POLITICS
07/07/2016 02:10 pm ET Updated Jan 16, 2017

Jewish Groups Denounce Hate After Trump Defends Anti-Semitic Tweet

"The normalization of hate speech cannot become a reality."

The Anti-Defamation League and 27 other Jewish organizations on Thursday called on political candidates to denounce racism, xenophobia and other forms of prejudice. 

The groups jointly published an open letter a day after presumptive Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump defended tweeting an anti-Semitic message that depicted Hillary Clinton alongside a six-pointed star and against a backdrop of money. 

“We call on all Americans — in their communities and on the national stage — to refrain from and denounce all forms of hatred and extremism. We call on all Americans who support or endorse candidates for public office to loudly and clearly condemn any and all racist and xenophobic language and actions,” the letter said. “Instead, we must demonstrate commitment to our proud American and Jewish values of religious freedom, civil rights, refugee protection, and equality for all.”

The organizations didn’t refer specifically to Trump or his now-deleted Star of David tweet, which possibly originated as an image on a white supremacist website. For the signees to maintain their tax-exempt status, they must refrain from naming specific candidates or other forms of direct political action, a spokeswoman said. 

Instead, the letter cited rhetoric that’s demonized Muslims and refugees as well as the harsh social media attacks on Jewish members of the news media.

Trump has called for banning Muslims from entering the U.S., while some of his supporters target Jewish journalists with epithets. 

“The normalization of hate speech cannot become a reality in the United States,” the letter said. “It is vital that all people of goodwill stand in solidarity against bigotry and intolerance.”

Other national groups signing the letter included HIAS, the Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism and the Jewish Social Justice Roundtable. Many of the organizations, such as the Jewish World Service and Religious Action Center, are perceived to be progressive-leaning.

A spokeswoman for the Jewish organizations said the letter had been in the works for months, though it appeared a day after Trump defended his tweet, claiming that the picture didn’t feature the Star of David.

Trump and Clinton’s campaigns did not respond to The Huffington Post’s requests for comment. 

Editor’s note: Donald Trump regularly incites political violence and is a serial liar,rampant xenophobe, racist, misogynist and birther who has repeatedly pledged to ban all Muslims ― 1.6 billion members of an entire religion ― from entering the U.S.

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