ABC News(WASHINGTON) — President Donald Trump denounced anti-Semitism Tuesday after facing criticism that he has not come out strongly enough against recent threats directed at U.S. Jewish centers.
“The anti-Semitic threats targeting our Jewish community and community centers are horrible and are painful and a very sad reminder of the work that still must be done to root out hate and prejudice and evil,” Trump remarked after touring the Smithsonian’s National Museum of African American History and Culture in Washington, D.C.
“This tour was a meaningful reminder of why we have to fight bigotry, intolerance and hatred in all of its very ugly forms,” Trump said from a podium set up at the museum.
The executive director of the Anne Frank Center for Mutual Respect found fault with Trump’s statement, arguing Trump’s “too little, too late acknowledgement of anti-Semitism” is “not enough.”
“The president’s sudden acknowledgement is a Band-Aid on the cancer of Antisemitism [sic] that has infected his own administration,” Steven Goldstein said in a statement posted to Facebook.
Goldstein accused the Trump administration of committing “grotesque acts and omissions reflecting anti-Semitism.”
“It was only yesterday, Presidents Day, that Jewish Community Centers across the nation received bomb threats, and the president said absolutely nothing,” Goldstein argued.
The FBI announced it would investigate, along with the Justice Department, the bomb threats made at Jewish centers across the country.
In a press conference last week, Trump was asked by a Jewish reporter about the recent wave of threats.
“I haven’t seen anybody in my community accuse either yourself or — anyone on your staff of being anti-Semitic. However, what we are concerned about, and what we haven’t really heard being addressed, is an uptick in anti-Semitism and how the government is planning to take care of it,” Jake Turx of Ami Magazine began.
Trump cut Turx off and dismissed the question as unfair and “very insulting.”
“Number one, I am the least anti-Semitic person that you’ve ever seen in your entire life. Number two, racism, the least racist person,” Trump said, interpreting the question as a personal attack.
“I hate the charge. I find it repulsive. I hate even the question,” Trump said.
Trump was also criticized last month for a statement he released on Holocaust Remembrance Day.
“It is with a heavy heart and somber mind that we remember and honor the victims, survivors, heroes of the Holocaust,” Trump said in the statement. “In the name of the perished, I pledge to do everything in my power throughout my presidency, and my life, to ensure that the forces of evil never again defeat the powers of good.”
The statement received backlash for not mentioning Jews or anti-Semitism.
White House press secretary Sean Spicer defended the statement in a press briefing a few days later, saying it was “written with the help of an individual who is both Jewish and the descendants of Holocaust survivors.”
“To suggest that remembering the Holocaust and acknowledging all of the people — Jewish, gypsies, priests, disabled, gays and lesbians — it is pathetic that people are picking on a statement,” Spicer said.
Copyright © 2017, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.
Read More →