Jewish Democratic Council Chairman Ron Klein: Jews Vote Democrat Because Immigration Reform, Gun Control, Environment, Healthcare, And Education Are Jewish Values

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"Jewish Democratic Council of America" Chairman Ron Klein told CNN's "New Day" on Wednesday morning that President Trump saying American Jews who vote for Democrats are disloyal to Israel is "weaponizing anti-Semitism" and "inciting violence."

"Our organization, Jewish Democratic Council of America, was formed after Charlottesville when he - it was basically failed to condemn White Nationalists, and it's only gotten worse, unfortunately," Klein explained.





"The reason Jews vote for Democrats, three-quarters of them in this country in part is because, yes, the Democratic party supports Israel, and equally important, the Democratic party supports immigration reform," he said. "These are values that the Jewish community has. Fights against anti-Semitism, of course, the issue of common-sense gun reform, healthcare, education, environment."

"I think it's important to remember that 32 out of 34 members - Jewish members of the Congress are Democrats. There's a reason for that. It's because the Democratic party is the natural home for the Jewish community. I think it's facts speak for themselves," he added.

He also said: "This disloyalty issue is something that goes back hundreds of years. It's in the Jewish community's DNA to understand what happens when leaders go bad in the country. This is not just the Holocaust, but other places in our history."

ALISYN CAMEROTA, NEW DAY HOST: All right, joining us now is Ron Klein. He's the Chair of the Jewish Democratic Council of America. Mr. Klein, thanks so much for joining us. You say that that was President Trump weaponizing anti-Semitism. What does that mean?

RON KLEIN, CHAIR, JEWISH DEMOCRATIC COUNCIL OF AMERICA: Well, weaponizing it to Semitism means that he's using it as a tool to drive wedges in this country, drive hate and violence. You know, I'm personally sick and tired of the president using language which incites violence. You know, people give him a pass.

The President of the United States, when he speaks, people listen and people take queues and they act on it and we've see this over and over again. The Jewish community among other communities has been one of those communities that's been under attack, and synagogues just the other day in Youngstown in a Jewish community center, there was another thwarted effort, but it's a very serious issue, and we know that this community - the Jewish community is less safe than it was three years ago.

CAMEROTA: But do you think that what he just said there in the Oval Office incites violence somehow?

KLEIN: Absolutely. I mean, again, it's a matter of him - disloyalty is concept of - for some people, it's treason. It's going against our country. It's against patriotism. And again, it's not everybody's cup of tea in terms of acting on it, but there a lot of people in this country, unfortunately, in this environment that he has created which is creating the problem.

Our organization, Jewish Democratic Council of America, was formed after Charlottesville when he - it was basically failed to condemn White Nationalists, and it's only gotten worse unfortunately.

CAMEROTA: One of the confusing things is that this is the very same thing the anti-Semitic trope of dual loyalty that President Trump claimed to be outraged by when something similar was said by Congresswoman Ilhan Omar. So how do you make sense of that contradiction that he's now using the same trope?

KLEIN: Well, I think it's incredibly hypocritical to start, but this is - this is President Trump's game of trying to confuse people, win some votes on one hand or the other here. Ultimately at the end of the day, he's responsible for his own words and he's president, OK?

A couple members of Congress were saying certain things. They don't have any major political influence. He does and he has to set the leadership. The reason Jews vote for Democrats, three-quarters of them in this country in part is because, yes, the Democratic party supports Israel, and equally important, the Democratic party support immigration reform. These are values that the Jewish community has. Fights against anti-Semitism, of course, the issue of gun - common sense gun reform, healthcare, education, environment.

These are the reasons the Jews vote Democrat, and President Trump is on the wrong side of almost every one of those issues.

CAMEROTA: Well, the Republican Jewish Coalition sees it quite differently, so here's what they put out via Twitter. "President Trump is right. It shows a great deal of disloyalty to oneself to defend a party that protects, emboldens people that hate you for your religion. The GOP when rarely confronted with anti-Semitism of elected members always acts swiftly and decisively to punish and remove."

KLEIN: Well first of all - first of all I'd like to let them challenge the president for his comments. I don't hear any comment out of this group or any other Republicans when the president makes anti-Semitic comments either directly or indirectly.

Secondly, I think it's important to remember that 32 out of 34 members - Jewish members of the Congress as Democrats. There's a reason for that. It's because the Democratic party is the natural home for the Jewish community. I think it's facts speak for themselves.

CAMEROTA: Charlottesville was obviously the most stunning and jaw-dropping where the president claimed that the Neo-Nazis were good people or somehow good people were on their side, but he has for a long time said questionable things. This is him back in 2015 saying something that raised eyebrows as well. Listen.

DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: That's why you don't want to give me money. OK, but that's OK. You want to control your own politician. That's fine.

CAMEROTA: What does that even mean?

KLEIN: Alisyn, I have no idea, but obviously it plays into the same kinds of things that people make terrible statements about Jews have money, they control things and all that kind of stuff as well as all the other things that he's used about power and disloyalty. This disloyalty issue is something that goes back hundreds of years. It's in the Jewish community's DNA to understand what happens when leaders go bad in the country. This is not just the Holocaust, but other places in our history.

So we're very - we're - Donald Trump in many ways is saying many of the things that some of these very bad leaders in the past - in other countries have led to bad things for the Jewish community, so we're very mindful of that and it's unacceptable to us and should be unacceptable not just to the Jewish community but to everybody in America. This is very un-American and against all of our values.

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