Jewish leaders to boycott Trump's speech at pro-Israel meet

Washington, Mar 18: Several Jewish religious leaders have said they would boycott Donald Trump when he addresses a major pro-Israeli conference here on Monday, as they accused the Republican presidential front-runner of "sowing seeds of hatred".

With several groups organising boycotts, Rabbis David Paskin and Jesse Olitzky, who are leading a protest campaign 'Come Together Against Hate', said their objective is to voice their displeasure and do not want to disrupt the meeting.

Jewish leaders to boycott Trump's speech

"Our goal is not to disrupt the proceedings or to offend any of our fellow conference attendees. Our hope is to shine a moral light on the darkness that has enveloped Mr Trump's campaign," they said in a statement ahead of the American Israel Public Affairs Committee conference on Monday night.

"Upon hearing that Donald Trump along with other presidential candidates will be speaking at AIPAC Policy Conference, we come together as Rabbis, Cantors, Jewish Professionals and members of the Jewish community to repudiate the ugliness that Mr Trump espouses.

"At every turn, Mr Trump has chosen to take the low road, sowing seeds of hatred and division in our body politic," said Union for Reform Judaism (URJ), which represents the largest Jewish denomination in America.

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"His campaign has been replete with naked appeals to bigotry, especially against Hispanics and Muslims. Previous comments he has made – and not disavowed – have been offensive to women, people of colour, and other groups.

In recent days, increasingly, he appears to have gone out of his way to encourage violence at his campaign events," it said. URJ alleged that Trump's extreme anti-immigrant rhetoric reminds "us that our own ancestors' access to American shores of freedom and promise were once blocked, with deadly consequences."

"When he speaks hatefully of Mexicans or Muslims, for example, we recall a time when anti-Semitism put Jews at deathly danger, even in the US. We cannot remain silent, for we have been commanded to "remember the heart of the stranger, for you were strangers in the land of Egypt," URJ said.


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