December 9, 2019

President Donald Trump was accused Sunday of "pushing blatant antisemitism" and repeating his racist use of the word "Pocahontas" during a speech he gave Saturday evening at the annual conference of the Israeli-American Council.

"Trump's antisemitism and his racism are two sides of the same coin," said Yonah Lieberman, co-founder of progressive Jewish group IfNotNow.

In the remarks that were widely condemned on social media, Trump said that some people of the Jewish faith in the U.S. "don't love Israel enough"—a trope he's used previously.

After being introduced by right-wing megadonor Sheldon Adelson, the president told the audience, "A lot of you are in the real estate business because I know you very well. You're brutal killers. Not nice people at all. But you have to vote for me. You have no choice. You're not going to vote for Pocahontas, I can tell you that. You're not going to vote for the wealth tax. 'Yeah, let's take 100 percent of your wealth away.'"

The comments sparked sharp criticism from progressive Jewish group Bend the Arc, which said Trump, "his enablers in Congress, and his white nationalist base are targeting all of us."

"The GOP & far-right leaders regularly weaponize antisemitism against progressive leaders of color & use Jews as a shield," the group said in a Twitter thread. "Where is their outrage when Trump is blatantly antisemitic? When he insinuates Jews control money & power? When he calls us disloyal?"

"This is personal," IfNotNow added in a tweet Sunday. "Trump is inciting his white nationalist base to attack 'bad Jews'—that is, Jews like us who support freedom and dignity for everyone. We have a duty to fight back. We have a duty to defeat white nationalism."

According to public school educator Jamal Bowman, a Democrat running for the 16th Congressional District in New York, the fact that Trump was off-script makes the comments even more revealing.

"When the president goes off-script, he reveals his true feelings and intentions," Bowman wrote Sunday. "The fact that he is incapable of addressing Jewish audiences without slipping in a few anti-Semitic quips speaks volumes."

The group behind the conference, the Israeli-American Council, advocates for "a strong Jewish and Israeli identity for the next generations." It was co-founded by real estate millionaire Adam Milstein, who, as The Intercept reported, has bankrolled attacks on the BDS movement. Milstein has called Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-Minn.) a "terrorist" and suggested she and Rep. Rashida Tlaib (D-Mich.) are not loyal to the United States.

Also on Saturday, before speaking at the conference, Trump attended a closed-door fundraiser during which he brought onstage Army 1st Lt. Clint Lorance and Maj. Mathew Golsteyn. The men faced war crimes allegations but were fully pardoned by the president last month.

Republished from Common Dreams (Andrea Germanos, staff writer) under a Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 License.

Can you help us out?

For 17 years we have been exposing Washington lies and untangling media deceit, but now Facebook is drowning us in an ocean of right wing lies. Please give a one-time or recurring donation, or buy a year's subscription for an ad-free experience. Thank you.

Discussion

New Commenting System

Our comments are now powered by Insticator. In order to comment you will need to create an Insticator account. The process is quick and simple. When registering you will also be presented with the option to tie all your old Disqus comments to your new Insticator account. Please note that the ability to comment with a C&L site account is no longer available.

We welcome relevant, respectful comments. Any comments that are sexist or in any other way deemed hateful by our staff will be deleted and constitute grounds for a ban from posting on the site. Please refer to our Terms of Service (revised 3/17/2016) for information on our posting policy.