Trump accused of using antisemitic trope during UN speech

President referred to struggle between 'globalists' and 'patriots'

Tuesday 24 September 2019 16:47
Trump uses 'antisemitic trope' in speech to UN: 'The future does not belong to globalists. The future belongs to patriots'

Donald Trump has been accused of using an antisemitic trope during his speech to the UN General Assembly, by referring to “globalists” trying to take over the world.

“The future does not belong to globalists. The future belongs to patriots. The future belongs to strong, independent nations,” the president said, while discussing international trade.

While it has been suggested the term ‘globalist’ is not necessarily antisemitic when juxtaposed with ‘nationalist’ – or ‘patriot’ – many on social media interpreted the president’s deployment as offensive.

Twitter users described the speech as a “Nazi foghorn” and “far-right nationalist antisemitism’s greatest hits”. Others noted that Mr Trump only referred to Israel while accusing Iran of antisemitism.

“So...Trump condemns antisemitism in the same speech he started with antisemitic code language like ‘globalism’,” wrote Laura Seay, a college professor in political science in Texas.

Mr Trump went on to urge world’s leaders to prioritise their own nations, with strong borders and one-on-one trade deals, rather than work towards transnational organisations and alliances.

“Globalism exerted a religious pull over past leaders causing them to ignore their own national interests,” he added. “Those days are over.”

His comments appeared to go even further than his speech to the UN last year, when he explicitly rejected “the ideology of globalism”.

“America is governed by Americans,” he said in 2018. “We embrace the doctrine of patriotism. Around the world, responsible nations must defend against threats to sovereignty not just from global governance, but also from other, new forms of coercion and domination.”

On that occasion Mr Trump’s promotion of “America First” prompted chuckles from world leaders. This time the response was a concerned murmuring.

However the president simultaneously attempted to rally a multinational response to Iran’s escalating aggression, having previously blamed the Islamic republic for the recent attacks on Saudi Arabian oil facilities.

“The United States has never believed in permanent enemies,” he said, adding: ”We want partners, not adversaries.”

He went on to warn: “As long as Iran’s menacing behavior continues sanctions will not be lifted. They will be tightened. The United States does not seek conflict with any other nation. We desire peace, cooperation, and mutual gain with all. But I will never fail to defend America’s interests.”

Mr Trump also raised the possibility of a diplomatic breakthrough, as speculation mounted that Trump could meet in New York with Iranian President Hassan Rouhani.

Additional reporting by Associated Press