Charges of Antisemitism have clung to the Donald Trump and his associates ever since Trump began his political career. His election brought with it a rise in Antisemitic crimes, including the vandalizing of a Jewish cemetery near St. Louis, Missouri, and threats against community centers and synagogues around the country.
Yesterday, the St. Paul Jewish Community Center was evacuated after a bomb threat was made. The St. Paul JCC runs a daycare and programming for infants, toddlers and preschoolers. The children and staff were moved to a nearby fire station until the bomb squad cleared the site.
The St. Paul JCC was one of eleven Jewish community centers to receive bomb threats yesterday. That’s eleven in one day. According to Townhall, 76 JCCs have received threats since January of this year.
After weeks of being asked about and avoiding the issue, including an uncomfortable interaction with a Jewish reporter at his epic 76-minute press conference on Feb 16, Donald Trump has finally addressed the rise of Antisemitism.
Said Trump today: “The anti-Semitic threats targeting our Jewish community and community centers are horrible, and are painful, and a very sad reminder of the work that still must be done to root out hate and prejudice and evil.”
His remarks were met with a stinging rebuke from teh Anne Frank Center for Mutual Respect. On their Facebook page, the Anne Frank Center wrote:
The President’s sudden acknowledgement is a Band-Aid on the cancer of Antisemitism that has infected his own Administration. His statement today is a pathetic asterisk of condescension after weeks in which he and his staff have committed grotesque acts and omissions reflecting Antisemitism, yet day after day have refused to apologize and correct the record.
The Trump Administration responded with comments from Sean Spicer, who said that Trump was strong on the issue, and added: “I wish that they had praised the President for his leadership in this area.”
The Trump team consists of many individuals continually charged with holding Antisemitic views, including Steve Bannon, former editor of Breitbart, which Bannon once called the platform of the alt-right. Bannon has a record of making Antisemetic comments and publishing Antisemtic stories. He is also Donald Trump’s Chief Strategist.