Donald Trump has accused the Democrats of being “anti-Israel, anti-Jewish” after a resolution in the House of Representatives initially intended to condemn antisemitism was widened to condemn all racism.
The US president made the surprising charge on Friday as he boarded Air Force One, when asked by reporters about the vote in the House hours earlier.
“Yesterday’s vote was disgraceful,” he said. “The Democrats have become an anti-Israel party. They’ve become an anti-Jewish party.”
The resolution was prompted by comments from Democratic congresswoman Ilhan Omar, an American refugee of Somali background, after she said she was being pressured to pledge “allegiance” to Israel.
“I want to talk about the political influence in this country that says it is OK for people to push for allegiance to a foreign country,” she told a Washington audience, before tweeting that she should not have to “have allegiance/pledge support to a foreign country” in order to serve in Congress.
Trump later said her comments were “terrible” and amounted to “a dark day for Israel” before adding that Jewish groups were trying to get her withdrawn from the Foreign Relations Committee.
Commentators accused Trump of “hypocrisy”. In 2016 he tweeted a doctored image of Hillary Clinton showing her against a backdrop of cash alongside a Star of David with the label “corrupt”. The Anti-Defamation League said it had “obvious antisemitic overtones”.