Diverse Coalition Says President Trump Embraces Antisemitism, Labels Pittsburgh Synagogue Shooting ‘Direct Result of Rhetoric that Demonizes Jews and Celebrates Political Violence’

Release Date: 
October 30, 2018

Leaders from more than 150 organizations mobilize voters against antisemitism

WASHINGTON – Prominent leaders from labor, civil rights and community organizations today published an open letter calling out President Trump and the National Republican Congressional Committee for embracing antisemitism, and seeking to mobilize voters against those who campaign on antisemitism.

The letter, signed by representatives from leading labor, civil rights and community organizations including the AFL-CIO, the NAACP and MoveOn, accuses elected leaders of “lending a loudspeaker to antisemitism” and urges voters to “raise our voices against any politician who campaigns on antisemitism.” The full letter, which will appear in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette on Thursday, can be read at www.voteagainstantisemitism.org.

The letter identifies the disturbing trend of President Trump’s language, including calls to “lock up” prominent Jews like George Soros and allegations that “globalists” and “global special interests” are responsible for voters’ grievances. It addresses the linkage between this coded, dog-whistle anti-Semitic rhetoric and acts of anti-Semitic violence like last weekend’s synagogue shooting and the attempted bombing of George Soros’ home last week.

“Antisemitism today is not always as overt as the Tree of Life Congregation shooter’s social media posts, but it is rampant and it has been embraced by President Donald Trump and others with influential positions in our country,” the letter states.

“Make no mistake. Politicians are lending a loudspeaker to antisemitism, and it is dangerous. This shooting wasn’t the beginning stage of anti-Semitic hate; it was its logical evolution,” the letter reads. “This weekend, it motivated a man to gun down worshippers for no other reason than that they were Jews. We can’t bring them back, but we can speak out against the antisemitism that led to their deaths.”

The letter and the coalition of organizational leaders that signed it was organized by Western States Center, which works nationwide to strengthen inclusive democracy through building movements, developing leaders, shifting culture, and defending democracy while challenging white nationalism.

“We are united to stand against the anti-Semitic rhetoric that resulted in this weekend’s tragic loss of life,” said Eric Ward, Executive Director of Western States Center. “We must hold our elected officials accountable, and there is no more powerful way to do so than through our vote in November. Any notion of a path to electoral victory for President Trump and the members of Congress supported by the National Republican Congressional Committee that rests on white nationalist anti-Semitic hate couched in coded rhetoric must become a losing strategy. It’s on us to ensure that it does.”

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Based in the Pacific Northwest and Mountain States, Western States Center works nationwide to strengthen inclusive democracy through building movements, developing leaders, shifting culture, and defending democracy.