Skip To Content
Fast Forward

Trump: Embassy move was for Evangelicals — Jews not excited about it

President Trump said that moving the U.S. embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem was for Evangelicals during a rally in Oshkosh, Wis. on Monday.

“We moved the capital of Israel to Jerusalem. That’s for the Evangelicals. You know, it’s amazing with that: The Evangelicals are more excited about that than Jewish people. Right, it’s incredible,” said the president to a cheering crowd.

Jerusalem has been Israel’s capital since 1949; most major government institutions, such as the Knesset, supreme court and office of the prime minister have been based there since the 1950s. Trump did, however, move the American embassy there.

Of Evangelical Christians, 53% supported the decision while only 40% opposed, according to a poll by the Brookings Institution.

Some 59% percent of Jews somewhat (14%) or strongly (45%) disapproved of how the president is handling U.S.-Israel relations, according to a poll by the American Jewish Committee.

Several prominent Evangelical figures such as Pastors John Hagee and Robert Jeffress were included in the American delegation that opened the new embassy.

Trump has implied before that Jews are single-issue voters and that American Jewish interests are equivalent to Israeli ones.

In April of last year, President Trump referred to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu as “your prIme minister” while addressing members of the Republican Jewish Coalition. A few months later, while speaking to press in the Oval Office, he said that Jews who vote Democratic show “great disloyalty.”

In all recent national elections, an overwhelming majority of American Jews have voted for Democrats.

The speech in Oshkosh was just one stop in a midwest tour on Monday. In a later speech in Mankato, Minn., the President lashed out at his opponent Joe Biden claiming he would “replace American freedom with left-wing fascism.”

“Fascists. They are fascists,” the president said. “Some of them, not all of them, but some of them. But they’re getting closer and closer. We have to win this election.”

I hope you appreciated this article. Before you go, I’d like to ask you to please support the Forward’s award-winning, nonprofit journalism during this critical time.

Now more than ever, American Jews need independent news they can trust, with reporting driven by truth, not ideology. We serve you, not any ideological agenda.

At a time when other newsrooms are closing or cutting back, the Forward has removed its paywall and invested additional resources to report on the ground from Israel and around the U.S. on the impact of the war, rising antisemitism and the protests on college campuses.

Readers like you make it all possible. Support our work by becoming a Forward Member and connect with our journalism and your community.

Make a gift of any size and become a Forward member today. You’ll support our mission to tell the American Jewish story fully and fairly. 

— Rachel Fishman Feddersen, Publisher and CEO

Join our mission to tell the Jewish story fully and fairly.

Republish This Story

Please read before republishing

We’re happy to make this story available to republish for free, unless it originated with JTA, Haaretz or another publication (as indicated on the article) and as long as you follow our guidelines. You must credit the Forward, retain our pixel and preserve our canonical link in Google search.  See our full guidelines for more information, and this guide for detail about canonical URLs.

To republish, copy the HTML by clicking on the yellow button to the right; it includes our tracking pixel, all paragraph styles and hyperlinks, the author byline and credit to the Forward. It does not include images; to avoid copyright violations, you must add them manually, following our guidelines. Please email us at [email protected], subject line “republish,” with any questions or to let us know what stories you’re picking up.

We don't support Internet Explorer

Please use Chrome, Safari, Firefox, or Edge to view this site.