First here is the setting:
Trump Snaps at Jewish Reporter
Haaretz, Feb 16 2017
Pres Trump lashed out on Thursday at an ultra-Orthodox Jewish reporter who asked him what his administration is prepared to do against anti-Semitism, apparently interpreting the question as a personal accusation of anti-Jewish sentiment. Trump was taking questions from reporters at the East Room of the White House, his first solo press conference since taking office. About an hour into the conference, Jake Turx, a reporter for the haredi Ami Magazine, asked Trump about the administration’s plan to handle the rise in anti-Semitic incidents.
Rabbi Hier Defends Trump’s Refusal to Condemn Anti-Semitism at Media Events
Jacob Kornbluh, Jewish Insider, Feb 19 2017
Rabbi Marvin Hier of the Simon Wiesenthal Center, on Friday defended Trump in wake of his refusal to acknowledge and address the rise of anti-Semitic incidents since his election. Rabbi Hier said in an interview with CNN’s John Berman:
Of course, the president should speak out against anti-Semitism! But we shouldn’t select the venue for him!
On Thursday, Trump berated a Jewish reporter for asking him to address concerns in the Pindo-Jewish community of the uptick in anti-Semitic incidents and bomb threats against Jewish centers across Pindostan. A day earlier, during a joint press conference with Netanyahu, Trump reminded the media in response to an Israeli reporter’s question about anti-Semitism that his son-in-law, daughter, three grandchildren and many friends are Jewish. Pindo-Jewish groups blasted Trump’s response. ADL’s Marvin Nathan and Jonathan Greenblatt said in a statement:
On two separate occasions over the past two days, Pres Trump has refused to say what he is going to do about rising anti-Semitism, or to even condemn it! It is mind-boggling why Pres Trump prefers to shout down a reporter or brush this off as a political distraction!
But according to Rabbi Hier, who offered a prayer at the President’s inauguration last month, Trump should not be forced to address the issue in an uncomfortable manner. Hier suggested in his interview with CNN like the Kapo he is:
Maybe we should say to the president that, at a time that he’s comfortable with in the very near future, he should address anti-Semitism and bigotry but let’s be very clear, anti-Semitism and bigotry preceded Pres Trump.
Meanwhile Malcolm Hoenlein, speaking at a press conference to kick off the CPMAJO’s annual mission to Jayloomia, urged Trump to speak out more forcefully and confront a surge of anti-Semitism. Hoenlein said:
I think the president should help set the tone for country. I’m hopeful that what he said about addressing hate and racism of all types will be translated into clear action.