Trump Advisor: ADL Calling Closing Ad Anti-Semitic Is ‘Abuse’ Of The Label

Donald Trump’s advisor on Israel said that calling the Republican nominee’s closing ad anti-Semitic is “an absolute abuse of the accusation” in a Monday interview.

“The Jewish community has to be able to distinguish between real anti-Semitism and fake anti-Semitism,” David Friedman told Jewish Insider. “When you criticize people who happen to be Jewish, that’s not anti-Semitism if you’re criticizing them because of their policies.”

He said that accusations of anti-Semitism against Trump are a “fake” use of the label.

The two-minute ad from the Trump campaign features clips of a speech Trump gave condemning “global special interests” and “those who control the levers of power in Washington.” His words play over footage of Hillary Clinton, George Soros, Janet Yellen and Lloyd Blankfein—all of whom, with the exception of Clinton, are Jewish.

Friedman went point-by-point to refute the accusations, starting with Blankfein.

“He’s not being criticized because he’s Jewish,” Friedman said. “He’s being criticized because he runs a bank that has extraordinarily close ties to Hillary Clinton.”

He turned to Yellen next. “I doubt people even know that Janet Yellen is Jewish,” Friedman said. “She’s never done anything in her life to identify as a Jew.”

As for Soros, Friedman slammed the billionaire as having “done more to vilify the state of Israel and to fund anti-Israel propaganda machines than almost any individual on the face of the earth.”

Trump’s Israel adviser said that accusations of anti-Semitism against the nominee diminish “the whole notion of anti-Semitism” and are “an absolute abuse.” He also slammed the Anti-Defamation League for its statement saying that the ad touches “on subjects that anti-Semites have used for ages.”

“The Anti-Defamation League, which was founded on the notion of rooting out anti-Semitism, has completely destroyed and perverted their own mandate by going after this type of criticism,” he said. “I don’t see how anybody can take the Anti-Defamation League seriously going forward.”

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Esme Cribb is a newswriter for TPM in New York City. She can be found on Twitter @emquiry and reached by email at esme@talkingpointsmemo.com.

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