Prom­i­nent NYC Rabbi Slams Trump Over Char­lottesville Com­ments

The Jewish Voice - - NEW YORK - By: A7 Staff

Prom­i­nent New York Rabbi Haskel Look­stein crit­i­cized Pres­i­dent Don­ald Trump’s re­sponse to the vi­o­lent white su­prem­a­cist and Neo-Nazi protest in Char­lottesville, Va, two weeks ago

Rabbi Look­stein, who over­saw the con­ver­sion to Ju­daism of the pres­i­dent’s daugh­ter, Ivanka Trump, weighed in on the is­sue Wed­nes­day along with other rab­bis at Con­gre­ga­tion Ke­hi­lath Jeshu­run, a prom­i­nent mod­ern Or­tho­dox sy­n­a­gogue in Man­hat­tan.

“We are ap­palled by this resur­gence of big­otry and anti-Semitism, and the re­newed vigor of the neo-Nazis, KKK, and alt-right,” the rab­bis wrote in a let­ter to mem­bers of the sy­n­a­gogue and its af­fil­i­ated Ra­maz School. “While we avoid pol­i­tics, we are deeply trou­bled by the moral equiv­a­lency and equiv­o­ca­tion Pres­i­dent Trump has of­fered in his re­sponse to this act of vi­o­lence.

“We pray that our coun­try heeds the voices of tol­er­ance, and stays true to its vi­sion of hu­man rights and civil rights.”

Far-right pro­tes­tors con­verged on Char­lottesville in de­fense of a statue of Con­fed­er­ate Gen. Robert E. Lee and brawled with counter pro­tes­tors. Some of the pro­tes­tors car­ried Nazi and Con­fed­er­ate flags, gave Nazi salutes and ex­pressed anti-Semitic and racist views.

Af­ter po­lice broke up the rally, a white su­prem­a­cist, James Fields, rammed his car into a crowd of the counter pro­test­ers, killing one woman and in­jur­ing at least 19. Two po­lice of­fi­cers also died when their he­li­copter crashed while mon­i­tor­ing the rally.

US Pres­i­dent Don­ald Trump on Mon­day con­demned the deadly car ram­ming at­tack but ex­co­ri­ated both the left and the white su­prem­a­cists and neo-Nazis who marched in Char­lottesville

“Racism is evil," Trump said. “And those who cause vi­o­lence in its name are crim­i­nals and thugs, in­clud­ing the KKK, neo-Nazis, white su­prem­a­cists and other hate groups that are repug­nant to ev­ery­thing we hold dear as Amer­i­cans."

"The De­part­ment of Jus­tice has opened a civil rights in­ves­ti­ga­tion into the deadly car at­tack that killed one in­no­cent Amer­i­can and wounded 20 oth­ers," the pres­i­dent de­clared. "To any­one who acted crim­i­nally in this week­end's racist vi­o­lence, you will be held fully ac­count­able. Jus­tice will be de­liv­ered."

How­ever, on Tues­day the pres­i­dent said that "both sides," in­clud­ing the alt-right and the alt-left, were to blame for the vi­o­lence at the rally.

Trump’s com­ments were widely crit­i­cized, in­clud­ing by

Repub­li­cans and Jewish groups.

Trump de­nied equat­ing the white su­prem­a­cist and neo-Nazi demon­stra­tors with the vic­tim of the ram­ming at­tack Thurs­day.

Is­raeli Prime Min­is­ter Binyamin Ne­tanyahu's son Yair, as well as Repub­li­cans Over­seas Is­rael Chair­man Marc Zell, noted that both sides were vi­o­lent and de­served to be con­demned.

In a widely viewed Vice doc­u­men­tary about the events in Char­lottesville that aired on HBO Tues­day, Christo­pher Cantwell, a vo­cal white su­prem­a­cist, ex­pressed dis­gust with Don­ald Trump be­cause he “gave his daugh­ter to a Jew.”

Cantwell asked Vice News’ re­porter Elspeth Reeve, “Do you think you could feel about race like I do and watch that Kush­ner bas­tard walk around with that beau­ti­ful girl?”

Prom­i­nent New York Rabbi Haskel Look­stein (pic­tured above) crit­i­cized Pres­i­dent Don­ald Trump’s re­sponse to the vi­o­lent white su­prem­a­cist and Neo-Nazi protest in Char­lottesville, Va, two weeks ago

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