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Speaking to a group of Jewish Republicans in Las Vegas over the weekend, President Trump referred to Israeli leader Benjamin Netanyahu as “your prime minister.”
The audience consisted of Americans.
“I stood with your prime minister at the White House to recognize Israeli sovereignty over the Golan Heights,” Trump told the crowd Saturday at the Republican Jewish Coalition’s annual leadership meeting at the Venetian hotel.
Later in his speech — which was delivered via teleprompter and carried live on C-SPAN — Trump again appeared to conflate American Jews with Israelis, warning that a victory for Democrats and their “radical agenda” in the 2020 presidential election “could very well leave Israel out there all by yourselves.”
Trump’s remarks earned him a rebuke from the head of the Anti-Defamation League, Jonathan Greenblatt, who urged the president “to avoid language that leads people to believe Jews aren’t loyal Americans.”
“Mr. President, words matter,” Greenblatt tweeted. “As with all elected officials, it’s critical for you to avoid language that leads people to believe Jews aren’t loyal Americans.”
Trump urged the attendees to explain “to some of your people” in business and finance why they should support his tariffs. The assumption that Jews vote as a bloc in their own interests is a common anti-Semitic trope.
During his speech, Trump mocked Rep. Ilhan Omar, D-Minn., who in February was forced to apologize after suggesting political support for Israel is driven by money from American Jews.
“Special thanks to Rep. Omar of Minnesota,” the president said. “Oh, she doesn’t like Israel, I forgot. I’m so sorry!”
Trump’s jab at Omar came hours after a man who said he “loves the president” was arrested by federal authorities, who said he had threatened to kill her.
According to a criminal complaint filed by the U.S. Attorney’s Office in the Western District of New York Friday, Patrick Carlineo Jr., 55, called Omar’s office and told staffers, “Do you work for the Muslim Brotherhood? Why are you working for her, she’s a f***ing terrorist. I’ll put a bullet in her f***ing skull.”
According to the complaint, Carlineo later told investigators that he “loves the president and that he hates radical Muslims in our government.”
Trump wasn’t the only 2020 candidate to raise eyebrows with remarks about Israel over the weekend. On Sunday, Beto O’Rourke told reporters in Iowa that Netanyahu is a “racist” who “has sided with a far-right racist party in order to maintain his hold on power.”
Omar responded to news of the Democratic hopeful’s remarks on Twitter with an open-mouth emoji, usually employed as a sarcastic device to indicate faux surprise.
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