US/World News

RCA condemns racism at ‘highest levels of government’

(JTA) – The Orthodox Rabbinical Council of America (RCA) said it “condemns the most recent outburst of racist rhetoric in the highest levels of government,” an apparent reference to President Donald Trump’s call on four Democratic congresswomen to “go back” to unspecified countries. The July 18 statement also alluded to statements by two of the congresswoman Trump has named, Rashida Tlaib of Michigan and Ilhan Omar of Minnesota, that have insinuated dual loyalties by advocates for Israel. Omar has apologized for some, but not all, of her controversial statements. Trump’s other two targets were Reps. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Ayanna Pressley.

“Whether statements that question the loyalty of American Jews when the safety and security of Israel is at stake or rallies that call upon descendants of immigrants to return to countries they never knew, we see these pronouncements as dangerous to the core values of our faith and the foundations of American society,” the statement said.

The statement’s tough tone was unusual for a body representing a segment of the community that has embraced Trump for aligning his policies with those of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, particularly in moving the U.S. embassy to Jerusalem. Centrist and leftist Jewish groups have also slammed Trump for his attacks on the congresswomen. “The lack of civil discourse, the racist and xenophobic chants at political rallies, and rise of fringe hate groups all demand that we take a stand for goodness and respect,” the RCA said in the statement.

Main Photo: President Donald Trump arriving at the White House, July 21, 2019. He has been accused of stoking racial tensions over his repeated attacks on four Democratic congresswomen. (Olivier Douliery/AFP/Getty Images)

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