Ahead of visit, UK Jewry slams Trump’s ‘troubling’ rhetoric

Board of Deputies chief says presumptive GOP nominee has not done enough to ‘distance himself from extremists’

Donald Trump at the Women's British Open Golf Championships in Turnberry, Scotland,  July 30, 2015 (AFP PHOTO/PAUL FAITH)
Donald Trump at the Women's British Open Golf Championships in Turnberry, Scotland, July 30, 2015 (AFP PHOTO/PAUL FAITH)

Britain’s Jewish community condemned what they said was Donald Trump’s “divisive and troubling” rhetoric, just two weeks ahead of the Republican presidential nominee’s planned visit to the country.

Trump, who is scheduled to arrive in 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.

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.”

Jonathan Arkush, president of Board of Deputies. (courtesy)
Jonathan Arkush, president of Board of Deputies. (courtesy)

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.”

Laura Janner-Klausner (Photo credit: CC BY-SA CotevDafWiki/Wikipedia)
Laura Janner-Klausner (CC BY-SA CotevDafWiki/Wikipedia)

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

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.”

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