Over the last 2 years, chairman Trump has repeatedly doubted the loyalty of Jewish people in America, claiming the voting for a Democrat would certainly be a “great disloyalty”. In new research i m sorry looks at almost 150 years of presidential communications, Shyam K. Sriram, Victoria Combs and Cole McNamara look at at just how presidents have talked about the Jewish world over the years, and find the Trump’s rhetoric is a significant departure from what has gone before.

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For some, among the an ext negative elements of the trumped presidency have been his repeated statements about Jewish loyalty. Top top April 7th, 2019, that told attendees of the Republican Jewish Coalition in las Vegas, Nevada, “I stood with your element minister in ~ the White home to recognize Israeli sovereignty end the Golan Heights.” also the Times that Israel noted that the president was “appearing come conflate Jews and Israelis.” speak at the White residence on respectable 20th, 2019, that asked, “Where has the democratic Party gone? Where have they gone that they are defending these two world over the state of Israel? and also I think any type of Jewish civilization that vote for a Democrat … ns think it shows either a complete lack of knowledge or good disloyalty.” The next day, president Trump told reporters introduce to the group of autonomous Congressional legislators well-known colloquially as ‘The Squad’, which contains Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of brand-new York, “We have actually a group, I call it ‘AOC add to three’ … they space anti-Semites, lock are versus Israel.”

He said attendees at the 2019 Israeli American Council national Summit they had “no choice” in voting for him and also that Jews that voted because that Democrats “don’t love Israel enough”. During a march 2020 speech by Vice president Mike Pence in ~ the 2020 AIPAC Conference, he dubbed Trump “the biggest friend of the Jewish people and the state the Israel to ever sit in the Oval Office.” and in September, throughout a call with Jewish leader to celebrate Rosh Hashanah, chairman Trump said, “We really evaluate you. We love your country also.”

Yet, even as Trump suggests that that is working in the understand of Jewish people, anti-Semitic attacks have increased over the last 3 years. Much of it has actually been blamed on president Trump’s use of philosemitism. As Joshua Shanes, combine Professor that Jewish studies at the university of Charleston, noted, “while the president pledges to combat anti-Semitism, he frequently indulges in these long-standing anti-Semitic tropes himself.” Pence has also been criticized for engaging in philosemitism; during the vice-presidential controversy with city council Kamala Harris, Pence argued that chairman Trump could not maybe be antisemitic because of his “Jewish grandchildren.”

Studying how presidents have talked around the Jewish people

Has it always been this way? exactly how did previous Commanders-in-Chief speak about the Jewish people? We have actually made an initial evaluation of American presidential rhetoric and also communication concerning the Jewish people. In collecting data for this research, we used the American Presidency Project and evaluated over 2 thousand easily accessible presidential interactions containing the words “Jew,” “Jews,” or “Jewish” from 1872 onwards. As number 1 shows, these included press releases, interviews, toasts, proclamations, press conferences, news conferences, letters, religious messages, statements, messages, yearly messages, remarks, speeches, and also addresses. We collectively refer to these as ‘communications’.

Figure 1 – All communication by us presidents since 1872


The American Presidency Project’s an initial mention that “Jew/Jews/Jewish” starts with President approve in 1872. Our research analyzes that first mention all the method through the end of 2019. Figure 2 shows a gradual increase in mentions over time, through notable rises in 1946, 1980, 1999, and 2016. There is a basic upward trend in as whole mentions starting around 1977 and also continuing come the present.

Figure 2 – Presidential communications around Jewish people, 1872-2020


Next, we compare when presidents mention Jewish immigrant or refugees in relationship to once they talk about Jews in general. The most far-ranging results occur in 1946 and 1980, the previous a midterm election year during the Truman presidency and also the latter the electoral race in between Carter and also Reagan. It is likewise worth noting the 1990, a midterm election year, likewise had a little increase in overall references to Jewish people however saw a an extensive increase in referrals to Jewish immigrant or refugees.

Figure 3 – Presidential communications about Jewish human being in communications about Jewish immigrant or refugees, 1872-2020


We compiled the data right into two pie charts (Figures 4 and also 5) to proportionally screen the re-superstructure of statements the presidents make in referral to the Jewish people and also Jewish immigrants or refugees. It is exciting to note the huge difference in re-publishing of statements the each chairman has between the 2 figures. For example, chairman Clinton made the most statements around Jewish human being with 20.8 percent the statements make by presidents overall; yet he just made 6.1 percent of every presidential statements introduce to Jewish immigrant or refugees. Presidents Reagan, Truman, shrub (41), Obama, and Carter all comprised for much more than 10 percent of all statements referring to Jewish immigrant or refugees.

Figure 4 – All united state presidential communications around Jewish people, 1872-2020


Figure 5 – All us presidential communications about Jewish immigrant or refugees, 1872-2020


We recognize that some limitation exists in regard come the data since the American Presidency Project has actually less correspondence typically from previously presidencies, and importantly, the nature of an innovation and presidential communications has progressed over time. As technological advances have actually occurred, presidents have actually been able come distribute an ext communications with greater frequencies and more comprehensive reach.

How presidents have spoken about the Jewish human being has readjusted over time

Both Presidents Reagan and also Truman to be the most likely to recommendation Jewish immigrants or refugees followed by bush (41), Obama, and also Carter. Reagan’s function in acknowledging Jewish oppression in the Soviet Union was established as early on as 1983 and his administration was seen as a critical ally. After ~ his death in 2004, journalist Ron Kampeas listed that Reagan’s presidency to be “seen by numerous as halcyon days for Jewish issues in foreign policy, principally because of the impacts of Reagan’s biggest triumph: the collapse of the Soviet bloc.”

Figure 6 – number of Communications about Jewish immigrant or refugees by President

Initially, us had understood this climb in mentions during the Truman administration as straight related come the Holocaust and also World war II. A more likely explanation originates from the issues in between Israel and Palestine, i m sorry does attach to the aftermath of people War II, but Truman does not clearly reference the Holocaust within these communications.

Finally, we examined the meaning of elections on presidential Jewish rhetoric. The teal bar in number 8 shows the variety of communications made in reference to Jewish immigrant or refugees, when the purple bar displays the remaining interactions made around Jewish people. Like many of our various other data, this graph display screens a steady increase in communications around Jewish people over time, through the data around Jewish immigrant or refugees being a lot less prevalent. Chairman Carter is a clean leader in having 21 communications about Jewish immigrant or refugees during the elections of 1976 and also 1980.

Figure 7 – number of communications around Jewish civilization during choice years vs number of communications about Jewish immigrants or refugees during election years


In a recent short article for the USAPP blog, among the writer of this article, Shyam K. Sriram, commented on the decrease in refugee admissions under chairman Trump contrasted to previous presidents. In conjunction through our findings here, we watch a larger pattern in ~ Trump’s rhetoric concentrated on developing a ethical panic about Jews, Jewish immigrants, and also immigrants as a whole. This is in steep contrast to the presidencies that Truman, Carter, Clinton, and also Reagan who played a an ext pivotal role in sustaining the Jewish American experience and connecting the to global and residential crises.

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Note: This article gives the views of the author, and also not the place of USAPP – American Politics and also Policy, nor the London school of Economics.

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About the authors

Shyam K. SriramButler UniversityShyam K. Sriram is a visiting assistant professor in the room of Political science at servant University.

Victoria Combs – servant UniversityVictoria Combs is an undergraduate student at servant University.

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Cole McNamara Butler UniversityCole McNamara is an undergraduate college student at servant University.