Oct 16, 2022 - Politics & Policy

Trump: I could "easily" be Israel's prime minister

Former U.S. President Donald Trump speaks at a campaign rally at Legacy Sports USA on October 09, 2022 in Mesa, Arizona

Former President Trump speaks at a campaign rally at Legacy Sports on Oct. 9 in Mesa, Ariz. Photo: Mario Tama/Getty Images

Former President Trump said Sunday that he "could easily be" the prime minister of Israel in a post on his Truth Social account, in which he also said that Jewish people in the U.S. should be more appreciative of what he has done for Israel.

Between the lines: It is not clear what prompted Trump's remarks, but they echo similar comments that the former president has made about the U.S. Jewish community since he was elected in 2016.

Driving the news: "No President has done more for Israel than I have," Trump wrote on his Truth Social account.

  • "Somewhat surprisingly, however, our wonderful Evangelicals are far more appreciative of this than the people of the Jewish faith, especially those living in the U.S.," Trump wrote.
  • "Those living in Israel, though, are a different story - Highest approval rating in the World, could easily be P.M.!"
  • "U.S. Jews have to get their act together and appreciate what they have in Israel - Before it is too late!"

What they're saying: The CEO and national director of the Anti-Defamation League Jonathan Greenblatt said Sunday in a statement: "We don't need the former president, who curries favor with extremists and antisemites, to lecture us about the U.S.-Israel relationship."

  • "It is not about a quid pro quo; it rests on shared values and security interests. This "Jewsplaining" is insulting and disgusting."
  • The American Jewish Committee said: "Support for the Jewish state never gives one license to lecture American Jews, nor does it ever give the right to draw baseless judgments about the ties between U.S. Jews and Israel," per a tweet.
  • White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre said Monday that "Donald Trump's comments were anti-semitic ... and insulting, both to Jews and to our Israeli allies."

Flashback: In 2021, Trump accused U.S. Jews who are not orthodox of "no longer loving Israel" and claimed "evangelical Christians love Israel more than the Jews in this country."

  • Trump added at the time that the fact that around 75% of Jewish voters were planning to support Joe Biden in 2020 was evidence that they either "don't like Israel or don't care about Israel."
  • Trump also claimed that Israel once had "absolute power" over Congress but today it's "the exact opposite," referring to former President Obama and President Biden.
  • Trump's 2021 remarks drew condemnation from the ADL, the American Jewish Committee and other organizations, who said they were antisemitic.
  • "Past support for Israel doesn't give him license to traffic in radioactive antisemitic tropes — or peddle unfounded conclusions about the unbreakable ties that bind American Jews to Israel. Enough!" the American Jewish Committee wrote on Twitter at the time.

The big picture: Trump's remarks were published on the eve of the Jewish holiday of Simchat Torah, which marks the conclusion of the annual Torah reading in synagogues and the beginning of a new cycle.

Go deeper... Trump blasts Netanyahu for disloyalty: "F**k him"

Editor's note: This story has been updated with statements from ADL CEO and national director Jonathan Greenblatt, the American Jewish Committee and White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre.

Go deeper