This weekend, President Donald Trump took his angry nationalism to the Republican Jewish Coalition’s annual leadership summit in Las Vegas, where he elevated his rhetoric to new heights of ridiculousness. At one particularly notable moment, he referred to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu as “your prime minister” while speaking to the Americans in attendance.
‘I stood with Prime Minister Netanyahu — Benjamin Netanyahu. How is the race going, by the way? Who’s going to win the race? Tell me, I don’t know… I stood with your prime minister at the White House to recognize Israeli sovereignty over the Golan Heights.’
Speaking to the American Republican Jewish Coalition, Trump refers to Bibi Netanyahu as “your prime minister” pic.twitter.com/rAv4MrxyBt
— Aaron Rupar (@atrupar) April 6, 2019
The comment falls right in line with the idea that Jews maintain some kind of dual loyalty, with one foot wherever they may reside and the other in Israel — or in the historical absence of the country, whatever secret Jewish collective conspiracy theorists could dream up.
Ironically — Trump and other Republicans piled onto Minnesota Democratic Congresswoman Ilhan Omar for supposedly peddling the same idea via her recent controversial suggestion that money from Israeli nationalist interests like the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) keeps Republicans tied down to blindly pro-Israel stances.
That strange and noteworthy point isn’t the only along those lines from Trump’s Saturday speech. He walked through some moments of at least somewhat familiar harsh rhetoric, asserting during the remarks that he would be willing to take whatever steps were necessary to stop an “invasion” of the United States, including completely shutting down its southern border, which would spark an economic disaster. He’d threatened to do so this past week before walking back under pressure.
He also reminded those in attendance of some of the steps he’s taken to support Israeli nationalism, including moving the U.S. Embassy in Israel to Jerusalem from Tel Aviv and recently asserting U.S. recognition of Israeli sovereignty over the Golan Heights, a territory towards the north of Israel that internationally remains in dispute.
Echoing his recent commentary that Democrats have become as a whole anti-Jewish, Trump asked the crowd:
‘How the hell did you support President Obama? How the hell did you support the Democrats? Well, you guys didn’t. The incredible bond between the United States and Israel has never been stronger than it is right now.’
Ironically, there is an increased area of connection between the United States and Israel right now, but not necessarily what Trump is talking about. Netanyahu has, rather, faced multiple indictments for allegations of corruption stretching across his time in government. He allegedly pushed for policy favorable to associates in exchange for favors for them, which has weighed on the election Trump mentioned that takes place this coming week.
Trump faced vocal protesters towards the beginning of his speech who attempted to shout him down over his support for Netanyahu’s brand of Israeli nationalism. They had signs decrying the Israeli “occupation” as a “plague.”
— Boris Sanchez (@Boris_Sanchez) April 6, 2019
It’s but one area on which Trump could continue to face credible challenges heading into the 2020 presidential elections, since he hasn’t exactly gone around making friends since assuming office.
Featured Image via screenshot