This article was originally published on Jewish Insider.
The Simon Wiesenthal Center is pushing back against public criticism that it has remained silenced in the face of Donald Trump’s recent comments and actions. The same incidents that prompted the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) to come out with forceful statements of condemnations regarding Mr. Trump in recent weeks.
“In the face of Trumps eight months of racism, misogyny, neo-fascism, calls for violence et.al. What exactly has the SWC done? Virtually nothing,” Scott Goldstein, a Los Angeles-based film director who used to work for the Wiesenthal Center, wrote in The Huffington Post on Monday.
Goldstein created most of the core multi-media exhibits for the Simon Wiesenthal Center’s Los Angeles Museum of Tolerance and New York Tolerance Center. He also produced and directed the documentary “Holocaust” for the New York Tolerance Center.
Goldstein suggested that the organization is covering up for Trump since its chairman, Larry Mizel, is also on the Board of Directors of the Republican Jewish Coalition.
“I beg you, do something,” Goldstein concluded his post. “For the sake of decency, for the sake of carrying out your own mission statement, for the sake of the nation we love, do something loud and strong. Publicly and unequivocally condemn Donald Trump’s bigotry and hatred.”
Reached for comment, the Simon Wiesenthal Center expressed disappointment that Goldstein chose to single them out “to create the impression that we support a particular candidate.”
In a lengthy statement shared exclusively with Jewish Insider, they pointed to a quote by Rabbi Marvin Hier, the founder and dean of the Simon Wiesenthal Center, in the Jewish Week last week, in which he urged Trump to denounce the endorsement of David Duke. The Human Rights NGO also issued a statement condemning Trump’s Muslim ban a few months ago.
According to the SWC, “Every four years during presidential campaigns, the Simon Wiesenthal Center, which never endorses candidates for any political office, receives numerous requests from members of the public to react to statements made by various politicians who they believe have crossed the line. In the long history of the Center, we have never failed to criticize both Democrats and Republicans as far back as Jesse Jackson’s “Hymie Town” comment and Ronald Reagan for his Bitburg visit.”
Goldstein, according to the organization, sent a barrage of emails about Donald Trump and has refused to accept the explanation that the Center, as well as other human rights organizations, can’t be in a position to respond to every remark made by a politician every single day.
“We are disappointed that Mr. Goldstein, who has done fine work for the Center in the past, singled us out to create the impression that we support a particular candidate,” the statement read. “Nothing can be further from the truth and Mr. Goldstein knows it. We are left to wonder whether his attack has more to do with the fact that he is angry that we have not engaged his services for our new projects.”
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