It’s outrageous that the nation’s major Jewish organizations that combat antiSemitism are not forcing the Republican Jewish Coalition, a group that includes Trump’s largest financial supporters, to disavow any connection to Trump if he continues his alt-right links and pro-Nazi dog whistles.
It’s an open secret that there is a direct connection between Trump and white supremacists. It has been evident for years, dating back to Steve Bannon, Sebastian Gorka, Stephen Miller, and alt-right media, who all had access to Trump. The most prescient assessment of Trump was made by the Jewish Democratic Council of America which said in 2019 that “the biggest threat to the security of American Jews today is, incredibly, the president of the United States.”
So if Trump has direct links to white supremacists, and Trump’s largest financial supporters are members of the Republican Jewish Coalition, why don’t the major national Jewish groups publicly tell the JRC that they have a role in fomenting antiSemitism and antiSemitic attacks?
No doubt this is a very sensitive issue since many of the major contributors are also generous contributors to these same national Jewish groups that are fighting antiSemitism. But the illogic of this situation demands to be addressed. Why fight antiSemitism on one hand, when the other hand is contributing to the man who is advancing, and benefitting, from the problem in the first place?
Are these national leaders at the ADL, AJC, and many others, afraid they will offend their large donors? Do they dispute the connection between Trump and the white supremacists? Is there a religious reason that you can’t criticize a fellow Jew in public? Or, do these national groups don’t want to jeopardize their 401c3 tax status, which means they must be non-partisan in their operations?
Maybe some of these apply, but it’s clear, the latest outrage is just one more attempt by Trump to communicate some gutter message to his political followers, and it has a direct antiSemitic message.
The Latest Outrage: The Red Triangle
The latest direct connection of white supremacists to Trump is his campaign’s use of the red triangle, a Nazi symbol, used by both Trump and Pence as part of an election communication on Facebook.
According to the US Holocaust Museum, the symbol of an “inverted red triangle badge printed with a black letter “I” [was] intended for use as a prisoner identification badge in Langenstein-Zwieberge concentration camp, a subcamp of Buchenwald in Germany. The red identified a political prisoner. The letter could indicate nationality; I may be for Italian. The inverted triangle would have been attached on the left breast of the uniform. The camp was liberated on April 11, by troops from the 399th Battalion, 8th Armored Division, and 83rd Infantry, which captured all the camp records intact. This badge was one of many found by Lt. Colonel Charles F. Ottoman, US Army, on April 22, 1945. It was used as evidence for Case No. 117 “Alleged atrocities at Zwieberge Malachit Concentration Camp” at the Subsequent Nuremberg War Crimes Trials held in Dachau in 1947.”
Time to Take a Side
Symbols are a powerful means of communication; they can be more powerful than words. But Trump’s use of the red triangle was not a mistake. It must be addressed by national Jewish organizations. They should not believe that this was an error, an oversight by some junior staffer or an emoji that should have been a smiley face. Those are all the pathetically insulting excuses being made to the American public.
As described in this article. it’s time, and long overdue, that the leaders of the major national Jewish organizations have a very sensitive sit-down with the Republican Jewish Coalition and its board members.
The RJC does some very good pro-Israel work, both in the US and Israel, and that is their valid stated goal. But their blind support of Trump may outweigh the good work they do on behalf of Israel compared to what is happening domestically.
Trump’s political campaign positions and his links to the alt-right cannot be ignored any longer. The national Jewish groups should tell RJC members that this is the time to choose a side. Do you want to address the links between Trump and the white supremacists or not?
Or, do you want to do what’s beneficial to the millions of other Jews who could suffer from verbal or physical attacks due to your support of Trump?
Or, do you want to ignore any more antiSemitic attacks that result in injuries or death to American Jews as part of your efforts to get Trump re-elected? The RJC cannot have it both ways.
It’s time for the RJC to decide which side they are on.