Trump calls Netanyahu ‘your prime minister’ at Jewish American event

Jewish American groups criticized President Donald Trump for calling Israeli leader Benjamin Netanyahu “your prime minister” during an address Saturday to the Republican Jewish Coalition.

“I stood with your prime minister at the White Hous to recognize Israeli sovereignty over the Golan Heights,” he told the audience at the RJC’s Annual Leadership conference in Las Vegas.

Some said that Trump’s conflation of American Jews with Israelis played into old anti-Semitic tropes about divided loyalties. 

“Mr. President, the Prime Minister of Israel is the leader of his (or her) country, not ours. Statements to the contrary, from staunch friends or harsh critics, feed bigotry,” the American Jewish Committee said in a response to Trump’s remark that was posted on Twitter. 

“Mr. President, words matter. As with all elected officials, its critical for you to avoid language that leads people to believe Jews aren’t loyal Americans,” tweeted Anti-Defamation League CEO Jonathan Greenblatt. 

Greenblatt included a link to a November 2018 ADL blog post about the “dual loyalty” charge, which it calls an “anti-Semitic allegation” that “Jews should be suspected of being disloyal neighbors or citizens because their true allegiance is to their coreligionists around the world or to a secret and immoral Jewish agenda.”

[USA Today]

Trump Promotes Fox & Friends Segment With ‘Jexodus’ Activist Claiming Democratic Party is Anti-Semitic

President Donald Trump touted the Fox & Friends appearance of an activist calling for Jewish Americans to walk away from the Democratic party.

“Jexodus,” clearly inspired by Candace Owens‘s “Blexit” gimmick, was announced in the wake of controversial comments from Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) that were condemned by members of her own party as anti-Semitic.

Elizabeth Pipko, a former Trump campaign staffer and a spokesperson for Jexodus, joined Fox & Friends host Steve Doocy in criticizing Democrats for passing a general anti-hate resolution instead of a specific resolution condemning anti-Semitism.

“They are the party of anti-Semitism,” Pipko said, echoing the president.

And the president was watching. He tweeted a fake quote from Pipko, which was really just a selective collection of her comments poorly transcribed and smashed together:

In Pipko’s interview, Doocy pointed out that in 2016, Hillary Clinton got 71% of the Jewish vote, while Trump got 24%. He asked if she saw that changing in 2020.

Pipko replied that Jexodus is realistic but optimistic. When pressed by Ainsley Earhardt as the why Jews don’t support Trump, Pipko made a confession about Jewish Democrats: “I don’t think they’re going to change.”

[Mediaite]

GUY WHO DUBBED NEO-NAZIS “VERY FINE PEOPLE” SUDDENLY CONCERNED ABOUT ANTI-SEMITISM

In August 2017, Donald Trump responded to the Charlottesville riots that resulted in the death of Heather Heyer by insisting that a violent mob of white nationalists—whose ranks included neo-Nazis chanting “Jews will not replace us”—also contained some “very fine people.” For his first International Holocaust Remembrance Day as president, the White House’s statement did not include any mention of Jews or anti-Semitism, a decision it defended by claiming that such a reference would have excluded all the other people who died, such as Jehovah’s Witnesses and anarchists. While running for office, Trump tweeted an image of Hillary Clinton’s face against a backdrop of $100 bills alongside the Star of David, and closed out his campaign with a dog-whistle to anti-Semites about a group of Jews who make up the “global power structure that is responsible for the economic decisions that have robbed our working class, stripped our country of its wealth and put that money into the pockets of a handful of large corporations and political entities.” But on Wednesday, the president insisted he’s super committed to stamping out anti-Semitism in a tweet that was 100 percent sincere and not at all politically motivated:

Trump, of course, is all worked up after progressives in the House Democratic caucus protested plans to vote on a resolution condemning religious hatred, in the wake of the uproar over freshman Representative Ilhan Omar’s bad tweets questioning U.S. support for Israel. There’s plenty of hypocrisy to go around: Republicans spent years ignoring Rep. Steve King’s paeans to the white race, until King literally asked when the term “white supremacist” became offensive. In 2002, Rep. Steve Scalise, who bashed Omar on Fox News, just happened to pop up at a white supremacist-hosted rally. Just this week, House Judiciary Chairman Jerry Nadler attacked Republican Rep. Jim Jordan for an “inane AND anti-Semitic” tweet in which he spelled the name of billionaire Tom Steyer, a liberal activist whose father was Jewish, with a “$” in place of the S. (In a statement, Jordan’s spokesman said, “Congressman Jordan has always stood against hatred and bigotry,” adding somewhat strangely, “Also, according to public sources, Steyer is Episcopalian.”)

Omar, for her part, isn’t apologizing after criticizing a “political influence in this country that says it is OK for people to push for allegiance to a foreign country.” After Rep. Eliot Engel called her apparent reference to dual loyalty a “vile, anti-Semitic slur,” Omar shot back that the charge of anti-Semitism is “designed to end the debate” about Israel’s treatment of Palestinians—a sentiment echoed by Bernie Sanders in a statement Wednesday.

The entire debate is surely above Donald Trump’s head, but that isn’t stopping him from weaponizing the issue to his benefit. Strangely, his pure moral outrage was nowhere to be seen in 2015, when he was telling a group of Jewish Republicans that they couldn’t control him because “I don’t want your money” or outing Jonathan Leibowitz—“I mean Jon Stewart”—as a Jew. In sum, everyone involved here is terrible.

[Vanity Fair]

Trump, Asked by Reporter If Soros Is Funding the Caravan, Says ‘I Wouldn’t Be Surprised’

Speaking outside the White House on Wednesday, President Donald Trump refused to rule out the possibility that George Soros might be behind the migrant caravan.

Trump was first asked if he thought someone was funding the caravan.

“I wouldn’t be surprised,” Trump replied.

George Soros?” a reporter pressed.

“I don’t know who, but I wouldn’t be surprised,” Trump continued on. “A lot of people say yes.”

A “lot of people” includes Fox News folks like Lou Dobbs and Laura Ingraham, as well as pro-Trump Congressman Matt Gaetz who tweeted out this:

The conspiracy theory — which apparently dates back to March — may also have contributed to the synagogue slayings in Pittsburgh.

Standing on the White House lawn on Wednesday, Trump gave no further indication about why he would “not be surprised” that Soros was involved, although blaming Soros has proven popular among Trump’s base.

[Mediaite]

Kellyanne Conway cites ‘anti-religiosity’ in Pittsburgh shooting

Kellyanne Conway cited “anti-religiosity” on Monday in discussing the mass shooting at a Pittsburgh synagogue.

Conway’s remarks during a discussion on Fox News’ “Fox & Friends” came less than 72 hours after the deadliest attack on Jews in American history. The alleged shooter, Robert Bowers, targeted Jews online and made anti-Semitic comments during the shooting, law enforcement officials said.

“The anti-religiosity in this country that is somehow in vogue and funny, to make fun of anybody of faith. To constantly be making fun of people who expresses religion,” said Conway, who serves as counselor to President Donald Trump.

“The late night comedians. The un-funny people on TV shows. It’s always anti-religious. And remember, these people were gunned down in their place of worship’,” Conway continued. “As were the people in South Carolina several years ago. And they were there because they’re people of faith and it’s that faith that needs to bring us together.”

As the weather gets colder and furry intruders start looking for shelter, the only animals people want in their houses are their family pets.

“This is no time to be driving God out of the public square. No time to be making fun of people.”

Conway’s comments, which went unchallenged on the program, were made just before she told reporters that she was “very happy” that Trump condemned anti-Semitism following the massacre, which left 11 dead. The President’s combative rhetoric has been scrutinized in the wake of the Pittsburgh shooting as well as last week’s potential explosive devices that were sent to several of Trump’s political opponents.

“I was very happy he came out with very strong words over the weekend though, condemning anti-Semitism and asking the country to rise above hate and evil and unify,” she said outside the White House on Monday.

Conway was referring to comments Trump made on Saturday in Illinois as he responded to news of the shooting. “It looks definitely like it’s an anti-Semitic crime, and that is something you wouldn’t believe could still be going on,” he said at the time.

Asked if Trump would denounce white nationalists, Conway said, “Please don’t lose the lesson of today which is anti-Semitism in all forms. It is evil and it still is being perpetrated around this world. Please remember the 11 who were murdered because of their faith.”

Conway’s husband, George Conway, a frequent public critic of the President despite his wife’s position, also weighed in on Monday morning. Instead of directly commenting on the matter, Conway tweeted a quote from a Washington Post op-ed published on Sunday by Patti Davis, the daughter of former President Ronald Reagan.

“This president will never offer comfort, compassion or empathy to a grieving nation. It’s not in him. When questioned after a tragedy, he will always be glib and inappropriate. So I have a wild suggestion: Let’s stop asking him. His words are only salt in our wounds,” the tweet read, citing Davis’ op-ed.

[CNN]

Trump Blasts ‘Crazed & Stumbling Lunatic’ Tom Steyer Days After He Was Targeted By Bomb

Mere days ago, President Donald Trump was calling for a new “tone and civility” in politics after the arrest of a man accused of mailing pipe bombs to several top Democratic leaders. On Sunday, that was all out the window as he slammed Democratic donor Tom Steyer following an interview with CNN. Steyer was the intended recipient of one of the more than a dozen pipe bombs that were sent to Trump critics.

On Sunday, Steyer talked on CNN about the “political violence” that Trump and the Republican Party had created across the country. Shortly after the interview, Trump took to Twitter to blast the billionaire Democratic activist. “Just watched Wacky Tom Steyer,” Trump wrote. “He comes off as a crazed & stumbling lunatic who should be running out of money pretty soon. As bad as their field is, if he is running for President, the Dems will eat him alive!”

Steyer, who has repeatedly called for Trump’s impeachment, hit back at the president on Twitter. “It is unthinkable that in the midst of the horrible political violence our president would resort to name-calling instead of repairing the damage to the fabric of our country,” Steyer wrote.

During the interview with CNN, Steyer said that while there had been “bad behavior” by members of both parties, he noted Republicans are less likely to condemn those who say violent things. “You don’t find prominent Democrats who are leading chants with violent overtones like ‘Lock her up,’ ‘CNN sucks’ ― all the kinds of attempts to play to people’s strongest emotions,” Steyer said. “That creates an atmosphere where anything can bubble up and anything is bubbling up.”

[Slate]

Trump laughs about locking up George Soros moments after calling for national unity

President Donald Trump on Friday briefly tried to strike a conciliatory tone when it came to condemning political violence — but he quickly reverted back to attacking his political foes, including musing about having billionaire Democratic donor George Soros arrested.

While addressing the Young Black Leadership Summit at the White House on Friday, Trump went on the attack against “globalists” whom he accused of undermining American sovereignty.

“I like the globe too, but we have to take care of our people,” the president said.

While Trump talked about “globalists,” many audience members started yelling, “Soros!” while another member yelled, “Lock him up!”

The president smiled and pointed to the audience member and laughingly repeated, “Ha, lock him up!”

Trump’s laughter about the prospect of locking up Soros comes after Trump supporter Cesar Sayoc was arrested on Friday on suspicion of sending explosive devices to Soros and several top Democrats. Sayoc’s Facebook and Twitter feed are loaded with attacks on Soros and other liberals.

[Raw Story]

Media

Trump promotes anti-Semitic conspiracy theory on Twitter

The anti-Semitic conspiracy theory that George Soros, a wealthy Hungarian-American businessman who has donated millions of dollars to progressive causes, is paying people to protest President Donald Trump is a staple of the conservative ecosystem.

Last week, Fox News’ Laura Ingraham tweeted “SOROS STRIKES AGAIN” after Sen. Jeff Flake (R-AZ) was confronted in a Senate elevator by survivors of sexual assault.

Now the President of the United States is getting in on the anti-Semitic action, claiming that protests against his Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh, who has been accused of sexual misconduct by multiple women, were “Paid for by Soros and others” in a Friday tweet.

This was the first time Trump has mentioned Soros on Twitter, per the Toronto Star’s Daniel Dale. However, The Atlantic’s David Frum noted Soros was one of the “three identifiable “faces of international finance”” featured in a 2016 Trump campaign ad that was widely criticized for its anti-Semitic overtones.

The Washington Examiner’s Dave Brown noticed that Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-IA) floated the conspiracy theory about Soros paying Kavanaugh protesters during an appearance on Fox Business less than 90 minutes before Trump’s tweet.

Ana Maria Archila, one of the sexual assault survivors who was filmed confronting Flake last week, responded to Trump’s tweet in a statement, saying, “No one can pay for someone’s lived experiences.”

According to the Anti-Defamation League, “The Hungarian Jewish billionaire, Holocaust survivor and philanthropist figures prominently in anti-Semitic tweets, with claims that he directly uses his largess to fund false flag events. One noteworthy allegation claims that Soros was responsible for the deadly ‘Unite the Right’ rally in August 2017 in Charlottesville, Va. Other tweets refer to his Jewish heritage in pejorative terms and claims that he’s trying to undermine Western civilization.”

ThinkProgress’ Casey Michel recently explained the anti-Semitism behind conservatives’ Soros conspiracy theories:

Of course, as with most conspiracies, there’s a far darker reality lurking behind the notion that Soros is responsible for all the ills facing down nationalist movements. While most of those pushing Soros-based conspiracies don’t come out and say that Soros is evil because he’s Jewish, it doesn’t take much sleuthing to discern the anti-Semitism behind the conspiracies. Between the imagery of Soros pulling strings to the fact that Soros has effectively replaced “the Rothschilds” as the go-to for any conspiracy about an international cabal thwarting the people’s will, it’s not hard to catch the bigotry lacing the rising conspiracies about Soros.

Conservatives have a history of attempting to smear survivors of traumatic events as paid “crisis actors.” Sexual assault survivors’ attempts to confront Kavanaugh’s supporters have not been received well by Republicans.

The Washington Post reported in January 2017 that people were paid to attend Trump’s campaign launch announcement.

[ThinkProgress]

Trump Promotes Antisemitic, Conspiracy Website: I ‘Wish the Fake News Would Report’ Like This

President Donald Trump shared an article about the website magapill.com showcasing his “accomplishment list” — though, aside from including a faulty link, the Twitter account associated with the site frequently posted content that was antisemitic or conspiratorial in nature.

“Wow, even I didn’t realize we did so much. Wish the Fake News would report! Thank you,” tweeted the president — promoting an article from a site that believes Seth Rich was “murdered” by Hillary Clinton and banking is corrupted by “certain bloodlines.”

The front page of the website is titled “President Donald Trump’s Accomplishment List.” This page touts articles — in a Drudge Report style format — that supposedly reflect the president’s successes on the economy, crime, and business.

However, things get significantly stranger and disturbing when examining MAGAPill’s Twitter account, as the site obsesses over conspiracy theories — including the idea that Luciferianism, in part, controls the world, along with George Soros and the Vatican.

In the same wild flow chart, the account shares the theory that “banking families” — a seeming reference to the Jewish community — control all of the world’s financial institutions for their gain. “Banking families, Certain bloodline families have dominated global financial institutions, including: BIS, FED, IMF, World Bank, Wall Street,” states the chart.

Ironically, Trump’s tweet praising the work of MAGAPill came just after a post in which he attacked CNN as “fake news.”

[Mediaite]

Rex Tillerson is Intentionally Leaving the State Dept.’s Anti-Semitism Monitoring Office Unstaffed

The U.S. State Department’s office to monitor and combat anti-Semitism will be unstaffed as of July 1.

A source familiar with the office’s workings told JTA that its remaining two staffers, each working half-time or less, would be reassigned as of that date.

The Trump administration, which has yet to name an envoy to head the office, would not comment on the staffing change. At full staffing, the office employs a full-time envoy and the equivalent of three full-time staffers.

The State Department told JTA in a statement that it remained committed to combating anti-Semitism – and cited as evidence the tools, including the department’s annual reports on human rights and religious freedom, that existed before Congress mandated the creation of the envoy office in 2004.

“We want to ensure the Department is addressing anti-Semitism in the most effective and efficient method possible and will continue to endeavor to do so,” the statement said.

“The Department of State condemns attacks on Jewish communities and individuals. We consistently urge governments around the world to address and condemn anti-Semitism and work with vulnerable Jewish communities to assess and provide appropriate levels of security.

“The Department, our Embassies, and our Consulates support extensive bilateral, multilateral, and civil society outreach to Jewish communities,” the statement continued. “Additionally, the State Department continues to devote resources towards programs combating anti-Semitism online and off, as well as building NGO coalitions in Europe. We also closely monitor global anti-Semitism and report on it in our Country Reports on Human Rights Practices and International Religious Freedom Report, which document global anti-Semitism in 199 countries.”

Secretary of State Rex Tillerson told Congress in testimony earlier this month that he believed special envoys were counterproductive because they provided an excuse to the rest of the department to ignore the specific issue addressed by the envoy.

Congressional lawmakers from both parties have pressed the Trump administration, in letters and proposed bills, to name an envoy and to enhance the office’s status. They have noted that unlike other envoys, whose positions were created by Trump’s predecessors, the office of the envoy on anti-Semitism is a statute and requires filling.

“As the author of the amendment that created the Special Envoy to Monitor and Combat Anti-Semitism, I remain hopeful that these critical positions will be filled,” Rep. Chris Smith, R-N.J., who authorized the 2004 law, said in a statement to JTA.

Jewish groups have lobbied President Donald Trump to name an envoy, saying that despite Tillerson’s testimony, the position has been key to encouraging diplomats and officials throughout the department to focus on anti-Semitism. Hannah Rosenthal, a special envoy on anti-Semitism in the Obama administration, instituted department-wide training on identifying anti-Semitism.

“The idea of having a dedicated envoy who can travel around the world to raise awareness on this issue is critical,” the Anti-Defamation League CEO, Jonathan Greenblatt, told JTA in an interview.

“That doesn’t mean there isn’t value for all ambassadors and every embassy in addressing issues of anti-Semitism and bigotry in countries they operate,” he said. “But if the administration is truly committed” to combating anti-Semitism, “maintaining the special envoy for anti-Semitism seems like a no-brainer.”

The ADL, coincidentally, launched an online petition Thursday to the White House to fill the position.

Officials of the Simon Wiesenthal Center, which has enjoyed a good relationship with the Trump administration, said that if the unstaffing was coming ahead of a reorganization of the office, that was understandable. But positions remain unfilled in all of the major federal departments and agencies since Trump took office.

“However, we are almost in July and there is still no one of proper rank at the State Department whom the Wiesenthal Center and others can work with to re-activate US leadership in the struggle against anti-Semitism at a time when global anti-Semitism is rising,” said an email from Rabbi Abraham Cooper, the associate dean of the center, and Mark Weitzman, its director of government affairs.

Jason Isaacson, the American Jewish Committee’s director of government and international affairs, said the position was essential.

“It’s not as though the need for a special envoy has diminished,” he told JTA in an interview. “If anything it has increased.”

[Jewish Telegraph Agency]

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