Jewish groups criticise Trump for saying Jews have ‘no choice’ but to vote for him

The US President suggests wealthy Jews must back him because his rivals would tax them


Jewish groups across the United States criticised Donald Trump after he used a speech to say Jews had “no choice” but to vote for him.

The US president told an audience at Israeli American Council in Florida last weekend that wealthy Jews had to support him because Elizabeth Warren, his potential Democratic rival, would tax the rich.

“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 the wealth tax,” he said, referring to Ms Warren’s plan to impose a levy on US citizens whose net worth exceeds $50 million (£40 million).

Mr Trump continued in his speech: “Yeah, let’s take 100 per cent of your wealth away. No, no. Even if you don’t like me, some of you don’t. Some of you, I don’t like at all actually.

“And you’re going to be my biggest supporters because you’d be out of business in about 15 minutes if they get in.”

The Jewish Democratic Council of America said the remarks were “deeply offensive”.

“We strongly denounce these vile and bigoted remarks in which the president – once again – used antisemitic stereotypes to characterise Jews as driven by money and insufficiently loyal to Israel. He even had the audacity to suggest that Jews ‘have no choice’ but to support him.”

The president’s supporters pointed out that Mr Trump had also used the speech to emphasise his support for Israel and to criticise the Israel boycott movement BDS.

But Jonathan Greenblatt, the chief executive of the Anti-Defamation League, said this was “essentially undone by his own trafficking of antisemitic tropes: questioning American Jews’ loyalty to Israel and asserting that Jewish voters only care about their wealth.”

The American Jewish Committee advocacy group said: “surely there must be a better way to appeal to American Jewish voters, as you just did in Florida, than by money references that feed age-old and ugly stereotypes.

“Let’s stay off that mine-infested road.”

Mr Trump has previously expressed a view that his pro-Israel policies should translate into Jewish votes for his Republican Party.

In August, he said Jews who voted for the Democrats were “disloyal” to the Jewish people and Israel.

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