UK Board of Deputies Leader Attacked for Congratulating Donald Trump

Board of Deputies of British Jews/Twitter

The president of the Board of Deputies of British Jews has been attacked for congratulating Donald Trump on his sweeping election victory.

In the immediate aftermath of the vote, Jonathan Arkush offered his congratulations in a statement, saying:  “I would like to congratulate Donald Trump on his victory. After a divisive campaign, I hope that he will build bridges and ensure that America’s standing as a beacon of progress, tolerance and free-thinking remains strong.”

More than 50 young British Jews responded by co-signing an angry letter to Mr. Arkush, saying his thoughts on Trump were “laughable”.  According to the Jewish News they wrote:

“It is beneath contempt to congratulate a candidate who was censured by the Anti-Defamation League for using anti-Semitic tropes, who has enabled mainstream anti-Semitic abuse and who has secured the endorsement of the KKK and other white supremacists.”

The group, including several Deputies and Jewish student society presidents, added: “This message of congratulations is contrary to our community’s best interests and is an affront to our ancestors and contemporaries who have stood against racism and fascism in all its forms.”

Ella Rose, a former Jewish student leader and Deputy for Bushey United Synagogue, and others tweeted their response:

Jay Stoll, an executive board member of the Jewish Labour Movement, added: “The Board has misjudged the anxieties that many have over the election of a racist demagogue to the highest office in the world.

The Board later responded saying it “understood” the concerns but ultimately respected the choice of U.S. voters:

The statement concluded: “… it is important to remember that, ultimately, we do not elect the US President. That is down to the American people. All we can do is respond to their choice. And that response has to respect the democratic choice of the American people as expressed through their electoral system.”

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