Trump Says Israel Needs to ‘Finish Up’ War, Bombing Civilians Causing Anti-Semitism

Trump Says Israel Needs to ‘Finish Up’ War, Bombing Civilians Causing Anti-Semitism

Chris Menahan

Former President Donald Trump said in an interview released on Monday that Israel needs to “finish up” its war with Gaza and their decision to bomb civilian buildings is the cause of rising anti-Semitism.

“You have to finish up your war. To finish it up. You gotta get it done,” Trump told Israel Hayom. “And, I am sure you will do that. And we gotta get to peace, we can’t have this going on.”

“And I will say, Israel has to be very careful, because you’re losing a lot of the world, you’re losing a lot of support, you have to finish up, you have to get the job done. And you have to get on to peace, to get on to a normal life for Israel, and for everybody else,” Trump added.


Q: If you were president again, how would you counter the wave of antisemitism in the wake of the war’s outbreak?

“Well, that’s because you fought back. And I think Israel made a very big mistake. I wanted to call [Israel] and say don’t do it. These photos and shots. I mean, moving shots of bombs being dropped into buildings in Gaza. And I said, Oh, that’s a terrible portrait. It’s a very bad picture for the world. The world is seeing this… every night, I would watch buildings pour down on people. It would say it was given by the Defense Ministry, and said whoever’s providing that that’s a bad image.”

Q: But terrorists are hiding in those buildings.

“Go and do what you have to do. But you don’t do that. And I think that’s one of the reasons that there has been a lot of kickback. If people didn’t see that, every single night I’ve watched every single one of those. And I think Israel wanted to show that it’s tough, but sometimes you shouldn’t be doing that. ”

Q: Senator Chuck Schumer, just two weeks ago, called Israelis to go to the polls and change the government. And on top of that, we see, I would say daily interference by the administration. What do you think about what Schumer said about Biden’s support, or lack thereof, for Israel?

“I think it’s a terrible thing to do, because it takes all of your momentum away, because they watch, and they watch the government, they watch the people what’s going on. And it shows great division in the United States, you have to have support. And you don’t have the support you used to have. Some 15 years ago, Israel had the strongest lobby. If you were a politician, you couldn’t say anything bad about Israel, that would be like the end of your political career. Today, it’s almost the opposite. I’ve never seen you have AOC plus three, these lunatics, frankly. But you have AOC plus three plus plenty of others. And all they do is talk badly about Israel, and they hate Israel, and they hate the Jewish people. And they are open about it. Take a look at some of these, Rashida Tlaib, what she says the way she talks, and they truly hate the Jewish people. And 15 years ago, that would have been unthinkable to be doing that. So Israel has to get, Israel has to get better with the promotional and with the public relations, because right now they’re in ruin. They’re being hurt very badly. I think in a public relations sense.”

Trump said in 2021 that Israel “literally owned Congress” and lamented that they no longer do.

“You know, the biggest change I’ve seen in Congress is– Israel literally owned Congress, you understand that?” Trump told 570 KVI’s Ari Hoffman.

“Ten years ago, 15 years ago and it was so powerful, it was so powerful and today it’s almost the opposite,” he continued. “You have between AOC and Omar — and these people that hate Israel, they hate it with a passion — they’re controlling Congress and Israel is not a force in Congress anymore.”

“I mean it’s just amazing, I’ve never seen such a change and we’re not talking about over a very long period of time but I think you know exactly what I what I’m saying they had such power Israel had such power and rightfully over Congress and now it doesn’t,” Trump said. “It’s incredible, actually.”

Just last week, Congress shoved through a $1.2 trillion budget bill which included another $3.8 billion in military aid to Israel with little to no debate.

While he was still president, Trump repeatedly stated that Israel — not oil — was the “one reason” the US must remain in the Middle East.

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During a rally in Winston-Salem, North Carolina on Sept 8, 2020 Trump said: “The fact is, we don’t have to be in the Middle East, other than we want to protect Israel. We’ve been very good to Israel. Other than that, we don’t have to be in the Middle East. You know there was a time we needed desperately oil, we don’t need that anymore.”

Trump was accused of anti-Semitism for all these statements even though his statements were all philo-Semitic.

Current president Joe Biden ran into a similar problem after giving a speech in 2013 in honor of Jewish American Heritage Month.

From New York Magazine, MAY 22, 2013, “Biden Praises Jews, Goes Too Far, Accidentally Thrills Anti-Semites”:

Joe Biden spoke last night in honor of Jewish American Heritage Month. […]

Biden’s remarks were not anti-Semitic. They were very, very philo-Semitic. The thrust of his largely unscripted monologue is that Jews have contributed enormously to the United States. That’s obviously a standard spiel for praising any ethnic group, but Biden took care to emphasize that Jews have not just contributed their share to the United States, but far more:

The Jewish people have contributed greatly to America. No group has had such an outsized influence per capita as all of you standing before you, and all of those who went before me and all of those who went before you …

You make up 11 percent of the seats in the United States Congress. You make up one-third of all Nobel laureates …

I think you, as usual, underestimate the impact of Jewish heritage. I really mean that. I think you vastly underestimate the impact you’ve had on the development of this nation.

… “The embrace of immigration” is part of that, as is the involvement of Jews in social justice movements.

“You can’t talk about the civil rights movement in this country without talking about Jewish freedom riders and Jack Greenberg,” he said, telling a story about seeing a group of Jewish activists at a segregated movie theater in Delaware. “You can’t talk about the women’s movement without talking about Betty Friedan” …

“I believe what affects the movements in America, what affects our attitudes in America are as much the culture and the arts as anything else,” he said. That’s why he spoke out on gay marriage “apparently a little ahead of time.”

“It wasn’t anything we legislatively did. It was ‘Will and Grace,’ it was the social media. Literally. That’s what changed peoples’ attitudes. That’s why I was so certain that the vast majority of people would embrace and rapidly embrace” gay marriage, Biden said.

“Think behind of all that, I bet you 85 percent of those changes, whether it’s in Hollywood or social media are a consequence of Jewish leaders in the industry. The influence is immense, the influence is immense. And, I might add, it is all to the good.”

“Biden’s intentions here are obviously as friendly as can be, but the execution is awkward,” commented NY Mag’s Jonathan Chait at the time. “The main problem here is that gay rights, unlike black civil rights, are politically controversial at the moment.”

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