More than a few dozen Rabbis are calling for a boycott of Donald Trump’s AIPAC speech next Monday, worried that he will gain legitimacy via the group that would help propel him to the presidency:
WAPO – A group of rabbis is planning to boycott Donald Trump’s speech next week before a leading pro-Israel advocacy group, a sign of growing unease among many Jewish leaders about the populist campaign being waged by the Republican presidential front-runner.
About 40 rabbis have said that they plan to participate in the protest of Trump’s appearance Monday at the annual conference of the American Israel Public Affairs Committee, according to an organizer. The planned demonstration comes as members of the Republican Jewish Coalition, a group of major GOP donors, is expected to debate how to deal with Trump during its annual meeting next month in Las Vegas.
The concerns being expressed by many Jewish leaders go beyond Trump’s controversial pledge to be “neutral” during peace talks between Israel and the Palestinians — and extend to fears of Trump’s style and approach to power.
Some say they hear echoes of a painful past under fascism in Trump’s recent comments appearing to praise authoritarian figures such as Russian President Vladimir Putin and in the way that Trump stokes economic anger among his supporters. And they point to Trump’s call for a ban on Muslims entering the United States and his harsh rhetoric on illegal Mexican migrants as reminiscent of the anti-immigrant sentiment that greeted European Jews in generations past.
“These are the darkest days for Republican Jews like myself,” former George W. Bush speechwriter Noam Neusner wrote in a column this month in the Forward, a Jewish newspaper. He wrote that Trump “has built within our party the nearest thing America has ever seen to a European nativist working-class political movement. Such movements, to put it mildly, have never been good for the Jews or allies of free thought and the free market.”
Trump’s campaign spokeswoman did not respond to requests for comment.
Organizers of the push to boycott Trump’s AIPAC speech said they are worried that Trump could gain legitimacy through the event and want to deny him a chance to present the invitation as a tacit sign of approval.
I think Trump is getting somewhat of a bad rap here. I do find his comments on the Chinese government’s reaction to Tiananmen Square concerning. But his comments on Putin bother me less. My point is I don’t feel like Trump is the fascist some are making him out to be.
And while he is too loose with his comments on immigration, with respect to illegals and Muslims, he doesn’t strike me as anti-immigrant the way these Rabbis are conveying him.
So I can’t really get on board with their boycott. But I would like to see someone like Ted Cruz come in right behind him and hammer the heck out him on the issues as well as being neutral with the Palestinians. That I can get behind.