Donald Trump speaking at CPAC 2011 in Washington, D.C., copyright Flickr user Gage Skidmore
Israel, Politics

Why AIPAC Should Disinvite Trump

[pullquote align=left] If Trump were denouncing Jews … is there even the slightest possibility that he would have been invited?
[/pullquote]For the past seventy years, Jews across the world have stood united around the rallying cry, “Never Again!” We have exclaimed it and fought against anti-Semitism under its banner, be it in speech or deed. It is disheartening now to see the true limits of this chant. AIPAC, an organization with over 100,000 members advocating for pro-Israel policies in the USA, has invited Donald Trump to speak at their Annual Conference. AIPAC defends its invitation based on his potential role as a policymaker, but their actions have had the profoundly troubling effect of giving Trump’s rhetoric a legitimizing platform without any reference to the bigotry and violence it inflames.
If Trump were denouncing Jews in the same terms as he has used over and over in denouncing Muslims, Latinos, and Black Lives Matter activists, is there even the slightest possibility that he would have been invited?
[pullquote align=right] Many may ultimately choose to protest this appearance, but this misses the point.
[/pullquote]On social media, there have been those who would defend this invitation on the grounds of “free speech,” but I believe that is a specious argument. No one is suggesting denying the right to express oneself. Trump has ample opportunity to make his views known, on Israel or any other topic. That does not mean that prominent Jewish organizations need to provide the platform. We must be particularly sensitive to the dangerous consequences of legitimizing hate speech. Many at the AIPAC Conference may ultimately choose to protest this appearance, but this both misses the point and the opportunity for us to lead and to teach.
Modern Jewish history has ensured that we are painfully aware of the dangers of demagoguery. We must fight against intolerance and hate or accept our role as silent enablers. We must say “never again” and mean it. AIPAC must be called upon to withdraw their invitation to Trump.
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