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Trump's 'disloyal' jab may boost base, not Jews

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23.08.2019

President Donald Trump's branding of American Jews who vote for Democrats as "disloyal" to their religion and Israel prompted alarms of anti-Semitism. But his ultimate aim appears to be dividing Democrats, peeling off Jewish support and shoring up his white evangelical Christian base.

Digging in Wednesday despite widespread criticism, Trump repeated his controversial assertion about Jews who support the Democratic Party.

"In my opinion, if you vote for a Democrat, you're being very disloyal to Jewish people and you're being very disloyal to Israel," he told reporters. "And only weak people would say anything other than that."

The comment — which appeared to traffic in anti-Semitic tropes about Jews' supposed loyalty to Israel — added a sharper edge to Trump's appeals to another largely Democratic constituency: black voters, whom he challenged to support him in 2016 by asking: "What do you have to lose?" This time, Trump and his allies are trying to lure Jewish voters who they think could be turned off by liberal Democrats' growing willingness to criticize the Israeli government. In a razor-close election, picking up a few thousand votes in key counties in states such as Florida and Pennsylvania could make a difference, they argue.

Trump has focused on four first-term Democratic congresswomen of color who have voiced misgivings about U.S. policy toward Israel, trying to brand them the "face" of their party. It's part of a larger effort by Trump and his team to try to paint Democrats as radical and outside the mainstream, a scarier alternative for undecided voters who may be turned off by Trump's rhetoric.

"Democrats continue to........

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