Leading US Jewish Group Calls on President-Elect Trump to Come Out Stronger Against Neo-Nazi Supporters
A leading US-based Jewish human rights organization is urging President-elect Donald Trump to come out stronger against white supremacists and neo-Nazis who backed his candidacy.
Speaking with The Algemeiner on Tuesday — three days after attendees at a National Policy Institute (NPI) conference in Washington, DC were seen making Nazi salutes after a speech given by Richard Spencer, a leader of the “alt-right” movement — Rabbi Abraham Cooper, the associate dean of the Simon Wiesenthal Center in Los Angeles, said, “As President-elect, Mr. Trump can and must do more, including calling these bigots out by name. Americans, right, left, and center are looking to the President-elect to set the tone and make clear that these individuals and groups are outside the pale.”
During his speech, Spencer reportedly quoted Nazi propaganda and declared, “Hail Trump, hail our people, hail victory.”
On Monday, Cooper and Simon Wiesenthal Center dean and founder Rabbi Marvin Hier said in a statement, “Watching Spencer using Nazi slogans to spew forth his hate was sickening. The fact that the speech was given in the nation’s capital, not far from Arlington National Cemetery — where some of the 418,000 American servicemen and women who sacrificed their lives in order to defeat Nazism are interred — is beyond the pale and deserves condemnation from the President-elect on down.”
Furthermore, they noted, “during his victory speech on Election Day, Donald Trump emphasized that he wants to be the ‘president for all Americans.’ Eighty-three years ago what began as a ‘seig’ ended in the crematoriums. We call on our future president and commander-in-chief to take on Spencer and his ilk directly.”
In a statement issued on Monday, Trump transition team spokesman Bryan Lanza said, without specifically referring to Spencer, “President-elect Trump has continued to denounce racism of any kind and he was elected because he will be a leader for every American. To think otherwise is a complete misrepresentation of the movement that united Americans from all backgrounds.”
On Tuesday, during a meeting with New York Times representatives at the newspaper’s headquarters in Manhattan, Trump reportedly said of the “alt-right” movement, “I don’t want to energize the group, and I disavow the group…It’s not a group I want to energize, and if they are energized, I want to look into it and find out why.”
As reported by The Algemeiner, the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum on Monday expressed “deep alarm” over the “hateful rhetoric” used at the NPI conference.
“The statement that white people face a choice of ‘conquer or die’ closely echoes Adolf Hitler’s view of Jews, and that history is a racial struggle for survival,” the museum said. “The Holocaust did not begin with killing; it began with words.”
The museum went on to call on “all American citizens, our religious and civic leaders and the leadership of all branches of the government to confront racist thinking and divisive hateful speech.”