Growing up in Connecticut, there was a (relatively) large Jewish population in the New Haven area. With multiple synagogues covering a range of Jewish faiths, it was only natural that a Jewish Community Center was also a part of my Jewish childhood. I attended summer camps, played basketball and worked out at the JCC. I saw just as many people who weren’t Jewish doing the same thing in the facility without anyone raising an eyebrow.
That’s one of the reasons that the post-Trump rash of anti-semitic threats and vandalism is so disheartening. As the FBI and DOJ investigate a particularly bad wave, it is important to keep a few things in mind when looking for leadership on these issues:
On Holocaust Remembrance Day, the White House issued a statement that talked about the Holocaust without mentioning Jews. Ironically, a Jewish aide wrote the statement and Jared Kushner, Trump’s son-in-law whose grandparents were Holocaust survivors, said nothing.
During the campaign, Donald Trump retweeted an anti-semitic meme that depicted Hillary as a recipient of corrupt Jewish cash. We know it was meant to be Jewish cash because the meme contained a Star of David. He obtained this from a White nationalist and Jared Kushner, Trump’s son-in-law whose grandparents were Holocaust survivors, said nothing.
Steve Bannon, a documented domestic abuser, was also accused by his ex-wife of being anti-semitic, complaining about the number of Jewish students in his children’s school and the choice of Jewish literature for the school’s library. He is a top advisor in the Trump administration and Jared Kushner, Trump’s son-in-law whose grandparents were Holocaust survivors, said nothing.
And that’s not even counting all of the times that Trump and his associates have dog whistled to their fellow anti-semites with Sidney Blumenthal and George Soros.
If Trump tries to turn this around with rhetoric like “there’s lot of Jews who work for me, my son-in-law is Jewish, etc,” we’ll still remember: silence speaks louder than words.