Amid the controversy over US President Donald Trump supposedly questioning the “loyalty” or “lack of knowledge” of Jews who vote for Democrats, Israeli President Reuven Rivlin told US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) that the alliance between the United States and Israel is “not dependent on the relationship with one particular party.”
“The relationship between the State of Israel and the United States is a link between peoples, which relies on historical ties, deep and strong friendships, and shared values that are not dependent on the relationship with one particular party,” Rivlin said to Pelosi in a phone call on Wednesday, according to a readout from the Israeli government press office.
“We must keep the State of Israel above political disputes and make every effort to ensure that support for Israel does not become a political issue,” said the Israeli leader. “The elections we hold give voice to the will of our citizens. We agree with the opinions of some, we speak out against the opinions of others, but we respect the wishes of each of our peoples.”
The phone call came as Trump said on Tuesday that “any Jewish people that vote for a Democrat—I think it shows either a total lack of knowledge or great disloyalty.”
His comments evoked immediate opposition from Jewish and pro-Israel groups, who conflated the “dual-loyalty” canard, though the Republican Jewish Coalition defended the president.
Clarifying his comments, Trump said on Wednesday: “If you vote for a Democrat, you’re being disloyal to Jewish people, and you’re being very disloyal to Israel.”