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Homefact-checkFact check: Did Donald Trump criticize the "evil doings of Israel"?

Fact check: Did Donald Trump criticize the "evil doings of Israel"?

Donald Trump has often been outspoken about Israel, revealing his Israeli-Palestinian peace plan in 2020.

The former president, speaking shortly after attacks by Hamas on Saturday, said that “Israel has every right to defend itself with overwhelming force.”

However, in a video that has resurfaced on social media in the past few days, Trump appeared to make anti-Israel comments, suggesting it had “hypnotized the world.”

The Claim

A TikTok posted on October 8, 2023, and since viewed more than 186,000 times, showed Donald Trump saying: “Israel has hypnotized the world, may Allah awaken the people and help them to see the evil doings of Israel and the United States.” Booing can be heard in the background.

The video included the caption “Trump Is with Palestinians” followed by what appeared to be pro-Palestinian content.

The Facts

The TikTok of Trump has been misleadingly edited to make it appear that Trump is criticizing Israel.

The clip used footage from a 2019 rally in the state of Minnesota. Trump said Democratic Rep. Ilhan Omar wrote the quote featured in the TikTok clip.

Trump is nearly correct. Omar tweeted that message in 2012 before she became a congresswoman, sent in response to the military offensive in Gaza that year.

The since-deleted tweet said: “Israel has hypnotized the world, may Allah awaken the people and help them see the evil doings of Israel. #Gaza #Palestine #Israel”

Her original tweet, however, did not include the reference to the United States that Trump included.

Omar would later express regret about the wording of her social media post.

Asked about the social post by CNN in January 2019, Omar responded that “those unfortunate words were the only words I could think about expressing at that moment.”

She later said that “hypnotize” and the “ugly sentiment it holds was offensive,” after hearing from Jewish groups.

Six days after the CNN interview, she posted: “It’s now apparent to me that I spent lots of energy putting my 2012 tweet in context and little energy is disavowing the anti-semitic trope I unknowingly used, which is unfortunate and offensive.

“With that said, it is important to distinguish between criticizing a military action by a government and attacking a particular people of faith.

“I will not shy away of criticism of any government when I see injustice—whether it be Saudi Arabia, Somalia, even our own government!

“As a survivor of war, the acts of war justified or not will always be acts of evil to me.”

Responding to the weekend’s attacks by Hamas and Israel’s response, Rep. Omar said on X, formerly Twitter, on Saturday: “I condemn the horrific acts we are seeing unfold today in Israel against children, women, the elderly, and the unarmed people who are being slaughtered and taken hostage by Hamas. Such senseless violence will only repeat the back and forth cycle we’ve seen, which we cannot allow to continue. We need to call for deescalation and ceasefire.”

“I will keep advocating for peace and justice throughout the Middle East,” she added.

On Sunday, she called for prayers for residents of Gaza.

“Reminder, Gaza doesn’t have shelters or an iron dome and to please pray for them,” she wrote. “May peace prevail in the region and move us towards a moral awakening to care about the human suffering we are seeing. Palestinians are human beings who have been in besieged and are deserving of protection from the international community,”

Newsweek has contacted a representative for Omar via email for comment.

Crucially, Donald Trump was quoting Omar, not making the comment himself.

Reuters reports that 1,100 people have died since fighting began over the weekend. On Sunday Israel attacked the Palestinian enclave of Gaza, killing hundreds, following attacks by Hamas that killed 700 Israelis.

The Ruling

Misleading Material.

The clip of Donald Trump was edited and missed crucial context. He was quoting Minnesota Democratic congresswoman Ilham Omar, who made the comment in 2012. Omar later expressed regret for the words she used.

FACT CHECK BY Newsweek’s Fact Check team

Misleading Material: The claim is based on media that has been altered from its original form—such as an edited video or image—and is now misleading, misrepresentative, or deceptive, either intentionally or unintentionally. Read more about our ratings.

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