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Trump: Jewish leaders ‘lack loyalty’ and should be ‘ashamed’

The post, which turned into an official campaign statement, seemed to be in response to criticism over his recent dinner with Kanye West and Nick Fuentes

(JTA) — Former President Donald Trump said Jewish leaders “lack loyalty” and “should be ashamed of themselves,” his latest broadside against the American Jewish community, this time because of criticism of his dinner with two prominent antisemitic figures.

“How quickly Jewish Leaders forgot that I was the best, by far, President for Israel,” Trump said Friday on his social media platform Truth Social before making it an official statement under his campaign for the 2024 presidency. “They should be ashamed of themselves. This lack of loyalty to their greatest friends and allies is why large numbers in Congress, and so many others, have stopped giving support to Israel.”

This is not the first time Trump has accused American Jews of being disloyal, but in the past he has said they were not loyal enough to Israel, not other “greatest friends.” Calling out “Jewish leaders” instead of Jewish Democratic voters also is a new point of rhetoric.

In 2019, Trump said that any Jew who votes for a Democrat shows “a total lack of knowledge or great disloyalty.”

The statement comes less than three weeks after a dinner Trump held with Nick Fuentes, who questions the Holocaust and is labeled a white supremacist by the Anti-Defamation League, and Kanye West, the rapper who now goes by Ye and who has for months peddled a persistent stream of antisemitic invective.

Mainstream Jewish groups have lambasted Trump, but so have Republicans, including a number of Jewish Republicans who were close to him and defended him in the past.

Trump’s post was attached to an op-ed by Wayne Allyn Root, an evangelical Christian who was born Jewish and who defended Trump in 2019, the first time the former president said Jews were disloyal.

In the op-ed, which appeared on various right-wing platforms, Root as he has in the past emphasizes his Jewish roots: “Let me start with a disclaimer: I’m a Jew.” Root repeats arguments Trump has advanced in his defense of the West-Fuentes meeting: that the former president is more supportive of Israel than Democrats are, that West is an old friend who was in trouble and that he did not know who Fuentes was.

This article originally appeared on JTA.org.

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