Ads calling on Jewish voters to throw their support behind Donald Trump in the Republican primaries have been popping up in recent weeks in Orthodox newspapers and in flyers circulated in Jewish New York neighborhoods.
The ads are signed by Jewish Democrats for Trump, an ad hoc group of Orthodox New York activists, not necessarily Democrats, who currently have a gmail account, some cash for purchasing newspaper advertising space, and a fear of Muslim immigration to American which they believe will put Jews in danger.
“We feel very strong about what’s happening in Europe now,” said Heshy Friedman, the Jewish activist behind the ad campaign. “They need 24/7 police outside synagogues. Why? Because they let all these refugees in.”
Above a photo of Trump raising his thumbs in the air, the ad declares: “We dare not be silent,” and states that “President Trump will stop the flow of thousands of dangerous terrorists coming to America.”
When asked about the view of many in the Jewish community that Trump’s comments about Muslims and immigrants are racist, Friedman told the Forward: “Racist? He’s a realist.”
The ad campaign was timed to reach out to Jewish voters, mainly Orthodox, before voting begins in states with big Jewish communities. The group handed out material in Florida but is focusing its work on New York and New Jersey. In the upcoming weeks they hope to have more of a presence on the Jewish scene. The group intends to buy ads in Yiddish language newspapers distributed in the Ultra-Orthodox community, urging readers to attend Trump rallies and campaign events in New York to show that he has support among Jewish voters. They are also printing thousands of Donald Trump stickers in Hebrew.
Financing, Friedman said, is coming from “a few wealthy Orthodox Jews” he would not name. Some were active in campaigning against Jewish Democrat David Weprin who was running for Congress in New York’s 9th district in 2011.
Nathan Guttman staff writer, is the Forward’s Washington bureau chief. He joined the staff in 2006 after serving for five years as Washington correspondent for the Israeli dailies Ha’aretz and The Jerusalem Post. In Israel, he was the features editor for Ha’aretz and chief editor of Channel 1 TV evening news. He was born in Canada and grew up in Israel. He is a graduate of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. Contact Nathan at email@example.com, or follow him on Twitter @nathanguttman