HOLLYWOOD,FLORIDA (VINnews)— US President Donald Trump aroused controversy when he spoke at the Israel American Council advocacy group’s conference in Florida Saturday night. Trump claimed that some American Jews don’t love Israel enough and also boasted that he did not have to worry about getting his audience’s votes, because they would cast ballots with business interests in mind and the Democrats would take their wealth away.
Trump’s comments quickly drew quick criticism from Democratic opponents who charged him with veiled anti-Semitism.
Trump claimed that “You have people — Jewish people — and they are great people and they don’t love Israel enough.” Despite the negative insinuation, the audience roared its approval when Trump stressed that “Israel has never had a better friend than me.”
Trump insisted that the crowd would not vote for one of his potential Democratic opponents because she would take their wealth away.
“You have to vote for me, you have no choice,” Trump said. “You’re not going to vote for Pocahontas, I can tell you that,” referring to Senator Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts, in a dig at her claiming Native American ancestry.
“You’re not going to vote for the wealth tax,” he went on. “Let’s take 100 percent of your wealth away. No, no. Even if you don’t like me — and 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’ll be out of business in about 15 minutes.”
Warren has proposed an annual two percent tax on households with a net worth of between $50 million and $1 billion — and an additional four percent tax on those with a net worth exceeding $1 billion.
Trump’s reference to Jewish people’s wealth irked Jewish Democrats who charged him with anti-Semitism:
“Trump’s insistence on using anti-Semitic tropes when addressing Jewish audiences is dangerous and should concern every member of the Jewish community — even Jewish Republicans,” said Aaron Keyak, a former chair of the National Jewish Democratic Council. “Trump’s embrace of anti-Semitic rhetoric much stop. Period.”
The Democratic Majority for Israel on Twitter slammed Trump for peddling anti-Semitic tropes and ignoring the threat from the far right.
Watching Trump “traffic in antisemitic stereotypes is disgusting,” the tweet said. “Trump’s failure to condemn white supremacy when discussing antisemitism is equally distressing.