Trump tells Orthodox Jews he’s the ‘best ally you’ve ever had’ but avoids mention of dinner with antisemites

‘Nobody’s done what I’ve done in terms of being pro-Israel’

Richard Hall
Friday 16 December 2022 22:54 GMT
Netanyahu says Trump should condemn antisemitism after Kanye dinner

Donald Trump told a conference of Orthodox Jews that he was “the best ally you’ve ever had,” but did not address his recent dinner with antisemitic rapper Kanye West and Holocaust-denying white nationalist Nick Fuentes.

Speaking at the annual President’s Conference of Torah Umesorah at his National Doral club in Miami on Friday, Mr Trump repeatedly proclaimed his love and support for Israel.

“Nobody’s done what I’ve done in terms of being pro-Israel,” he said to applause.

"I believe I’m the best ally you’ve ever had," he added.

Kevin McCarthy falsely claims that Trump denounced Nick Fuentes four times

He also claimed without evidence that some Democrats “hate Israel with a passion” and that Congress was “almost anti-Israel.”

Mr Trump’s attendance at the conference comes just a few weeks after he hosted West and Fuentes for dinner at his Mar-A-Lago resort. The former president said he was not aware of Mr Feuntes’ views, but he has yet to publicly condemn the views of either of the two dinner guests.

Mr Trump faced a smattering of unusually blunt criticism from Republicans, which has largely avoided direct conflict with the nominal head of the party.

Former Vice President Mike Pence said the former president had "demonstrated profoundly poor judgment" for hosting the pair.

At the conference, Mr Trump quoted passages from his 2019 State of the Union speech that addresses antisemitism.

"We must never ignore the vile poison of antisemitism or those who spread its venomous creed," Trump said, reading from his own remarks. "With one voice we must confront this hatred; we must confront it everywhere; we must confront it very, very strongly."

The former president’s speech comes at a time of rising antisemitism in the US. The Anti-Defamation League said that 2021 was a record year for documented reports of harassment, vandalism and violence against Jews, and this year is likely to be the same. 

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