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September 30, 2020 1:28 pm

Following First Debate, Jewish Groups Slam Trump’s Responses on White Supremacism

avatar by JNS.org

US President Donald Trump speaks during the first 2020 presidential campaign debate with Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden, held on the campus of the Cleveland Clinic, at Case Western Reserve University, in Cleveland, Ohio, Sept. 29, 2020. Photo: Reuters / Brian Snyder.

JNS.org – Jewish groups reacted immediately against US President Donald Trump’s refusal to condemn white supremacism during the first 2020 presidential debate on Tuesday in Cleveland.

“Are you willing tonight to condemn white supremacists and militia groups, and to say that they need to stand down and not add to the violence at a number of these cities, as we saw in Kenosha and as we’ve seen in Portland?” moderator and Fox News anchor Chris Wallace asked Trump during the debate held at the Sheila and Eric Samson Pavilion on the campus of Case Western Reserve University.

“Sure, I’m willing to do that, but I would say that almost everything I see is from the left-wing, not from the right-wing. I’m willing to do anything. I want to see peace,” said Trump.

“Well, then, do it, sir,” replied Wallace.

“Say it,” Biden interjected. “Do it. Say it.”

“You want to call them, what do you want to call them?” Trump replied. “Give me a name. Go ahead, who would you like me to condemn?”

“White supremacists,” Wallace interjected.

“Proud Boys,” Biden interjected, referring to the far-right group.

“Proud Boys, stand back and stand by,” said Trump. “But I’ll tell you what, somebody’s got to do something about Antifa and the left because this is not a right-wing problem.”

Jewish groups slammed Trump passing on the opportunity to condemn white supremacism.

“It’s astonishing that, when asked a simple question, will you condemn white supremacists, @POTUS responded “The Proud Boys should stand back and stand by.” Trying to determine if this was an answer or an admission. @POTUS owes America an apology or an explanation. Now,” tweeted Anti-Defamation League national director and CEO Jonathan Greenblatt.

The American Jewish Committee tweeted, “@potus—Bigots, racists, and antisemites are rejoicing at your refusal to condemn white supremacy. There can be no ambiguity on this issue. White supremacists should not just be told to ‘stand by’—they need to be renounced completely.”

“Donald Trump embarrassed himself, disgraced our country and behaved indecently tonight. By refusing to condemn white supremacism, Trump has stained our nation,” said Democratic Majority for Israel president and CEO Mark Mellman in a statement. “Our national soul needs to be restored and Joe Biden has proven that he alone is capable of achieving that vital goal.”

“Tonight Trump refused to condemn white nationalists. He issued a dog whistle to bigots. He refused to concede power if he lost. He intentionally cast doubt on the integrity of the election. How can anyone possibly support him, including the @RJC? He’s an absolute and utter shame,” tweeted Jewish Democratic Council of America executive director Halie Soifer, putting her organization’s counterpart, the Republican Jewish Coalition, on the spot.

The RJC, however, came to Trump’s defense.

“The president has been very clear on denouncing anti-Semitism and racism in all forms,” tweeted RJC, providing a link to a page that documents Trump’s past of calling out white supremacism and other bigotry.

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