Trump spoke to an audience of American Jews and referred to Israel's Benjamin Netanyahu as 'your prime minister'

  • President Donald Trump seemed to refer to a crowd of Jewish Republicans as Israelis multiple times within a speech Saturday.
  • Trump referred to Israel Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu as “your prime minister” and railed against what he characterised as an anti-Israel agenda by Democrats in Congress.
  • His appearance at the Republican Jewish Coalition almost a month after Democratic Rep. Ilhan Omar came under sharp scrutiny for accusing pro-Israel lawmakers of serving “allegiance to a foreign country.”
  • Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.

President Donald Trump seemed to refer to a crowd of Jewish Republicans as Israelis multiple times within a speech Saturday and railed against American lawmakers whom he said were not serving the interests of Israel.

Trump referred to Israel’s prime minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, as “your prime minister” while speaking at the Republican Jewish Coalition in Las Vegas, Nevada.

Pointing out his meeting at the White House to announce Israel sovereignty over the Golan Heights, territory Israel seized from Syria in the 1967 Middle East War, Trump highlighted his close relationship with Netanyahu, who during the ceremony compared the president to Cyrus the Great, Lord Balfour, and Harry Truman.

Trump seemed to double down on referring to the crowd as Israelis, railing against what he cast as anti-Israel policies by Democrats.

“Democrats are advancing the most extreme partisan agenda by far in American history … people aren’t fighting for Israel in Congress,” Trump said. “If implemented, the Democrats’ radical agenda would destroy our economy, cripple our country, and very well could leave Israel out there all by yourselves. Can’t do that.”

Trump’s comment comes after weeks of backlash against Democratic Rep. Ilhan Omar of Minnesota, who has been accused of playing into anti-Semitic stereotypes about American Jews’ “dual loyalty” to Israel.

Omar even tweeted that pro-Israel lawmakers were pushing “for allegiance to a foreign country.” Trump had swiftly condemned her comments and called for her to be removed from the House Foreign Affairs Committee.

In a tweet days later, Trump condemned House Democrats for failing to “take a stand against anti-Semitism in their conference.”

Omar and Netanyahu also squared off after the world leader criticised another of the freshman lawmaker’s tweets at last month’s American Israel Public Affairs Committee’s (AIPAC) annual policy conference.

The Israeli leader appeared to refer to Omar’s suggestion that US-Israel policy is “all about the Benjamins baby,” or money. When asked to clarify she simply tweeted, “AIPAC.”

In remarks delivered via satellite, Netanyahu said, “Take it from this Benjamin, it’s not about the Benjamins!” He added that the US-Israel relationship is not because of money but due to shared values.

Democrats have pointed out that Trump has repeatedly made comments widely interpreted as anti-Semitic. He and his campaign have, on numerous occasions, promoted anti-Semitic memes, including an image of Hillary Clinton with a Jewish star and a pile of money. In 2017, he said some members of a neo-Nazi rally in Charlottesville were “very fine people.”

Eliza Relman contributed reporting.

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