By: Fern Sidman
Since the news emerged over the weekend concerning the now infamous meeting that former President Donald Trump held at this Mar-a-Lago estate in Palm Beach, Florida with disgraced rapper Kanye West, and the avowed holocaust denying, white supremacist, Jew-hater Nick Fuentes, condemnations of all stripes have been flowing in.
Over the past few weeks, Kanye West, now referred to as “Ye,” has spread antisemitic conspiracy theories and tropes to his many followers and West’s tirades have incited other antisemitic acts in Los Angeles and Jacksonville, Florida. Nick Fuentes is an alt-right media personality who espouses white supremacism and denies the Holocaust. Since 2017, he has been hosting a livestream show called America First, where he regularly spouts dangerous and bigoted views.
Early last month, West announced that he would go “death con 3 on Jewish people.” Twitter removed his hateful tweet, and over a dozen companies with which West was working with severed their contractual ties with the rapper after he adamantly refused to apologize or rescind his odious remarks.
While politics makes strange bedfellows, many are in a quandary as to why West brought Fuentes to the former president’s estate. After all, Fuentes, is an equal opportunity hater and his racist credentials indicate that his distaste for blacks is right up there on top of his priority list. One can only surmise that the common denominator between West and Fuentes is that they share a palpable opprobrium for Jews.
The problem here is Trump’s involvement with both of them. As the former president’s political alliances continue to rapidly evaporate before his very eyes and others have made it abundantly clear that they are distancing themselves from him, including his daughter Ivanka who has voiced her wish not to be an active participant in his presidential campaign, Trump is now grasping for straws. It appears that just about anyone who gushes over him, especially on prime time television, as did West, is indeed a true friend and is now eligible to be invited to his home to dine with.
For Trump to have allowed West to bring the White Supremacist, Holocaust denier and all around vile Jew hater, Fuentes, with him places Trump in the kind of public relations nightmare that is almost impossible to wake up from.
Israel National News reported that former US Ambassador to Israel David Friedman responded to former Trump’s meeting with white nationalist Nick Fuentes and rapper Kanye West.
“To my friend Donald Trump, you are better than this,” Friedman wrote. “Even a social visit from an antisemite like Kanye West and human scum like Nick Fuentes is unacceptable. I urge you to throw those bums out, disavow them and relegate them to the dustbin of history where they belong.”
INN reported that he added: “I condemned Barak Obama associating with Louis Farrakhan and Jeremiah Wright.” the former Ambassador added. “This is no different. Antisemites deserve no quarter among American leaders, right or left.”
As was mentioned, the strongly worded condemnations of Trump from Jewish organizations that have previously thrown their support behind him have been issued to the media.
Recently, the Zionist Organization of America feted Trump with their auspicious Theodore Herzl medallion at their gala dinner in Manhattan. It now appears that they have some strong differences with the president they once lauded for being incredibly pro-Israel while in office.
This is what the ZOA said:
Zionist Organization of America (ZOA) President Morton A. Klein, a child of holocaust survivors, released the following statement:
“We must never ignore the vile poison of anti-Semitism, or those who spread its venomous creed. With one voice, we must confront this hatred anywhere and everywhere it occurs.”
– Pres. Donald Trump, State of the Union Address, Feb. 5, 2019
President Trump’s stirring call to the entire nation, during his 2019 State of the Union Address, to confront the vile poison of antisemitism anywhere and everywhere it occurs, and to condemn those who spread this venom, was the clearest statement ever made by a U.S. president about what we need to do to stop the dangerous horrors of Jew-hatred.
The Zionist Organization of America calls upon President Trump to live up to his own powerful words, to condemn in the strongest possible terms Jew-hater Kanye West and avowed holocaust denying, white supremacist, Jew-hater Nick Fuentes. ZOA deplores the fact that President Trump had a friendly dinner with such vile antisemites. His dining with Jew-haters helps legitimize and mainstream antisemitism and must be condemned by everyone.
It is particularly incumbent on America’s influential ex-presidents to confront and condemn the antisemites who are spreading Jew-hatred throughout our country now. Therefore, ZOA also demands former Presidents Clinton and Obama condemn avowed antisemite Louis Farrakhan, the source of much of Kanye West’s and other Jew-haters’ bile. President Obama must finally come clean about the infamous 2005 photo of him and vicious antisemite Farrakhan standing together smiling from ear to ear and his helping organize Farrakhan’s major march on Washington. President Clinton must denounce Farrakhan, after sharing a stage with him and smilingly shaking his hand at Aretha Franklin’s funeral in 2018.
ZOA also demands that President Biden publicly condemn overt Jew-haters Reps. Rashida Tlaib, Ilhan Omar, AOC, Betty McCollum, Cori Bush, Jamaal Bowman, Ayanna Pressley, and others.
Not only has Pres. Biden not condemned these antisemites, but he actually praised Rashida Tlaib in May 2021 by saying, “Rashida, I want to say to you that I admire your intellect, I admire your passion, and I admire your concern for so many people. You are a fighter, and G-d thank you for being a fighter.” Biden must retract this phrase and apologize for it.
We also criticize Biden’s Secretary of State Blinken for honoring and elevating overt, Jew-hating Israel-basher, Rep. Ilhan Omar, by bringing her with him to the World Cup soccer tournament in Qatar this week. It should not surprise us, since Blinken apologized to Jew-hating Israel-basher Linda Sarsour after Biden aides criticized her. He should also apologize for these actions.
“President Trump must not sully his extraordinary presidential record of pro-Israel actions and combating antisemitism on college campuses and elsewhere by failing to clearly condemn vile antisemites Kanye West and Nick Fuentes,” stated ZOA National President Morton A. Klein. “I, who was born in a displaced persons camp in Germany, lost almost my entire family who were murdered during Hitler’s holocaust. My parents, both Holocaust survivors, Sarah of Poland and Rabbi Herman Klein of Czechoslovakia—who lost his first family to Hitler’s evil—would have demanded this statement of me and ZOA as history demands that all people of good faith denounce Jew-hatred.”
Also on Monday, the Coalition of Jewish Values said in a statement released to the media that they have called upon Trump to “repudiate the antisemitic rhetoric of two leading purveyors of antisemitism, Kanye West and Nick Fuentes.”
“A former President does not enjoy the luxury of meeting over dinner with any oddball,” said CJV Vice President Rabbi Dov Fischer, “especially when that fool is a self-declared hater. It was wrong for former President Obama to affiliate with the Rev. Jeremiah Wright and Louis Farrakhan. It is wrong for President Biden to praise Jew-hater Rashida Tlaib and fail to exert his leadership to rein in the Jew-hatred of Ilhan Omar. And it is wrong when President Trump breaks bread with such individuals.”
The CJV underscored that West himself should not have been admitted to Trump’s estate without clear repudiation of his own antisemitic statements.
“It’s contradictory that former President Trump, who has done so much for the State of Israel and for the Jewish community, would meet with someone who has expressed open hostility against the Jewish people,” said CJV Southern Regional Vice President Rabbi Moshe B. Parnes, who leads an advanced Rabbinical seminary less than an hour from Mar-a-Lago. “Trump should have condemned West’s antisemitism before the meeting, and repeated it at the meeting, so it is past due for him to speak out. As he said himself when he introduced his Executive Order on Combating Anti-Semitism, ‘the vile, hate-filled poison of anti-Semitism must be condemned and confronted everywhere and anywhere it appears.’”
The Coalition for Jewish Values represents over 2,000 traditional, Orthodox rabbis as the largest rabbinic public policy organization in America.
Also weighing in on this hot button issue was the Orthodox Union, the nation’s largest Orthodox Jewish umbrella organization. They strongly criticized former President Trump for recently hosting Kanye West and Nick Fuentes at Mar-a-Lago. In a statement to the media, they said: “West and Fuentes have made a name for themselves as leaders in spreading vicious antisemitism. The association of a former president with such figures is extremely troubling.”
The leadership of the Orthodox Union stated:
“The association of a former President of the United States with some of the most vicious antisemitic figures in this country is deeply worrisome. We call on former President Trump to condemn these individuals and cut ties with them and their associates. As a major public figure, Donald Trump has a responsibility to denounce hate in all of its forms and lead by example for his many followers. Anything less gives a stamp of approval to the world’s oldest hatred.
In the midst of an unprecedented rise in antisemitism in the United States, we call upon responsible leaders – especially those in the Republican Party – to speak up, as former U.S. Ambassador to Israel David Friedman has, and be counted among those who explicitly reject antisemitism.
We call upon all people of good will to be vigilant in combating antisemitism whether it comes from the political right or left, from celebrities or any other segment of society.”
And speaking of escalating anti-Semitism and the debacle that Trump now finds himself in, award winning columnist for the Jewish News Syndicate, Jonathan S. Tobin said in his column on Monday on the JNS.org web site, “If pro-Israel Republicans think former President Donald Trump will apologize or make amends in any way for choosing to have a public dinner at his Mar-a-Lago resort home with two notorious antisemites, they haven’t been paying attention to how he has conducted his public career.”
Tobin added that, “if they think they can weather this controversy by trying to divert attention from what he’s done by pointing to the way their Democrat opponents tolerate and even support antisemitism on the left, they’re equally delusional.”
He drew the conclusion that, “it’s incumbent on those who have staunchly defended him (Trump) until now to do the hard thing and concede that he has now done something they wouldn’t forgive or forget if it had been a Democratic president or former one who did it.”
In a related development, the Combat Anti-Semitism Movement issued a statement to the media on Monday confirming that New York City Mayor Eric Adams will be attending and speaking at the second annual “Mayors Summit Against Antisemitism,” hosted by the Combat Antisemitism Movement in Athens, Greece.
The Combat Antisemitism Movement (CAM) is a global coalition engaging more than 600 partner organizations and nearly two million people from a diverse array of religious, political, and cultural backgrounds in the common mission of fighting the world’s oldest hatred.
From November 30 to December 1, municipal leaders from over 50 different cities worldwide will convene to discuss each leader’s experiences dealing with antisemitism and other forms of bigotry to collaborate on new approaches to addressing these escalating issues, according to the statement.
Mayor Adams joins nearly a dozen other U.S. mayors at the summit. Cities such as Paris, Los Angeles, Richmond, Vienna, Albuquerque, Fort Lauderdale, and many more will also be represented.
Greek President Katerina Sakellaropoulou and Athens Mayor Kostas Bakoyannis will be addressing attendees at the summit as well. The event will conclude with the signing of a joint declaration to confront antisemitism.