British Jews Condemn Donald Trump Ahead of Visit

(JTA) — Ahead of Donald Trump’s planned visit to Britain, leaders of that country’s Jewish community condemned what they said was the Republican presidential nominee’s “divisive and troubling” rhetoric.

Trump, who is scheduled to visit Britain on June 22, earlier this month told the Wall Street Journal that an Indiana-born judge with Mexican heritage who is overseeing a lawsuit against Trump University has an “inherent conflict of interest” given Trump’s stance against immigration from that country.

Trump is coming to Britain for the opening of a new hotel he owns in Scotland.

Jonathan Arkush, the president of the Board of Deputies of British Jews, said that Trump’s “recent comments have been divisive and troubling,” the London-based Jewish News reported Tuesday. “The world has long looked to the United States as a beacon of progress, tolerance and free thinking. Some of Mr. Trump’s remarks undermine these values.”

Trump, Arkush added, “has not moved decisively enough to distance himself from extremist supporters” and  “should now be considering the far-reaching consequences of his remarks and policy proposals before more damage is done.”

Laura Janner-Klausner, a well-known Reform rabbi, called Trump’s statements “naked appeals to bigotry.” British Jews, she said, “strongly support American liberal Jews in challenging Donald Trump and stand in solidarity with our sister movement the Union for Reform Judaism” on this issue.

The chief executive of Britain’s Liberal Judaism association, Rabbi Danny Rich, told The Jewish News:  “I fear that some of Donald Trump’s rhetoric is part of a growing intolerance, and inability to discuss things rationally, that we are currently seeing in political debate all around the world.”

In New York last month, a 500-strong alliance of liberal Jews announced that they would be campaigning against Trump throughout the summer and autumn months.

Jonathan Greenblatt, Anti-Defamation League CEO, last month told the Forward that “we haven’t seen this kind of kind of mainstreaming of intolerance at this level” for decades. He added: “These ideas have no place in the mainstream and we’ll do what we need to make sure that folks understand that.”

Your Comments

The Forward welcomes reader comments in order to promote thoughtful discussion on issues of importance to the Jewish community. All readers can browse the comments, and all Forward subscribers can add to the conversation. In the interest of maintaining a civil forum, The Forward requires that all commenters be appropriately respectful toward our writers, other commenters and the subjects of the articles. Vigorous debate and reasoned critique are welcome; name-calling and personal invective are not and will be deleted. Egregious commenters or repeat offenders will be banned from commenting. While we generally do not seek to edit or actively moderate comments, our spam filter prevents most links and certain key words from being posted and the Forward reserves the right to remove comments for any reason.

Recommend this article

British Jews Condemn Donald Trump Ahead of Visit

Thank you!

This article has been sent!

Close