Former President Trump on Monday questioned Jewish Americans who vote for Democrats and hammered President Biden’s foreign policy amid unfolding violence in Israel.
Trump, in remarks to supporters in New Hampshire, claimed Biden “betrayed Israel” and cited the terrorist attacks in Israel and ensuing fighting in Gaza as the latest example of a foreign conflict bubbling up during the Biden administration.
“I can’t imagine how anybody who’s Jewish or anybody who loves Israel — and frankly, the evangelicals just love Israel — I can’t imagine anybody voting Democrat, let alone for this man, who’s totally — he was shot 30 years ago. He’s more shot now. But the problem was all caused by crooked Joe Biden,” Trump said.
Trump spoke to supporters in Wolfeboro, days after the militant terrorist group Hamas launched an attack against Israel. More than 1,000 people total have died amid the fighting in Israel and Gaza. The State Department confirmed at least nine Americans were among those killed.
“Less than four years ago, we had peace in the Middle East with the historic Abraham Accords. Today we have all-out war in Israel, and it’s going to spread very quickly” Trump said. “What a difference a president makes.”
The former president said that upon retaking office, he would cut off any money going to Palestinians and would reimpose and expand a travel ban that targeted several majority-Muslim countries.
Trump has repeatedly positioned himself as deeply supportive of Israel, citing his recognition of the Golan Heights territory, his relocation of the U.S. Embassy to Jerusalem and his administration’s signing of the Abraham Accords to normalize relations among countries in the Middle East.
But he has also drawn backlash for frequently suggesting Jews who do not support him politically or who are not supportive of Israel are disloyal.
Trump in September shared an image on social media telling “liberal Jews” to “make better choices” amid celebrations of the Jewish New Year.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Saturday declared Israel was “at war” with Hamas, a designated terrorist organization and militant group that controls Gaza, after it launched a barrage of rockets and invaded Israeli towns.
Biden has vowed the U.S. will stand with Israel, describing the alliance as “rock solid and unwavering.” The Biden administration has already repositioned military assets in the region and begun sending munitions and other resources to Israel as it seeks assistance from the U.S.
Trump and 2024 presidential candidates have pointed to the unfreezing of $6 billion in Iranian oil funds as part of a deal with Iran completed last month to release five Americans who had been detained.
Biden administration officials have pushed back strongly against any suggestion the $6 billion in funds were somehow connected to Hamas’ attack on Israel. They noted the money did not come from U.S. taxpayers and was instead Iranian funds that had been unfrozen. They cited restrictions that the money could only be used for humanitarian purposes and highlighted that none of the money has been spent.
Trump, who is comfortably leading his rivals in GOP primary polls at the state and national level, also pointed to the war in Ukraine and the chaotic U.S. withdrawal of troops from Afghanistan as other instances of Biden’s foreign policy leading to instability globally.
“When I’m in the White House, the entire world will know that America is strong, America is safe, and that we are going to take care of our people,” Trump said. “We will take care of the men and women of our country, we’re not going to worry about the rest of the world. We’ll do that where necessary.”
Trump has expressed skepticism about providing aid to Ukraine, which the Biden administration has steadfastly supported. The former president has claimed he would bring the Ukraine-Russia conflict to an end within hours of taking office, though he has not provided any specifics about how he would do so.
On Afghanistan, Biden administration officials have argued they were boxed in strategically by the Trump administration’s agreement with the Taliban and a drawdown of troops before leaving office.
“With each and every lie, Donald Trump further proves he is too dangerous to lead the United States on the world stage,” Sen. Tammy Duckworth (D-Ill.), co-chair of the Biden reelection campaign, said in a statement. “The generals and other military leaders who served under Trump—those in a position to know—have repeatedly said he made our country less safe, not more.”
Updated at 3:46 p.m.