US Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump reacts to supporters as he arrives to a campaign event in Radford, Virginia.
(photo credit: REUTERS)
Accusing Donald Trump of cheering on violence and promoting racism, the Anti-Defamation League on Sunday announced that it will allocate a sum equal to what it has received from the Republican front-runner over the years to anti-bullying education. The Jewish advocacy group also called on other non-profit organizations to follow suit.
Trump has given nearly $60,000 to the advocacy group over the years, according to CEO Jonathan Greenblatt, who stated that while he does not doubt that they were “sincere gifts,” the tenor of the presidential race has convinced him that they ought to be used to “address exactly the kind of stereotyping and scapegoating that have been injected into this political season.”
In an op-ed on Time magazine’s website, Greenblatt wrote that in advance of Trump’s upcoming appearance at AIPAC ’s policy forum in Washington this week, charitable groups and nonprofits that have benefited from such donations should likewise reconsider using them to promote tolerance.
Citing “Trump’s penchant to slander minorities, slur refugees, dismiss First Amendment protections and cheer on violence,” Greenblatt said that this fight is the reason for which his organization was founded.
“Our history, our faith and our values teach us that we cannot sit idly by when others are singled out for derision and when intolerance is fed,” he asserted. “But we don’t want to do it alone,” he continued. “I call on other Jewish groups – and any other philanthropies and non-profits – also to redirect any funds that may have been given to them by Trump and use them for similar initiatives to combat hate, promote tolerance and build a stronger American community.”
The Anti-Defamation League has critiqued Trump on several occasions since he announced his candidacy last year, especially after a television interview last month in which he declined to condemn the Ku Klux Klan, stating that he did not know “anything about David Duke.”
While the Conservative Movement has not received any funding from Trump, “those that have should consider the request according to their values and policies,” Rabbi Steven Wernick, the head of the United Synagogue of Conservative Judaism, told The Jerusalem Post following Greenblatt’s call.
Meanwhile, the Reform Movement held a similar position, with Rabbi Steven Fox, the head of the Central Conference of American Rabbis, telling the Post that despite not receiving money from any candidates, “we admire and respect the ADL’s position in using these monies to fight against hate, and to invest in the positive values we all hold so dear.”
Meanwhile, the head of the congregational arm of the movement, Rabbi Rick Jacobs, doubled down on previous criticisms of Trump, telling the Post he believed that “both in style and in substance, the Trump campaign thus far has displayed a blatant disregard for fundamental American values, including the belief that all people are created equal.”
Liberal Zionist group Ameinu also praised Greenblatt’s call, with its CEO Gideon Aronoff stating that his organization “applauds the ADL for taking concrete and tangible action to respond to Donald Trump’s bigotry.”
The Zionist Organization of America, however, labeled the ADL “troubling and perplexing” for opposing Trump’s call to halt Syrian immigration, “when FBI director James Comey testifies that we can’t vet them and that 2 percent of them are members of ISIS and 30% of them sympathize with ISIS, while Pew polls show over 75% of them are anti-Semites.”
“The ADL should be fighting anti-Semites and Israel-haters, not helping to bring them to America to join the anti-Israel lobby. Does the ADL enjoy seeing horrific Muslim activities in Europe against women and others,” asked ZOA President Morton Klein.
The Trump campaign did not immediately respond to a request for comment.