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November 22, 2019

Politics

U.S. Rep. Nita Lowey
U.S. Rep. Eliot Engel

U.S. Reps. Engel, Lowey Denounce 'Dangerous' Trump Rhetoric On Jewish Voters

Two of nation's top Democrats in Congress denounced President Trump's comments about Jewish voters.

On Twitter, Trump accused Jewish Americans who vote for Democrats of "great disloyalty."

In a statement released on Wednesday, Aug. 21, U.S. Rep. Nita Lowey said, “The President’s charge that Jewish Americans who vote for Democrats are disloyal plays off a longtime anti-Semitic trope."

Lowey, who represents Westchester and Rockland counties, said, "His rhetoric has enabled white supremacy, hate, racism and even violence. It is unconscionable that the U.S. President stokes such dangerous division.”

U.S. Rep. Eliot Engel, who represents parts of Westchester and the Bronx, said, "The President’s comments maligned Jewish Americans who don’t share his political beliefs, suggesting loyalty tropes that have a painful history for the Jewish people and have been used as a justification for violence and persecution."

In his tweet, Trump said that when Jewish Americans vote for Democrats, "it shows either a total lack of knowledge or great disloyalty." Some argue that the President was dabbling in the anti-Semitic trope of "dual loyalty," which questions the loyalty of Jewish citizens. The comment was part of Trump's response to two Democratic congresswomen being barred for entering Israel over their support for a boycott against the country.

Engel added: "The President’s words are dangerous. In the last two years, peaceful worshippers were gunned down in a synagogue in Pittsburgh, neo-Nazis marched with swastikas in Charlottesville, and hate crimes against Jews reached alarming levels. 

"We cannot turn away when we hear this kind of rhetoric, no matter the source. It is incumbent on all of us, Republicans and Democrats, to fight against this intolerance," Engel said.