Trump sparks outrage over his antisemitic remarks: ‘Israel literally owned Congress’
During his tirades against House Democrats, former President Donald Trump has often attacked the four progressive congresswomen who comprise "The Squad." And he did exactly that during a Monday appearance on Ari Hoffman's radio show. Trump slammed The Squad as anti-Semitic and anti-Israel — even while using the antisemitic trope that Israel "controls Congress."
The Squad consists of Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York City, Rep. Rashida Tlaib of Michigan, Rep. Ilhan Omar of Minnesota and Rep. Ayanna Pressley of Massachusetts. Trump, during the interview, accused them of hating Israel —seemingly oblivious to the antisemitic things he was saying.
"The biggest change I've seen in Congress is Israel literally owned Congress, you understand that — ten years ago, 15 years ago," Trump told Hoffman. "And it was so powerful, so powerful. And today, it's almost the opposite. You have, between AOC and Omar and these people that hate Israel — they hate it with a passion. They're controlling Congress. And Israel is not a force in Congress anymore."
Trump continued, "I mean, it's just amazing. I've never seen such a change…. Israel had such power, and rightfully, over Congress. Now, it doesn't. It's incredible."
Trump lifts the mask again: “Israel literally owned Congress… Israel has such power - and rightfully - over Congres… https://t.co/YxTZzPEdnX— Max Blumenthal (@Max Blumenthal) 1635783927.0
Reporting on that interview in The Independent, journalist John Bowden noted that Trump's "remarks were startling for a number of reasons — most obviously, they far exceeded the suggestion made by Ms. Omar in 2019 that the Israel lobby was involved in 'political influence in this country that says it is OK to push for allegiance to a foreign country.'"
"In his remarks," Bowden explained, "Mr. Trump flat-out suggested that Israel 'owned' and 'controlled' U.S. politicians. Such claims echo antisemitic conspiracy theories claiming that Jewish people have undue influence over global financial systems and politics. Beyond that, the claim that Israel has no sway in Congress clashes deeply with the recent fight in Congress over $1bn in additional funding for the country's Iron Dome defense system — on top of the millions the U.S. has provided annually for the system."
Writer Yair Rosenberg, the day of that interview, noted Trump's bizarre contradictions and tweeted an article he wrote for the Washington Post in 2019:
"As a man who has always stood solely for his own naked self-interest, Trump does not see the anti-Semitic concepti… https://t.co/xjBSXACLEL— Yair Rosenberg (@Yair Rosenberg) 1635781978.0
On one hand, Trump considers himself a staunch defender of Israel. His son-in-law, Jared Kushner, is Jewish and is married to his daughter, Ivanka Trump — a convert to Judaism. The ex-president comes from a mainline Protestant background and was raised Presbyterian, as were his children and his siblings.
In his 2019 article, Rosenberg wrote, "When it comes to Jews, President Trump presents a puzzle. His daughter Ivanka converted to Judaism to marry his Jewish son-in-law. He has Jewish grandchildren. He loudly proclaims his support for Israel and has long employed Jews in prominent positions in his businesses. But Trump also seems to say a lot of anti-Semitic things. This week, for example, the president declared that Jews who vote for the Democratic Party are 'disloyal' to Israel, invoking an age-old anti-Semitic slur against the vast majority of American Jews."
Rosenberg went on to say, "The principle that explains his seemingly contradictory outlook toward Jews is simple: Trump believes all the anti-Semitic stereotypes about Jews. But he sees those traits as admirable. To Trump, the belief that Jews are foreign interlopers who use their wealth to serve their own clannish interests is not a negative — as it is for traditional anti-Semites — but rather a positive."
Many were sharply critical of Trump's remarks:
Donald Trump continues to push antisemitic conspiracy theories, claiming that Israel "literally owned" Congress and… https://t.co/a77F0KVyER— Jewish Dems (@Jewish Dems) 1635788320.0
Trump's brand of pro-Israel anti-semitism is a fascinating development and the Israelis seem to love it but for me… https://t.co/5y2wsVPaK8— Matthew Yglesias (@Matthew Yglesias) 1635776973.0
Sadly, this kind of dog whistling is too common with TFG. https://t.co/nu6RaDkDOf— Bradley P. Moss (@Bradley P. Moss) 1635798110.0
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