Friday, September 17, 2021

Trump: Anti-Semitism is horrible and must stop

US President Donald J. Trump delivers remarks with Alveda King, niece of Martin Luther King Jr., after touring the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History & Culture in Washington, DC, USA, 21 February 2017. EFE

Washington, Feb 21 (EFE).- President Donald Trump said Tuesday that anti-Semitism is “painful and horrible” and “has to stop,” condemning the recent spate of threats made against Jewish centers around the country.

“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 said after making a tour of the National Museum of African American History and Culture in Washington, which was opened last September.

Upon finishing his museum tour, Trump appeared briefly before reporters to say that threats against Jewish centers around the country are a reminder that much works needs to be done to eradicate hatred.

“Anti-Semitism is horrible and it’s going to stop and it has to stop,” the president said.

According to the JCC Association of North America, 11 Jewish centers on Monday received telephone bomb threats, although all of them turned out to be hoaxes.

Since Jan. 9, there have been 69 similar incidents made against 54 Jewish centers in 27 US states and one Canadian province, the organization said.

Trump has been criticized for not openly and clearly condemning anti-Semitism at several recent public appearances. Last week, for instance, he sidestepped the issue at a press conference despite calling himself the “least anti-Semitic” person in the US.

In addition, in a statement released in January about the Nazi Holocaust, Trump made no reference to the extermination of millions of Jews by the Third Reich or to anti-Semitism in general.

After the complaints received over the threats to the Jewish centers, Trump’s older daughter Ivanka issued a call for people to adhere to “principles of religious tolerance and respect for all faiths” in a message on her Twitter account.

Ivanka converted to Judaism before she married Jared Kushner, a practicing Orthodox Jew, the grandson of Holocaust survivors and presently one of his father-in-law’s closest advisers.

Before Trump’s comments on Tuesday condemning anti-Semitism, former Democratic president candidate Hillary Clinton had tweeted that everyone “starting w/@POTUS” must “speak out” about the “troubling” threats to Jewish centers.