Jul 09, 2016 6:51 PM GMT
https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/trumps-vigorous-defense-of-anti-semitic-image-a-turning-point-for-many-jews/2016/07/08/720858e2-4450-11e6-bc99-7d269f8719b1_story.htmlDonald Trump’s vigorous defense of an image widely regarded as anti-Semitic has alarmed many Jewish Americans, who are growing increasingly fearful that someone who could be the next president is willing to stoke the kinds of stereotypical attacks that have haunted Jews around the world for generations.
Rabbis and other Jewish community leaders point to a moment of reckoning...
“That was a turning point for many,” said Lisa Spies, a veteran Republican fundraising consultant and former staffer of the Republican Jewish Coalition. “It forced people to say, ‘I’m going to hold off right now’ or to say, ‘I just can’t vote for this guy.’ ”
Added Bethany Mandel, a conservative writer who has gained attention for past criticisms of the ties between some Trump supporters and hate groups: “This past week has been really scary as a Jew in America.”
The concern expressed by many Jews is that Trump, who earlier this year was slow to condemn former Ku Klux Klan leader David Duke and has on several occasions retweeted messages from white supremacists, is bringing into the mainstream a sentiment that has largely been relegated to the dark underworld of the Internet.
...To some Jewish clergy, the disregard for their feelings demonstrated by a presumptive major- party presidential nominee, combined with online messages from hate groups cheering him on, was a shocking development.
“He was defending it with such passion. Shouting and screaming and regretting the fact that it was taken off and replaced,” said Philip Scheim, a Toronto rabbi who is president of the Rabbinical Assembly, the New York-based international association of rabbis from Judaism’s Conservative movement. “Before, there was this subtle tinge of anti-Semitism. Once it’s pointed out clearly — somebody took it off his account and replaced it — even then, to still stand up for it is kind of mind-boggling.”
...Brad D. Rose, a New York intellectual property lawyer and RJC board member, told The Washington Post that Trump’s tweet was indicative of a “reckless” campaign. Rose said he does not think Trump is anti-Semitic but that the candidate probably “blindly and ignorantly approved the tweet without being coached as to the connotations that could be derived from the imagery.”
“Donald Trump has made the bed in which he now lies, whether it be by design, negligence, outright stupidity or all of the above,” Rose said.
...Trump has cited his Jewish family members — Ivanka converted to Judaism — as evidence of his warm feelings toward Jews. But Kushner’s piece revealed a rift in his family over his work on behalf of Trump. Some of Kushner’s relatives posted messages Thursday expressing dismay that his op-ed had invoked his grandparents’ experience as Holocaust survivors.
“I have a different take-away from my Grandparents’ experience in the war,” Marc Kushner, Jared Kushner’s cousin, wrote on Facebook on Thursday in comments first reported by Politico. “It is our responsibility as the next generation to speak up against hate. Anti-semitism or otherwise.”
...Rabbi David Teutsch, who leads the Center for Jewish Ethics at the Reconstructionist Rabbinical College in Philadelphia, said there was “no doubt” Trump’s tweet was anti-Semitic. But he said Trump’s comments on other minority groups represented “one of the most dangerous trends in American politics in my lifetime, and I’ve been around a long time.”
...“I’ve been saying for the last year, I don’t think he’s anti-
Semitic. I think he has anti-Semites that maybe work for him, among his supporters,” Mandel said. “After this week, I’m like, maybe he is.”