Speakers at an event of the white supremacist think tank the National Policy Institute quoted Nazi propaganda and said the media protects Jewish interests in an event that has garnered condemnation from Jewish groups and even the U.S. Holocaust Museum.
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The National Policy Institute, a think tank that is part of the alt-right movement that includes neo-Nazis, white supremacists and anti-Semites, held a gathering at the federally owned Ronald Reagan Building on Saturday.
A video published by The Atlantic shows parts of a speech delivered by Richard Spencer, a prominent white nationalist within the alt-right movement, at the National Policy Institute’s annual conference to celebrate Trump’s victory in DC over the weekend.
“Hail Trump! Hail our people! Hail victory!” Spencer declared as some raised their hand in a Nazi salute. He also bashed journalists covering the 2016 presidential election.
“One wonders if these people are people at all, or instead soulless golem,” Spencer said in a reference to a Jewish fable, using a Nazi-era propaganda term to describe the mainstream media – “lugenpresse.”
Spencer also called Trump too beholden to Israel and said his movement is not necessarily opposed to the Iran nuclear deal, according to a New York Times report.
Even controversial Tila Tequila, the Trump-supporting reality TV star, showed up to support her friend Spencer. Her Twitter account was frozen a few hours after she posted images of her doing the Nazi salute.
Abe Foxman, the former national director of the Anti-Defamation League, on Monday called on President-elect Donald Trump to personally condemn the racist and anti-Semitic rhetoric espoused at the event the same way he rebuked unpleasant comments made by the cast of ‘Hamilton’ on Saturday.
Trump’s transition team spokesman Bryan Lanza said in a statement, “President-elect Trump has continued to denounce racism of any kind and he was elected because he will be a leader for every American. To think otherwise is a complete misrepresentation of the movement that united Americans from all backgrounds.”
But Foxman said the laconic statement on behalf of Trump might not be enough since Trump has made it a mission to personally respond to attacks or criticism leveled at him on his own social media platform.
“President-elect Trump needs to specifically condemn and distance himself from the racism and anti-Semitism spewed there,” Foxman told Jewish Insider. “If he takes the time and effort to personally criticize SNL or the “Hamilton” episode, then certainly this event deserves his personal attention and voice.”
One speaker, Peter Brimelow, the founder of Vdare.com, an anti-immigration website, said that Trump and his White House chief strategist Steve Bannon are “not alt-right people,” but that they capitalized on issues important to the movement, including stopping immigration and ending political correctness.
Trump vs Hamilton
On Saturday, after Vice President-elect Mike Pence was greeted with boos at a New York theater, and the cast of Hamilton delivered a message to the incoming administration after the play, Trump took to Twitter to rebuke the cast and those who jeered Pence. “The Theater must always be a safe and special place,” Trump tweeted. “The cast of Hamilton was very rude last night to a very good man, Mike Pence. Apologize!”
“I watched parts of @nbcsnl Saturday Night Live last night. It is a totally one-sided, biased show – nothing funny at all. Equal time for us?” Trump tweeted on Sunday, hours after SNL mocked his transition work.
Trump’s former campaign manager Kellyanne Conway insisted on Monday that the president-elect has already condemned hate crimes and anti-Semitism in the past.
“He has addressed it many times. Same question, different week,” Conway told reporters in the lobby of Trump Tower. “He’s told people to cut it out. He said that on ‘60 Minutes’ in front of 32 million people. And he has said that he’ll be the president of all Americans. But, honestly and respectfully, I think that we can use your help in that.”
This article was originally published on Jewish Insider
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JTA and Reuters contributed to this report