New York, NY, December 3, 2015 … The Anti-Defamation League (ADL) today disagreed with those writers and commentators who suggested that presidential hopeful Donald Trump intentionally evoked anti-Semitic stereotypes in remarks to a Republican Jewish Coalition event, but urged him to clarify that he did not mean his comments to be interpreted that way.
Jonathan A. Greenblatt, ADL CEO, issued the following statement:
After having carefully reviewed the speech, we do not believe that it was Donald Trump’s intention to evoke anti-Semitic stereotypes. He has made similar comments about spending his own money on the campaign, and not asking for money from donors, to many other groups.
Here, context is everything. Mr. Trump’s presentation was completely supportive of Israel and the Jewish community, even if one might disagree with him on some of the other issues he raised.
We have not hesitated to criticize Mr. Trump when he crossed the line. For example, in his recent remarks about immigrants referring to Mexicans as “rapists and criminals” and his failure to stand up to an anti-Muslim bigot at a campaign rally, he not only used stereotypes but exhibited hostility.
In this case he is speaking to a group of Jewish Republicans, a significant portion of whom are business people. We do not believe he intended his comments regarding negotiations and money to relate specifically to their Jewishness, but we understand that they could be interpreted that way. We encourage him to clarify that this was not his intention, and that he rejects the traditional stereotypes about Jews and money.
As a 501c3 nonprofit organization, ADL takes no position on behalf of or in opposition to any candidate for office.