Former President Donald Trump told a crowd of Orthodox Jews on Friday that “you have to be loyal” to pro-Israel politicians such as himself — without mentioning his controversial dinner last month with anti-semitic Holocaust deniers Kanye West and Nick Fuentes.
The 76-year-old Trump received multiple standing ovations during a 26-minute speech to a conference of teachers and social workers organized by Torah Umesorah — National Society for Hebrew Day Schools at his Trump National Doral Miami golf resort.
Trump spent much of his remarks rattling off a list of his pro-Israel accomplishments, including moving the US embassy to Jerusalem, recognizing the Israeli annexation of the Golan Heights, scrapping the US-Iran nuclear deal and overseeing the recognition of Israel by four Arab states as part of the Abraham Accords negotiated by his Jewish son-in-law and adviser Jared Kushner.
But Trump also complained bitterly about not getting a larger slice of the Jewish vote in 2020 — when his narrow defeat in a handful of swing states sealed his loss in the Electoral College.
“I got 25% of the Jewish vote the first time [in 2016]. And the second time, with all of the things I did, I got 26%,” Trump told his audience. “It doesn’t make sense that Jewish people and people that love Israel would be getting a Democrat.”
Trump is seeking a second non-consecutive term in the 2024 election but faces potentially stiff competition for the Republican nomination — including from Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, who met Thursday with Israel’s ambassador to the US Michael Herzog.
“I just want to give you one little piece of advice: I think it’s very important, because I see what is happening in Congress — 10 years ago, 12 years ago, 15 years ago, Israel had a tremendous friend in Congress. Today they don’t have a friend in Congress,” Trump said.
“Today Congress is almost anti-Israel, I would say, with AOC plus three, with all of these people that are in there that hate Israel with a passion. And you have to treat your friends with respect. You have to treat your friends with dignity. And you have to be loyal to those friends, because the friends aren’t there for Israel like they used to be.”
Trump proceeded to abruptly end his remarks when he received a roaring standing ovation in praise of himself.
“There’s a group that’s very much opposed to Israel and frankly to Jewish people and you just can’t let that happen. And so when you have an ally, and I believe I’m the best ally you’ve ever had —,” Trump said before being cut off by applause.
The ex-president added before walking off stage, “thank you everybody, thank you very much.”
Trump made no mention at all of his decision to dine last month at his Mar-a-Lago club with West despite a spate of recent anti-Jewish remarks. West brought Fuentes and later claimed Trump was impressed by the 24-year-old bigot.
Trump reportedly fumed that the rapper, who also purports to be a 2024 presidential candidate, “tried to f–k me” and insisted he didn’t know who Fuentes was before the meeting. West went on to give an increasingly deranged series of interviews, including saying “I love Hitler” to conspiracy theorist Alex Jones
Trump’s own emphasis on urging Jewish Americans to show greater allegiance to him has been criticized by Democrats.
White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre accused Trump of being “anti-Semitic” in October when he wrote on social media: “No President has done more for Israel than I have. Somewhat surprisingly, however, our wonderful Evangelicals are far more appreciative of this than the people of the Jewish faith, especially those living in the U.S. Those living in Israel, though, are a different story – Highest approval rating in the World, could easily be P.M.! U.S. Jews have to get their act together and appreciate what they have in Israel – Before it is too late!”