Skip to main site content.
(REUTERS/Mike Segar)

'So troubling'

Ivanka Trump, Hillary Clinton speak out against wave of anti-Semitic incidents

By WITW Staff on February 21, 2017

After 11 Jewish Community Centers in the United States received bomb threats on Monday, both Hillary Clinton and Ivanka Trump took to Twitter to denounce the incidents.

“America is a nation built on the principle of religious tolerance,” Trump, who converted to Judaism before marrying her husband Jared Kushner, wrote on Monday evening. “We must protect our houses of worship & religious centers.”

As the The New York Times points out, Trump has never before issued such a public condemnation of anti-Semitism. Her previous efforts as first daughter have concentrated on supporting women in the workplace.

The situation on Monday marked the fourth wave of bomb threats issued against Jewish institutions since the New Year, according to CBS News. All of the calls were determined to be hoaxes, but they have nevertheless instilled a sense of anxiety in Jewish communities across the country.

The uptick in anti-Semitism has not been limited to “telephone terrorism,” as some have deemed the bomb threats. Over the weekend, more than 170 tombstones were toppled at Chesed Shel Emeth Cemetery, a Jewish cemetery near St. Louis.

Writing on Twitter, Hillary Clinton called the attacks “so troubling.”

“Everyone must speak out,” she added, “starting w/ Potus.”

President Donald Trump has been criticized for his slow response to recent anti-Semitic incidents, which have surged since his election. When a Jewish reporter asked Trump how he planned to address the issue at a press conference last week, the President deflected, calling the question “insulting.”

But on Tuesday, amidst calls for him to break his silence, Trump addressed the threats head-on for the first time. After touring the National Museum of African American History and Culture, Trump told NBC News that the tour “was a meaningful reminder of why we have to fight bigotry, intolerance and hatred in all of its very ugly forms.”

“The anti-Semitic threats targeting our Jewish community and community centers are horrible and are painful and a very sad reminder of the work that still must be done to root out hate and prejudice and evil,” he added.