On Holocaust Remembrance Day Trump Ignored Calls to Repudiate Anti-Semitism

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From sunset Wednesday to nightfall Thursday was Holocaust Remembrance Day (Yom HaShoah). People for the American Way press secretary Laura Epstein took the opportunity to remind us that “On this Holocaust Remembrance Day, ‘Never Forget’ necessitates ‘Never Trump.’”

It is a depressing state of affairs that we need reminding, but as she says, “The unhinged bigotry of Trump requires Jewish Americans — and all Americans — to speak up.”

Trump legitimizes and raises up the profile of the white nationalist movement in the United States. He at first refused to disavow support from former KKK Grand Wizard David Duke. Yesterday, Duke celebrated Donald Trump’s place as leader of the Republican Party, stating, “Even though Trump is not explicitly talking about European-Americans, he is implicitly talking about the interests of European-Americans,” and “Jewish supremacists who control our country are the real problem and the reason why America is not great.” And Trump says he “doesn’t have a message to [his] fans” who have been sending death threats to Jewish reporter Julia Ioffe, who wrote a profile for GQ on Melania Trump.

As Epstein concludes, “It’s this type of rhetoric that has escalated to genocide in the past.”

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David Duke, former leader of the KKK, loves Trump. He has called him a “white knight” who will attack some imagined “Jewish supremacists” who are somehow oppressing the majority of people in this country. According to Duke, white people who vote against Trump commit “treason to your heritage.”

Speaking Wednesday on his radio program, Duke said,

“I think these Jewish extremists have made a terribly crazy miscalculation, because all they’re going to be doing by doing a ‘Never Trump’ movement is exposing their alien, their anti-American, anti-American majority position. … They’re going to push people more into an awareness that the neocons are the problem, that these Jewish supremacists who control our country are the real problem, and the reason why America is not great.”

Yes, this is David Duke calling other people crazy. If you’re thinking Duke’s use of “great” means Nazi Germany great, you’re probably not far off the mark. As Brian Tashman at Right Wing Watch relates,

Ioffe, who is Jewish, received calls from “people playing Hitler speeches” and was told that she “should be burned in an oven, told she should be shot in the head, received a call inquiring about overnight casket delivery, and sent Photoshopped images of her in a concentration camp uniform.”

These are the fans Trump refused to condemn when Wolf Blitzer gave him the chance:

If you want crazy talk, this is crazy talk. These are the people who support Trump. These are their list of ingredients to make America great again. And Trump refuses to repudiate them, which in itself is a tacit endorsement of these heinous fantasies. Duke talks about a treason to your heritage, but what is really at stake is treason to your humanity.

In response to Duke’s fulsome praise of Trump, the ADL issued a statement Thursday calling on Trump to distance himself from Duke’s anti-Semitism:

In response to remarks by white supremacist David Duke that opposition to Donald Trump shows that “Jewish supremacists” are “the real problem” — as well as a barrage of anti-Semitic comments by a minority of Trump supporters on social media, the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) called on Mr. Trump to make unequivocally clear anti-Semitism has no place in presidential politics or American society.
 
“David Duke’s latest remarks – smearing Jews and Jewish Republicans specifically – are as unsurprising as they are hateful. The onus is now on Donald Trump to make unequivocally clear he rejects those sentiments and that there is no room for Duke and anti-Semitism in his campaign and in society,” said Jonathan A. Greenblatt, ADL CEO. “Mr. Trump can and should speak up now. If not, his silence will speak volumes.”

Donald Trump has support from some of the worst people on the planet. White nationalists embrace the oxymoronic image of Trump making white nationalism great again as a necessary corollary for making America great again. Donald Trump, through his silence, seems to be embracing this position.

For Duke, and Trump is not contradicting him, there is a logical progression to be followed:

“Here’s a question for you,” Duke asked. “How do we go from this idea, ‘We’re going to build the wall,’ to understanding that Europeans are being wiped out in their land and to start taking a more open position to defend our people and changing the way the media operates and doing trust-busting or whatever to destroy this media establishment that is brainwashing our people every day?”

Trump did not condemn David Duke or anti-Semitism on May 5. He instead marked Cinco de Mayo by tweeting that Hispanics make great taco bowls, which is apparently why he loves them so much.

This is how Trump marked Holocaust Remembrance Day, proving Marco Rubio right about at least one thing when he called Trump the most “vulgar person to ever aspire to the presidency”:

According to Fox host Neil Cavuto, this was “an olive branch” to the “Mexican” people.

Not a word, however, about the holocaust from this self-proclaimed friend of Israel. In Trump’s book on Holocaust Remembrance Day, Taco bowls (not Mexicans) 1, Jews 0.