A Conspiracy Theorist Said Israelis Love Trump Like He’s “Second Coming of God.” Trump Tweeted It.

“American Jews don’t…know what they’re doing or saying anymore.”

Andrew Harrer/ZUMA

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A day after accusing American Jews of “great disloyalty,” Donald Trump defended himself by paraphrasing a prominent supporter as saying that Jewish Israelis love the US president “like he’s the King of Israel” and the “second coming of God” but that American Jews “don’t know him or like him…It makes no sense!”

Trump was paraphrasing former Libertarian vice presidential candidate Wayne Allyn Root, a noted conspiracy theorist. Root, who is Jewish, is correct that Trump is extremely popular in Israel and unpopular among American Jews. But the outlandish tweets came against the backdrop of the president’s efforts to divide Americans over support for Israel, as he targets Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-Minn.) and Rep. Rashida Tlaib (D-Mich.), the first Muslim women ever elected to Congress. Both have been vocal critics of Trump and the Israeli government.

Trump’s campaign against Omar and Tlaib has relied on outright racism, near-daily attacks on Twitter, and, most recently, an unprecedented diplomatic push to bar both Democratic congresswomen from entering Israel. “They hate Israel & all Jewish people!” Trump tweeted last week, less than an hour before the Israeli government announced that it would block entry for Omar and Tlaib.

Amid Trump’s ongoing smears against the congresswomen, Trump himself was widely accused of engaging in anti-Semitism Tuesday when he declared that Jewish Americans who vote for Democrats possess “either a total lack of knowledge or great disloyalty.”

“It’s unclear who POTUS is claiming Jewish would be ‘disloyal’ to, but charges of disloyalty have long been used to attack Jews,” Jonathan Greenblatt, CEO of the Anti-Defamation League, said in response to the remarks on Wednesday. “As we’ve said before, it’s possible to engage in the democratic process w/o these claims. It’s long overdue to stop using Jews as a political football.”

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THE BIG PICTURE

You expect the big picture, and it's our job at Mother Jones to give it to you. And right now, so many of the troubles we face are the making not of a virus, but of the quest for profit, political or economic (and not just from the man in the White House who could have offered leadership and comfort but instead gave us bleach).

In "News Is Just Like Waste Management," we unpack what the coronavirus crisis has meant for journalism, including Mother Jones’, and how we can rise to the challenge. If you're able to, this is a critical moment to support our nonprofit journalism with a donation: We've scoured our budget and made the cuts we can without impairing our mission, and we hope to raise $400,000 from our community of online readers to help keep our big reporting projects going because this extraordinary pandemic-plus-election year is no time to pull back.

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