Many Jewish Americans reject the President’s transparent attempt to divert the country’s attention from his own moral failings, just as we reject his attempts to politicize Israel and the rise of anti-Semitism. The President should recognize that Jews see his 280-characters of hate for what they are — an utter lack of character on his part and a betrayal of the values that truly make America great. Jews have experienced the devastating consequences of hatred and intolerance throughout history and do not want to be used as political pawns in Trump’s Twitter feed.
If the President thought he would win over Jewish support by pandering via tweet, he’s wrong. Seventy-one percent of Jewish voters disapprove of the job he’s doing, according to a recent poll conducted by Greenberg Research. The same poll demonstrates that — of every policy issue — Jewish voters most strongly disapprove of the President’s immigration policies, which appear driven by the xenophobia apparent in his first tweet on Sunday.
Ironically, on Monday — the very day the Trump administration is hosting a summit focused on the rise of anti-Semitism — the President has clearly failed to recognize that bias against one racial or religious group can lead to bias against others. The Summit on Combatting Anti-Semitism held Monday at the Department of Justice should have focused on how the President’s own words and policies have contributed to the near historic levels of anti-Semitic incidents in the United States. Jewish voters know this, which is why nearly 60% of them find President Trump at least partially to blame for the recent synagogue shootings perpetrated by white supremacists in Pittsburgh and Poway.
After receiving public criticism for his appalling statement, Trump deflected, claiming that his intent was to defend those protesting the removal of the statue of Confederate General Robert E. Lee. The President failed to recognize that it doesn’t matter if he was defending the statue or the neo-Nazis in front of it — for all intents and purposes, they are one in the same because the statue symbolizes their bigotry and hate.
As we teach our children, two wrongs do not make a right, and leadership requires admitting when you have made a mistake. Unfortunately, Trump is uniquely incapable of identifying his own flaws, and he has never sought to correct them. As usual, the President has doubled down amid a controversy that he created — blaming others and exacerbating the original offense.