Donald Trump accused of anti-Semitism after saying Jewish Americans will vote for him so they can avoid a wealth tax
- Jewish groups have have accused President Donald Trump of using anti-Semitic tropes in remarks at the Israeli-American Council Conference in Florida on Saturday.
- "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," Trump said in a speech at the conference.
- Jewish Democratic Council Executive Director Halie Soifer in a statement Sunday denounced the "vile and bigoted remarks in which the president - once again - used anti-Semitic stereotypes to characterise Jews as driven by money and insufficiently loyal to Israel."
- Some conservative Jewish groups, however, backed the president.
- For more stories, go to Business Insider's home page.
Progressive Jewish groups have accused President Donald Trump of spreading anti-Semitic smears when he spoke on Saturday night in an appeal to Jewish voters at an Israeli American Council conference.
In the remarks, Trump said that some of his audience were so motivated by retaining money that they would end up voting for him even though they dislike him - and attacked some American Jews as insufficiently loyal to Israel.
Jewish Democratic Council Executive Director Halie Soifer in a statement Sunday denounced the "vile and bigoted remarks in which the president - once again - used anti-Semitic stereotypes to characterise Jews as driven by money and insufficiently loyal to Israel."
Trump addressed his remarks to those in the real estate business.
"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," Trump had told those gathered at the summit in Hollywood, Florida.
In the speech, Trump went on to attack Elizabeth Warren, a leading contender for the 2020 Democratic presidential nomination - groundlessly claiming that she wanted to impose a 100 % wealth tax.
Trump, speaking to the Israeli American Council: "We have to get the people of our country, of this country, to love Israel more ... because you have people that are Jewish people, that are great people -- they don't love Israel enough. You know that." pic.twitter.com/sruLxwC5vY— Aaron Rupar (@atrupar) December 8, 2019
"You're not going to vote for the wealth tax," he added. "Yeah, let's take 100% of your wealth away," Trump said in reference to Warren's proposed tax reforms.
"Some of you don't like me. Some of you I don't like at all, actually. And you're going to be my biggest supporters because you're going to be out of business in about 15 minutes if they get it. So I don't have to spend a lot of time on that."
He also said, "We have to get the people of our country, of this country, to love Israel more."
"We have to get them to love Israel more because you have people that are Jewish people, that are great people - they don't love Israel enough," Trump said.
Progressive Jewish group J Street also denounced the president's comments.
"The President of the United States is incapable of addressing Jewish audiences without dipping into the deep well of anti-Semitic tropes that shape his worldview," it tweeted Sunday.
The White House did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Some conservative Jewish groups applauded Trump's speech Saturday, and dismissed the accusations of anti-Semitism.
"To all those who are saying [Donald Trump] trafficked in anti-semitic tropes in his speech last night by talking about how the Dems will tax them see their wealth evaporate- get over yourselves. He literally talks about this at every rally!" tweeted Matt Brooks of the Republican Jewish Coalition.
It's not the first time Trump has been accused of using anti-Semitic tropes. He was criticised while still a candidate for the presidency back in 2016 when he tweeted out an image of rival Hillary Clinton, with a Star of David symbol and a pile of cash.
The image, said the Anti-Defamation League, referenced longstanding anti-Semitic tropes of a Jewish conspiracy secretly manipulating world events.
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