Trump to American Jewish Leaders: “We Love Your Country” September 17, 2020

Trump to American Jewish Leaders: “We Love Your Country”

As part of a tradition before Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish New Year, Donald Trump spoke to various American Jewish leaders over the phone — not to share holiday sentiments, but to tell them “We love your country” (that is, Israel) and to persuade them to vote for him this fall:

President Donald Trump spent much of his 20-minute call with American Jewish leaders making the case for more American Jews to vote for him. He closed by repeating a line that has raised their eyebrows before.

“We really appreciate you,” Trump said as he signed off the call, an annual pre-Rosh Hashanah presidential tradition. “We love your country also.”

The comments echoed others he has made in the past that suggest that American Jews think of themselves as Israelis, including at a White House Hanukkah party two years ago.

He just can’t get it through his head that American Jews have rather diverse opinions about Israel. It’s not a unanimous Holy Grail. Furthermore, American Jews are just that — American. This country is their country.

But it’s no wonder Trump reached out to them specifically. Despite the formation of a “Jewish Voices for Trump” group that includes billionaire donor Sheldon Adelson and Sinclair Broadcast Group propagandist Boris Epshteyn and others, Trump’s support among U.S. Jews is far lower than Joe Biden‘s.

Jews traditionally vote in large numbers for the Democratic presidential nominee. A poll this week showed Joe Biden getting 67% of the vote and Trump 30%. But Jewish voters in swing states, particularly Florida, could swing what may be a close election, and Trump signaled that he was mystified about why he would not command a larger share of the Jewish vote.

“Which really amazes me, and I have to tell you, because I saw a poll that in the last election, I got 25% of the Jewish vote and I said here I have a son-in-law and a daughter who are Jewish, I have beautiful grandchildren that are Jewish. I have all of these incredible achievements,” Trump said. “I’m amazed that it seems to be almost automatically a Democrat.”

If his biggest claim to the Jewish vote is that Ivanka Trump converted to the faith before marriage, while he continued to embrace White Nationalists and policies that repulse so many American Jews, he’s not about to make a dent in those numbers.

Once again, Trump is showing just how ignorant he is about what actually matters to most Jewish Americans, the majority of whom are liberal. Building a platform that restricts LGBTQ rights, tears down the Affordable Care Act without offering a viable alternative, and blurring the boundaries between church and state will never appeal to most Jewish voters, no matter how much Trump claims to love Israel.

(Screenshot via YouTube)

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