Over the weekend, a Jewish cemetery in St. Louis had 170 of its graves vandalized. This despicable act prompted former New York Senator Hillary Clinton to call on President Donald Trump to speak out against anti-Semitic acts — which he eventually did, hours after her remark.
Following his visit to the Smithsonian’s National Museum of African American History and Culture, Trump addressed the “anti-Semitic threats targeting our Jewish community at community centers,” calling them “horrible.” He also stated that such threats stand as a “very sad reminder of the work that still must be done to root out hate and prejudice and evil.”
In response to his comments, the Anne Frank Center issued a statement calling the president’s “sudden acknowledgement of anti-Semitism” nothing but a “band-aid.”
Accusing the Trump administration of suffering from “the cancer of anti-Semitism,” the organization called his recent remarks a “pathetic asterisk of condescension after weeks” of silence and inaction.
New statement from the Anne Frank Center: "Trump's sudden ackowlegement of Anti-Semitism is like a band-aid for cancer." pic.twitter.com/eh81LwBngi— Kyle Griffin (@kylegriffin1) February 21, 2017
While Trump’s daughter, Ivanka, converted to Judaism for her husband, Jared Kushner, the president has been the target of public outrage for having told a Jewish reporter to sit down during his first press conference since the inauguration. His administration was also harshly criticized for omitting Jews in a statement on the International Holocaust Remembrance Day.
After the Anne Frank Center published its statement, White House press secretary Sean Spicer told reporters the president had “made clear since the day he was elected” that he “seeks to unite the country.”
Lamenting that the Anne Frank Center didn’t praise Trump for his “leadership” in this area, Spicer continued, he hopes to see the organization recognize Trump's “commitment to civil rights, to voting rights, to equality to all Americans.”
If all of this commotion is an indicator of anything, it is that Trump will have to do much more if he truly wants to get the Jewish community on his side. Simply making statements whenever incidents, such as the one in St. Louis, occur will not cut it.
Banner and thumbnail credit: Reuters, Joshua Roberts