Trump Condemns Rash of Anti-Semitism After Clinton, Jewish Groups Speak Out
The president had remained silent on the toppled Jewish gravestones in Missouri and dozens of bomb threats to Jewish centers nationwide.
President Trump has broken his days-long silence on a rash of anti-Semitic incidents across the country that had already been condemned by Hillary Clinton, as well as his own daughter, Ivanka.
Both Clinton and Ms. Trump called for an end to the threats made recently to 11 Jewish Community Centers nationwide and added to the dozens of others made since January.
"America is a nation built on the principle of religious tolerance. We must protect our houses of worship & religious centers.
#JCC," tweeted Ivanka, who converted to Judaism before marrying Jared Kushner in 2009.
In another tweet, Clinton went several steps further, condemning the startling desecration of some 100 gravestones at a Jewish cemetery in Missouri on Monday.
"JCC threats, cemetery desecration & online attacks are so troubling & they need to be stopped. Everyone must speak out, starting w/ @POTUS," Clinton wrote Tuesday.
Anita Feigenbaum, the Chesed Shel Emeth Society Cemetery executive director, said in a statement posted to Facebook that the cleanup of the monuments will not be an easy task.
JCC threats, cemetery desecration & online attacks are so troubling & they need to be stopped. Everyone must speak out, starting w/ @POTUS.February 21, 2017
"Unfortunately, the damage occurred is going to need professional help," she said. "These monuments weigh thousands of pounds. Since the damage occurred in our oldest sections, we are taking donations to help with repairs that will be needed."
Clinton's response came after the White House released a brief statement that appeared to reference the acts of hate.
"Hatred and hate-motivated violence of any kind have no place in a country founded on the promise of individual freedom. The president has made it abundantly clear that these actions are unacceptable," the statement read.
Trump dodged questions last week about a rise in anti-Semitism at two press conferences, CBS News reported.
On Thursday, for example, a Jewish reporter asked the president how the administration plans to address the issue. Instead of answering it, Mr. Trump told the reporter to sit down and lambasted his query as "not a fair question" before declaring "I am the least anti-Semitic person that you’ve ever seen in your entire life."
America is a nation built on the principle of religious tolerance. We must protect our houses of worship & religious centers. #JCCFebruary 20, 2017
The Anti-Defamation League also urged the president to directly address these apparent patterns of anti-Semitism.
Glad to see this," ADL CEO Jonathan Greenblatt tweeted in response to Ivanka Trump's tweet. "All Jews need to urge @POTUS to step forward & share a plan. His words carry weight. His actions will speak even louder."
Perhaps bowing to pressure, or just using the occasion of his visit to the African-American museum in Washington, Trump addressed the apparent hate crimes late Tuesday morning.
"We have to fight bigotry, intolerance and hatred in all of its very ugly forms," he said. "The anti-Semitic threats targeting our Jewish community and community centers are horrible and painful."
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