HAREDI TRUMP supporters in Jerusalem..
(photo credit: MARC ISRAEL SELLEM)
WASHINGTON – US President Donald Trump will host a conference call with American Jewish leaders on Friday, billed by the White House as an opportunity for the president to “send well wishes for the upcoming holidays and discuss his administration’s progress on issues of interest to the Jewish community.”
The call has become a traditional event around the Jewish High Holy Days, but several rabbinical groups this year will decline to phone in – an act of protest after Trump equivocated in response to a neo-Nazi rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, last month.
Trump initially stated that “many sides” were to blame for the violence and intimidation that resulted from that event, equating white-power activists with the groups in their crosshairs.
But the White House rejects claims that Trump drew moral equivalency, and his spokeswoman, Sarah Huckabee Sanders, said on Wednesday that he will “absolutely” sign a bipartisan congressional resolution headed toward his desk that condemns hate groups.
While leaders of the Central Conference of American Rabbis, the Rabbinical Assembly, the Reconstructionist Rabbinical Association and the Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism will all skip the call, several other organizations are expected to participate. The call is scheduled for 11 a.m. Eastern Standard Time.