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Trump sparks widespread outrage in saying Democratic Jews are disloyal

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President Donald Trump sparked widespread outrage and confusion on Tuesday when he said that Jewish Americans voting for Democrats was showing “great disloyalty.”

Trump made the comments in reference to two Democratic lawmakers, Rep. Ilhan Omar of Minnesota and Rep. Rashida Tlaib of Michigan, who have been openly critical of the Israeli government’s policies towards Palestinians.

In a Monday press conference, Omar argued that the US should cut foreign aid to Israel over the government initially barring them from entering the country in their official capacities as members of Congress.

Read more: Trump just said Jewish Americans voting for Democrats show ‘great disloyalty’

“But these two, Omar and Tlaib. I think it would be a very bad thing for Israel. I would not cut off aid to Israel. I can’t even believe that we are having this conversation. Where has the Democratic Party gone? Where have they gone where they are defending these two people over the state of Israel?,” Trump said on Tuesday.

“I think any Jewish people that vote for a Democrat, I think it shows either a total lack of knowledge or great disloyalty,” he added.

The Republican Jewish Coalition defended Trump’s comments, tweeting, “President Trump is right, it shows a great deal of disloyalty to oneself to defend a party that protects/emboldens people that hate you for your religion.”

Other Jewish leaders and prominent commentators, however, spoke out to denounce Trump’s comments for trafficking in anti-Semitic tropes and harmful stereotypes targeting huge majorities of Jewish voters.

“Jews have had a long history of being in countries where we are accused of being disloyal,” Aaron Keyak, the former head of the National Jewish Democratic Council said in a statement to Insider. “Just because President Trump is deeply unpopular in our community is no reason to slander us with echos of some of the most insidious attacks against our people.”

In every recent election cycle, Jewish voters have overwhelmingly backed Democrats, a trend that has continued into the Trump era despite Trump’s previous claims that there is a “Jexodus” of Jewish voters leaving the party.

The Pew Research Center found that in the November 2018 midterm elections, 79% of self-described Jewish voters voted for the Democratic candidate in their congressional district, up from 66% of Jewish voters who voted Democratic in the 2014 midterms.

Read more: Israel blocking 2 US Muslim congresswomen from entering the country is a huge show of weakness that will probably backfire

In the 2012 presidential election, 69% of Jewish voters voted for Obama, and Trump’s Democratic opponent Hillary Clinton carried 71% of the Jewish vote compared to Trump’s 24% in 2016.

Every sitting Jewish US Senator and all but two of the 27 currently-serving Jewish members of the House of Representatives are Democrats.

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