The Anne Frank Center has called out President Donald Trump for not doing enough to combat anti-Semitism.
President Trump, whose daughter Ivanka converted to Judaism before marrying Jared Kushner, made a few remarks denouncing anti-Semitism on Tuesday after touring the Smithsonian’s National Museum of African American History and Culture, said the Chicago Tribune.
Trump said the museum is a “meaningful reminder of why we have to fight bigotry, intolerance and hatred in all of its very ugly forms.”
“The anti-Semitic threats targeting our Jewish community at 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,” said the president.
Yet the words were too little too late for Steven Goldstein, executive director of the Anne Frank Center for Mutual Respect.
Goldstein blasted President Trump on social media, claiming that Trump’s words were not backed up by his actions.
“His statement today is a pathetic asterisk of condescension after weeks in which he and his staff have committed grotesque acts and omissions reflecting Antisemitism, yet day after day have refused to apologize and correct the record,” Goldstein wrote on the Anne Frank Center’s Facebook page.
“Make no mistake: The Antisemitism coming out of this Administration is the worst we have ever seen from any Administration.”
Trump was recently criticized for not mentioning the plight of the Jews in a Holocaust remembrance statement last month. The White House also has not responded to reports of a spike in anti-Semitic incidents that are sweeping the country.
“The White House repeatedly refused to mention Jews in its Holocaust remembrance, and had the audacity to take offense when the world pointed out the ramifications of Holocaust denial,” said Goldstein.
“And it was only yesterday, Presidents’ Day, that Jewish Community Centers across the nation received bomb threats, and the President said absolutely nothing. When President Trump responds to Antisemitism proactively and in real time, and without pleas and pressure, that’s when we’ll be able to say this President has turned a corner. This is not that moment.”
In a Twitter post, the Anne Frank Center told the president to not “make us Jews settle for crumbs of condescension.”
— AnneFrankCenter(US) (@AnneFrankCenter) February 21, 2017
Trump has refused to directly comment on the rise in anti-Semitism. When asked earlier this month what he intended to do about the increase in anti-Semitic incidents, Trump simply turned the focus on himself and his electoral college win.
At a press conference last week, Trump was again asked about the increase in anti-Semitism. Trump’s only response was that he is not a racist.
“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.”
Federal authorities are currently investigating a wave of bomb threats that have been made to Jewish community centers around the country. NBC reported that there have been at least 70 such threats made this year though “no one was injured, and the threats appeared to be hoaxes.”
The Southern Poverty Law Center found almost 2,000 hate crime incidents, including anti-Semitic incidents, in the month following November’s presidential election.
Hillary Clinton demanded on Twitter that the president speak out against the attacks. Trump’s former opponent said the attacks are “troubling” and “need to be stopped.”
JCC threats, cemetery desecration & online attacks are so troubling & they need to be stopped. Everyone must speak out, starting w/ @POTUS.
— Hillary Clinton (@HillaryClinton) February 21, 2017
White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer reacted to the Anne Frank Center’s statement later in the day, according to CNN.
“I wish that they had praised the President for his leadership in this area, and I think that hopefully, as time continues to go by, they recognize his commitment to civil rights, to voting rights, to equality for all Americans,” said Spicer.
David Harris, CEO of the American Jewish Committee, made a statement last week asking that the concerns of the Jewish community be recognized, calling their dismissal “worrisome and puzzling.”
Harris said that the concerns are not “political attacks,” pointing out that the “questions are being asked at press conferences, and not in order to cast aspersions on your administration.”
“But if every such question elicits either no substantive response or, mistakenly, is taken personally, then what are people of good will supposed to conclude?” asked Harris.
[Featured Image by Andrew Burton/Getty Images]