GOP Civil War: Ari Fleischer, a onetime spokesman for George W. Bush, is pushing the Republican Party to take more moderate positions. Others say grassroots GOP Jews sympathize more with Tea Party conservatism.

Ari Fleischer Triggers Jewish Social Media Firestorm With Pro-Trump Tweet

When prominent Jewish Republican Ari Fleischer tweeted his support for Donald Trump Tuesday evening, he exposed an emerging fault line that could split both the Republican party and Jewish conservatives.

Fleischer, who is on the board for the Republican Jewish Coalition and who served as White House press secretary under George W. Bush, drew sharp criticism from Jewish conservatives when he said he would support Trump over Hillary Clinton, following Ted Cruz’ withdrawal from the race.

Conservative Washington Post blogger Jennifer Rubin did not mince her words, writing that if the Republican Jewish Coalition backs the real-estate mogul, “they are dead to me.”

Noam Neusner, a former speechwriter for the White House and Mitt Romney, said Trump does not represent the values of the Republican party.

Allen Ginzburg, who has written for conservative publication “Red Alert Politics” and is an avid user of the #NeverTrump hashtag, said a vote for Trump was “completely wrong.”

Liberal Jews, predictably condemned Fleischer’s Tweet. Peter Beinart, a political commentator and journalist who is an outspoken opponent of Israeli settlements, said Fleischer’s tweet was not unexpected.

Prominent journalist Julia Ioffe, who was the victim last week of anti-Semitic attacks by Trump supporters after writing a profile about the Republican candidates’s wife, pointed out that Fleischer had only hours earlier posted a link to an article that criticized the real estate mogul for lying about his support of the Iraq War.

To be sure, Fleischer’s tweet did not only receive negative reaction. It had been retweeted over 1,700 times and received over 3,300 likes by Wednesday early afternoon.

Trump was criticized for drawing on anti-Semitic stereotypes when he referred to Jews as deal “negotiators” and said they would not support him “because I don’t want your money” during a December meeting with the Republican Jewish Coalition. He was also booed by the crowd when refusing to declare Jerusalem the undivided capital of Israel.

The Republican Jewish Coalition did not immediately respond to a request for comment by the Forward.

Author

Josefin Dolsten

Josefin Dolsten is a news fellow at the Forward. She writes about politics and culture, and edits the Sisterhood blog. She received an MA in Jewish Studies and Comparative Religion from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem and a BA in Government from Cornell University. Contact her at dolsten@forward.com and follow her on Twitter at @josefindolsten.

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Ari Fleischer Triggers Jewish Social Media Firestorm With Pro-Trump Tweet

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