By now it should be perfectly clear that, despite having a Jewish son-in-law for whom his daughter Ivanka converted, and three Jewish grandchildren, Donald Trump has a real problem with Jews and Jewish history.
He first revealed his distaste for all things Jewish when he released a notorious Holocaust Remembrance Day statement that didn’t even mention Jews, although he did manage to say the Trump team grieved for “all of those who suffered.”
And of course, he brought Steve Bannon into the White House, a man who openly abhors Jews and opened the floodgates of racism, white nationalism and anti-Semitism in America - along with his protégé Stephen Miller, who was photographed signaling white supremacists before being removed from public view for his vitriol.
Most recently, Trump managed to offend Jews again when the White House posted a ridiculous and insulting picture of what they called a Passover Seder. It looked more like a casting call for Lubavitch Jews from Brooklyn. And where were Melania and Donald? Where were the children and grandchildren? The staff? Personal friends?
Seder, one of Judaism’s most sacred holidays, is a time of tradition. It’s a time when family and friends gather to tell the story of the Exodus, and to remember Jewish oppression along with all people who suffer exile, solitude, and sadness. It is a time of renewal as we welcome the beauty of spring. It is a time of special foods and storytelling and warmth, not a time to sit at a barren table void of a host.
The tradition of Seder goes back many years at the White House and when properly done, it looks like this: [photo of Obama Seder dinner removed]
For further evidence that all is not well for Jews at the White House, fast forward to Sean Spicer trying to apologize for his hideous remarks about the use of gas to kill people.
“I mistakenly made an inappropriate and insensitive reference to the Holocaust, for which there is no comparison.”
No, Mr. Press Secretary, it was not simply an insensitive reference to the Holocaust. It was a disgusting, despicable thing to say that Adolf Hitler was better than Syria’s dictator, because he “didn’t even sink to using chemical weapons.,” on his own people.
It was also grossly and historically inaccurate. To be clear: Hitler used Zyklon B in gas chambers at Nazi concentration camps, killing millions of people, many of them German, and most of them Jews. Sarin gas was discovered and weaponized by Nazi scientists.
No one serving in high office and representing the president of the United States, least of all someone employed to provide honest, accurate information and assumed to know the basic facts of history, should be allowed to remain in his post because he mustered an apology for his stupidity and painfully poor taste.
There can be no doubt about sentiments regarding Jews coming from a White House that refers to concentration camps as “Holocaust centers.” No doubt at all when advisors include people like Sebastian Gorka, whose father was openly aligned with the Nazi Party, or Steve Bannon, accused of anti-Semitism by his ex-wife, who testified under oath that Bannon didn’t want his children to attend schools with Jews, whom he openly and frequently stereotypes. No doubt when acts of anti-Jewish vandalism go unnoticed by the nation’s so-called leader.
The fact is that the White House is the People’s House, as wiser, kinder presidents have understood. It is meant to be a place where American values and traditions are enshrined, or at least symbolized, and where the people who live and work there are worthy of our trust and respect. It is time we restored that House to its rightful place in American history. That means that it’s time for the present occupants of 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, and the people they insist on surrounding themselves with, to leave.
Author Note: Several photos that make this piece stronger were disallowed - for an emailed copy: firstname.lastname@example.org