Former President Donald Trump told the Jewish weekly Ami that he was disappointed in how his pro-Israel policies did not translate into massive support among US Jews during his term and in the 2020 election:
The interview, which will appear in the upcoming edition of the US-based publication, was conducted at the 45th president’s Florida home and club known as Mar-a-Lago.
“You know what really surprised me?” Trump told reporter Jake Turx, in an excerpt, before mentioning how the various pro-Israel decisions he made during his term did not dramatically impact the historically left-leaning Jewish electorate in the US.
He noted the recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital and the Golan Heights as sovereign Israeli territory, and withdrawal from the 2015 nuclear deal with Iran, which both former Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Trump see as a grave threat to the region.
“I did the Heights, I did Jerusalem, and I did Iran – the Iran Deal was a disaster, right? And I also did many other things. Jewish people who live in the United States don’t love Israel enough. Does that make sense to you? I’m not talking about Orthodox Jews. I believe we got 25% of the Jewish vote, and it doesn’t make sense. It just seems strange to me,” Trump lamented. “But I did very well in Florida. I did great in Florida.”
Turx’s exchange with Trump during a press conference early in his term became viral after the then-president cut him off and told him to sit down.
If Trump truly does not understand these trends with Jews — his popularity among certain Jewish groups and not others — it shows just how clueless he really is.
Trump admitted in 2019 that he moved the U.S. embassy to Jerusalem as a personal favor to his largest Jewish supporter — Sheldon Adelson.
But Sheldon Adelson was an ultra-Zionist — and his views did not agree with the majority of liberal Jews in America — it was these liberal Hollywood and corporate Jews who hated Trump and distanced themselves from the violence in Israel.
The liberal Jews distance themselves from Israel, but they will rarely publicly disavow it.
The Orthodox Jews supported Trump because many of them were pro-Israel — and perceived Trump as very pro-Jew, which, of course, he was — he could have run for Prime Minister of Israel and won, as he once bragged.
But the vast majority of Jews in America are not ardent Zionists — and many of their efforts to get American Jews interested in Israel have largely failed.
Israel received far more enthusiastic support from evangelical Christians in America than they have from Jews — which isn’t surprising considering that the majority of Jews in America never set foot in a synagogue outside marriages or funerals — if that.
Liberal Jews in America saw Trump as the second coming of Adolf Hitler — and actually signed a petition to have him removed from office to avert “another Holocaust.”
Trump ignored the constant attacks from the Jewish Left — instead listening only to his Jewish fans on the Right, like Wayne Allyn Root who called Trump “the greatest President for Jews and Israel in the history of the world.”