evangelical Christians “love Israel more than the Jews in this country.”
Trump’s comments are the latest in a series of controversial remarks he has been known to make about Jewish Americans. During his first campaign for president, Trump delivered a speech to the Republican Jewish Coalition that was rife with anti-Semitic stereotypes. More recently, he told conservative radio host Ari Hoffman that “Israel literally owned Congress…10 years ago, 15 years ago… and today it’s almost the opposite.”
Speaking to Israeli journalist Barak Ravid, during a sit-down interview earlier this year, parts of which aired Friday on the podcast “Unholy: Two Jews on the News,” the former President said, “It’s a very dangerous thing that’s happening,” as he claimed that Jewish Americans have turned their back on Israel.
“There’s people in this country that are Jewish and no longer love Israel,” Trump said. “I’ll tell you, the evangelical Christians love Israel more than the Jews in this country.”
Trump outperformed both of his Democratic rivals – Hillary Clinton and Joe Biden – with White evangelical voters in 2016 and 2020 and is currently considering a third run for president in 2024. Speaking to Ravid, Trump blamed Biden and former President Barack Obama for what he perceives as Israel’s waning influence over US elected officials.
“It used to be that Israel had absolute power over Congress, and today I think it’s the exact opposite. And I think Obama and Biden did that,” Trump charged. “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.”
In the same interview, Trump suggested that The New York Times “hates Israel” even though “they’re Jewish people that run The New York Times.” (For decades, the paper has been owned by the Sulzberger family, though its employees, including its top editors, come from all backgrounds).
A spokesman for Trump could not immediately be reached for comment.
Ravid was among several journalists who interviewed the former President at his Mar-a-Lago and Bedminster clubs shortly after he left office in January. During his interviews with Ravid, the former President also said he hasn’t spoken with former Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu since he congratulated Biden on his 2020 victory last November.
“F**k him,” Trump said of Netanyahu, according to a report by Axios.
“The first person that congratulated [Biden] was Bibi Netanyahu, the man that I did more for than any other person I dealt with … Bibi could have stayed quiet. He has made a terrible mistake,” Trump reportedly said.