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Trump criticizes Jewish Democrats as he attacks Biden over threat to withhold U.S. weapons to Israel

The former president has repeatedly criticized American Jews who vote for Democratic candidates, both before and after the start of the Israel-Hamas war.
Donald Trump.
Donald Trump in New York City on Thursday.Angela Weiss / Pool / AFP via Getty Images

Former President Donald Trump said in an interview Thursday that he “wouldn’t do what Biden did” with regard to Israel policy as he responded to President Joe Biden's comments Wednesday about pausing weapons shipments to Israel if its military invaded Rafah.

Trump also invoked a dual loyalty trope and redoubled recent comments criticizing Jewish Democrats in an interview with North Carolina’s Spectrum News 1, saying that "if you're a Jewish person, just don't vote for Biden" because "you're really hurting your country. He is totally gone on the other side now. He’s gone — he’s dropped Israel."

"If you’re Jewish, and you vote for him, I say shame on you," Trump continued.

Trump has made similar comments in recent months, drawing backlash, including saying last month that Jewish Democrats "should be spoken to." In 2019, he said Jewish Democrats were "very disloyal to Israel."

Trump spoke after Biden said in an interview with CNN that the U.S. would stop sending offensive weapons to Israel if its forces invade Rafah.

"Well, I wouldn’t do what Biden did. He just abandoned Israel. I’ve never seen anything like it," Trump said in the interview Thursday when he was asked whether he would tell Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu there is a limit to Israel's war efforts. 

Asked directly whether he was OK with Israel’s invading Rafah, a city in southern Gaza where over 1 million Palestinians are sheltering, Trump responded: “They have to get the job done. Look, they were viciously attacked on October 7. They had scenes that nobody’s ever seen.” 

Trump has maintained similar aggressive messaging about Israel’s military efforts, routinely saying at campaign rallies that Israel has to “finish the job.” He has also claimed that the Israel-Hamas war would have never happened if he were still in the White House because of his relationships with foreign leaders.  

“Well, I said they should get the job over with fast, fast, they’ll have to make their own solution, but they have to get this job over with fast and get it done because the world is blowing up around them. So they have to get the job done fast,” Trump said in an interview Tuesday with NBC affiliate WGAL of Lancaster, Pennsylvania.

Biden's campaign fired back, with spokesperson Charles Lutvak saying Trump "is popping up every month with the same patronizing antisemitic shtick and reminding Jewish voters that he has no respect for us."