In his speech before the Israeli-American Council this past weekend, President Trump made several anti-Semitic and racist statements which Ameinu condemns unequivocally. First, President Trump questioned the loyalty of some Jews, claiming that there, “are Jewish people, that are great people — they don’t love Israel enough.” Accusing Jews of not being sufficiently loyal to their home countries or to Israel is a worn-out trope used for centuries by anti-Semites to single out and besmirch Jews the world over. This canard is not only hateful, it has been weaponized in the past with tragic results.
Later in his rambling remarks that were characterized not only by his bigotry, but by misrepresentations, half-truths, and outright falsehoods, the President made a more directly anti-Semitic statement, claiming that “A lot of you are in the real estate business because I know you very well. You’re brutal killers. Not nice people at all. But you have to vote for me; you have no choice. You’re not going to vote for Pocahontas, I can tell you that. You’re not going to vote for the wealth tax. Yeah, let’s take 100 percent of your wealth away. No, no. Even if you don’t like me; some of you don’t. Some of you I don’t like at all, actually. And you’re going to be my biggest supporters because you’ll be out of business in about 15 minutes, if they get it. So I don’t have to spend a lot of time on that.”
That the President’s remarks are beneath contempt is self-evident, what is more disturbing is how the audience cheered him on, in particular when he used a racist nickname when referring to Senator Elizabeth Warren. Moreover, the tepid response to the speech by the organized Jewish community is a cause for grave concern and shame. Ameinu, a member in good standing of the Conference of Presidents of Major Jewish Organizations, calls upon other Conference members to condemn the use of anti-Semitic tropes, dog whistles and stereotypes in all forms and calls upon the Jewish community to forcefully and unequivocally repudiate the President’s vile remarks. Silence equals complicity.