The phone call between US Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Israeli President Reuven Rivlin came a few days after President Donald Trump claimed that American Jews who vote for Democrats show “either a total lack of knowledge or great disloyalty”.
Israeli President Reuven Rivlin went on Twitter on Wednesday to tout his telephone conversation with Nancy Pelosi earlier that day, during which he specifically thanked the US speaker “for her commitment” and underscored the significance of “strong” ties between Tel Aviv and Washington.
These relations are “not dependent on the links with either party”, Rivlin pointed out.
I spoke today with @SpeakerPelosi about the importance of strong US-Israel relations and I thanked her for her commitment. The link between us is between peoples, based on historical ties, deep, strong friendships and shared values, not dependent on the links with either party
— Reuven Rivlin (@PresidentRuvi) August 21, 2019
He was echoed by Pelosi spokesperson Drew Hammill who tweeted that the Wednesday conversation “was spirited” by the personal friendship between Pelosi and Rivlin as well as by the “strong” bilateral relationship.
President Rivlin and Speaker Pelosi spoke this morning by phone at his invitation. The conversation was spirited by their personal friendship as well as by the strong relationship between Israel and the United States.
— Drew Hammill (@Drew_Hammill) August 21, 2019
Trump Hits Out at US Jews Who Support Democrats
Trump Lashes Out at US Jews Who Support Democrats
The Pelosi-Rivlin phone call comes just a few days after US President Donald Trump lambasted American Jews who “vote for a Democrats”, which he claimed, “shows either a total lack of knowledge or great disloyalty”.
“Where has the Democratic Party gone? Where have they gone when they are defending these two people over the state of Israel? I can’t even believe we’re having this conversation!” Trump told reporters on Tuesday.
His remarks followed US Muslim Congresswomen Rashida Tlaib and Ilhan Omar being banned from visiting Israel last Thursday because of their support for the pro-Palestinian Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement.
The ban came shortly after Trump tweeted that “it would show great weakness” if Tel Aviv allows Omar and Tlaib to visit the country, claiming that these two women “hate Israel and hate the Jewish people”.
Trump’s Comments on Omar, Tlaib Spark Uproar
Pelosi described Trump’s remarks as “a sign of ignorance and disrespect”, which she argued are “beneath the dignity of the Office of the President”.
Halie Sofer, the Jewish Democratic Council of America’s executive director, told the Hill that “if this is about Israel, then Trump is repeating a dual loyalty claim, which is a form of anti-Semitism; If this is about Jews being ‘loyal’ to him, then Trump needs a reality check”.
Anti-Defamation League CEO Jonathan Greenblatt, in turn, warned against “using Jews as a political football”, while the Republican Jewish Coalition praised Trump’s words and claimed that he is “right”.
Omar, for her part, blamed Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu for yielding to pressure from Trump and denying “entry to representatives of the US government”.
“Trump’s Muslim ban is what Israel is implementing, this time against two duly elected Members of Congress”, she said in a statement.
Earlier this month, media reports said that Trump expressed disappointment over Tel Aviv’s decision not to bar the two US lawmakers from visiting the country, given that Israel’s laws stipulate that border authorities should turn away supporters of the anti-Israel boycott movement.