Rabbis are planning an unprecedented walkout during 2016 GOP frontrunner billionaire Donald Trump’s speech before American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) conference in Washington D.C. on Monday evening — and now the rabbi leading the protest is explaining why he’s doing it. “Rock and roll” Rabbi David Paskin — the planned protest’s leader — explained why he is organizing this effort in an exclusive interview with Breitbart News.
“This is about denouncing hatred in all forms,” Paskin said late Sunday. “Everyone here at AIPAC denounces hatred. What is far more important is what has happened this week and what will happen after the policy conference. We are going to continue to come together against hate. We are going to argue that what Mr. Trump calls PC, is not a bad thing, it is what we Jews call … being a good person.”
Trump is slated to speak at the influential group’s policy conference on Monday evening — and his speech at AIPAC caused him to not appear at a since-canceled GOP presidential debate in Salt Lake City, Utah. That debate would have been moderated by the Fox News Channel, but after Trump pulled out, he was joined by Ohio Gov. John Kasich. Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX), the only other remaining GOP presidential candidate, was added to the AIPAC schedule after failing to bait Trump into skipping AIPAC and going to the debate.
Some of the conference attendees aren’t thrilled with Trump’s AIPAC appearance — Paskin most notable among them.
Paskin, who was polite in the interview, promised that, unlike recent outbursts at Trump speeches, the walkout would be “respectful and dignified.”
When challenged whether walking out was the best way to create a respectful dialogue, Rabbi Paskin told Breitbart News: “People have been debating that with me all day. ‘If you are asking for respectful dialogue then how can you walk out?’ I’m not expecting respectful dialogue with Mr. Trump, I don’t think he has any interest in that. I would certainly be open to it; I’d be honored to share my concerns with him, but I don’t think he wants to hear them.”
More than 1,700 people have joined the protest’s Facebook page in the last week, but Rabbi Paskin admits that many will not want to miss Trump’s speech — so the protest might not be as successful as he hopes.
“It is very hard to stay away from a Donald Trump speech,” Paskin told Breitbart News. “He is a very engaging and dynamic speaker. It’s quite a spectacle, and I wouldn’t be surprised if some people who said they were going to participate want to stay to listen to what he has to say.”
Trump’s speech at AIPAC will come after he meets earlier in the day with several senior congressional Republicans, including Sen. Tom Cotton (R-AR), in a meeting at the Jones Day law firm offices at which Trump attorney Don McGahn is a partner. Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-AL), Trump’s national security chairman, is reportedly organizing the meeting and bringing senior Republicans to the meeting.