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Opinion

Letters to the Editor: Trump parrots anti-Semitic tropes while purporting to protect Jewish Americans

President Trump speaks during a Hanukkah reception
President Trump speaks during a Hanukkah reception at the White House on Dec. 7, 2017.
(Olivier Douliery / TNS)

To the editor: At a Dec. 11 White House Hanukkah reception, President Trump signed an executive order ostensibly protecting Jewish Americans by expanding the definition of anti-Semitism to include criticism of Israel. This is intended as a punishment in withholding federal money from colleges where a complaint of discrimination is made based on student support for the boycott, divestment and sanctions movement.

This is a gross violation of free speech, but that shouldn’t bother our civil-libertarian-in-chief who just days ago complained that a security guard was too “politically correct” in removing a female protestor from his Hershey, Pa., campaign rally.

Incidentally, an honored guest at the Hanukkah reception was pastor Robert Jeffress, who once said, “Judaism — you can’t be saved being a Jew.” Trump also recently implored Jews to vote for him to protect their money.

Is it any wonder that there have been an unprecedented number of anti-Semitic acts during the Trump administration?

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Ken Levy, Los Angeles

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To the editor: I resent Trump defining my nationality.

I am a Jew. I was born in Canada and came to the United States as a baby. I know a Scottish lady who came to the United States when she was in her early 20s. She converted to Judaism and is proud of her ancestry.

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I foresee a new wave of anti-Semitic actions by hateful people. I hope this is challenged in the courts.

Don Evans, Canoga Park

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To the editor: The new definition of anti-Semitism includes “denying the Jewish people their right to self-determination.” Telling Jews by executive order what their “national origin” is constitutes exactly such a denial.

It also reinforces the anti-Semitic trope that Jews’ loyalty is to Israel and not to the country where they are nationals.

Ilya Shlyakhter, Boston


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