President Donald Trump can’t get enough of Rep. Ilhan Omar. The President is trying to weaponise the carfuffle surrounding Ilham anti-Semitic comments for his 2020 campaign, asserting in a private weekend fundraiser that Democrats “hate” Jews.
The president’s rhetorical escalation is designed to unsettle the Democratic primary debate, exploit an issue that can energise his supporters and move past his own history of toying in anti-Semitic comments.
Trump is a master in the public domain and quickly jumped on comments by a former model Elizabeth Pipko, who said on TV that “Jewish people are leaving the Democratic Party.”
Pipko, who serves as spokesperson for the group “Jexodus,” which bills itself as speaking for “Jewish Millennials tired of living in bondage to leftist politics,” saw her comments amplified by Trump on Twitter. “There is anti-Semitism in the Democratic Party,” she continued. “They don’t care about Israel or the Jewish people.”
Omar had sparked a political firestorm that derailed the Democrats’ focus on investigations of the Trump administration, including a public back-and-forth over how, or even if, her party should condemn her comments. The ultimate resolution, which passed the House overwhelmingly, didn’t call out Omar by name.
Trump’s made a charge on Friday that Democrats had become an “anti-Israel” and “anti-Jewish” party, responding to the House voted a day before to disapprove of all prejudice in response to Omar’s invocation of “dual-loyalty” charges against American supporters of Israel earlier this month.
American Jews are not a particularly significant voting bloc, nor is Israel their decisive issue of concern. But are extremely influential and powerful within the lobby groups. They have developed a commercial infrastructure that is embedded in almost every industry in the United States. Giving them one of the most influential lobby group in the US.
Stoking the fight gives Trump a platform and an opportunity to deflect criticism of his own rhetoric and paint Democrats into a radical corner.
White House press secretary Sarah Sanders kept the controversy alive on Monday by criticizing Democrats for failing to explicitly repudiate Omar.
Trump has been among the loudest critics of Omar, including last month when he called on her to resign from the House, or at least resign her post on the Foreign Affairs Committee over her suggestion that Jewish money drove support for Israel.
The Jewish Democratic Council of America said her group welcomes Trump’s focus on the issue of anti-Semitism. “He himself has emboldened anti-Semites in our country by both repeating anti-Semitic tropes and conspiracy theories,” she said. “ But he has no credibility with Jewish voters.”
The statement is unlikely to deter to Trump and his rhetoric, he is a master manipulator of public perception and power his 2020 campaign.