Trump denounces 'horrible' anti-Semitic threats

2017-02-21 22:30
President Donald Trump speaks at the National Museum of African American History and Culture in Washington. (Evan Vucci, AP)

President Donald Trump speaks at the National Museum of African American History and Culture in Washington. (Evan Vucci, AP)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Washington - After avoiding the subject for several days, President Donald Trump on Tuesday decried a spate of anti-Semitic threats against Jewish community centres across America as "horrible" and "painful."

Seizing the moment during his first visit to the National Museum of African American History and Culture, formally inaugurated just six months ago by his predecessor Barack Obama, Trump called for an end to "hatred in all of its very ugly forms."

He pushed a message of unity, saying he would work to "bring this country together" as he reacted to the dozens of bomb hoaxes phoned in to Jewish centres in recent weeks, which are now under investigation by the FBI.

"The anti-Semitic threats targeting our Jewish community and community centres are horrible and are painful - and a very sad reminder of the work that still must be done to root out hate and prejudice and evil," Trump said.

At the weekend, more than 100 headstones were damaged at a Jewish cemetery in St Louis, Missouri, the facility's director said.

Nearly a dozen Jewish community centres received bomb threats that prompted evacuations on Monday. All of the threats turned out to be hoaxes. Dozens of similar incidents have been reported since the start of the year.

Reacted defensively

While Trump's daughter Ivanka, who converted to Judaism in 2009, denounced the threats over the weekend, saying on Twitter that "we must protect our houses of worship & religious centres," the president had not commented despite repeated direct questions about the issue.

When asked specifically about the threats at a media conference last week, with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu at his side, the Republican offered a curious answer, promising Americans they would be seeing "a lot of love."

He also mentioned his close family ties to Judaism: "so many friends, a daughter who happens to be here right now, a son-in-law, and three beautiful grandchildren." His son-in-law Jared Kushner is now a top White House advisor.

The next day, when an Orthodox Jewish reporter asked Trump at a White House news conference about a post-election surge in anti-Semitic incidents in America, Trump reacted defensively, telling his questioner to "sit down."

Trump also said he was "the least anti-Semitic person that you've ever seen in your entire life."

Read more on:    donald trump  |  us

Join the conversation! encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.

Inside News24


WATCH: Man films himself going down water slide upside down as things go very wrong…

What is at first an exciting tummy-turning adventure stunt, quickly turns into a scarily bad idea caught on camera. Take a look:


You won't want to miss...

Best date night restaurants in South Africa
WATCH: Ryan Reynolds offers fans a free tattoo in new Deadpool 2 teaser
Should you date your co-worker?
Hip Cape Town bars to discover this summer
Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.