U.S. Jewish Leaders Blast Trump for Retweeting anti-Muslim Propaganda

ADL's Jonathan Greenblatt calls Trump's retweeting of a series of anti-Muslim videos 'no longer alarming,' but rather a 'four-alarm fire'

U.S. President Donald Trump in a meeting with congressional leadership in the Roosevelt Room of the White House in Washington, D.C. on November 28, 2017.
Kevin Dietsch/Bloomberg

WASHINGTON - American Jewish organizations criticized U.S. President Donald Trump on Wednesday for sharing hate-mongering, anti-Muslim propaganda on his personal twitter account. Trump retweeted a series of shocking anti-Muslim videos posted by a far-right British politician Wednesday morning, to the outcry of U.K. lawmakers and civil society leaders. 

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The videos were first posted by Jayda Fransen, the deputy leader of the far-right group Britain First. They read: “VIDEO: Islamist mob pushes teenage boy off roof and beats him to death!” and “VIDEO: Muslim Destroys a Statue of Virgin Mary!” and “VIDEO: Muslim migrant beats up Dutch boy on crutches!”

In response, Anti-Defamation League CEO Jonathan Greeblatt took to Twitter, saying "It is no longer alarming that [Trump] is tweeting violent anti-Muslim videos created by far right extremists - it is a four-alarm fire. Of course this will embolden bigots in the US and abroad."

He added that "We have seen a clear line from advocating intolerant ideas to pushing out prejudiced memes to introducing anti-immigrant & anti-Muslim policies. We stand with the Muslim community and with all those condemning this shameful message."

In a statement, Greenblatt wrote that Trump's reweets "only serve to encourage extremists and anti-Muslim bigots in the United States and abroad who exploit the propaganda value. Such content is the engine that fuels extremist movements and will embolden bigots in the U.S. who already believe the president is a fellow traveler."

Rabbi Jonah Pesner, the Director of the Religious Action Center of the Reform Movement, stated that "We must fight anti-Muslim bigotry and Islamophobia even from the most powerful," and added that "we stand with our Muslim siblings."

The left-wing Jewish group J Street called Trump's conduct "Beyond shameful, irresponsible & deeply disturbing," adding that it is "not surprising that President Trump is tweeting this repulsive content." 

The American Jewish Committee tweeted "Anti-Muslim propaganda has no place in American politics, much less coming from the White House. @POTUS shouldn't be legitimizing incendiary videos, from dubious sources, aimed at inciting against any religious group."

Rabbi Jack Moline, president of the Interfaith Alliance, an organization representing hundreds of religious leaders from different denominations, called Trump's conduct "totally reprehensible. With every tweet, Trump takes us closer to becoming the Divided States of America. Time and again the president and members of his administration have pitted one population against another, disparaging minority communities. Today’s tweets are only the most recent example of this pattern of divisive behavior."