New York Times columnist Frank Bruni wonders “Why Does Donald Trump keep dissing the Jews.” In his piece, he ticks off the many instances where Trump has at best forgotten, and at worst, intentionally ignored important Jewish events and occasions, especially relating to the Holocaust. While Bruni does not believe Trump is an anti-Semite, he fears that Trump’s narcissistic personality prevents him from being respectful toward a community he claims to care for. This indifference, regardless of intention, has led to rifts in the relationship between Trump and many in the Jewish community.
And Donald Trump has established a pattern of offending — or at the very least ignoring — Jews. The most recent example was just last week, when he declined to pay his respects at a Holocaust memorial in Warsaw that other American presidents routinely visited ….
But first, the record: He’d been in office just a week when International Holocaust Remembrance Day rolled round and his administration issued a statement that bizarrely omitted any specific mention of Jews. Administration officials made no apology, saying that millions of people who weren’t Jewish died in the Holocaust and that by not singling out any one group of victims, the White House had taken a more ‘inclusive’ approach.
Then there was an initial, strange silence from Trump and his aides about a rash of anti-Semitic vandalism and bomb threats around the country in January and February.
In May, in Israel, Trump insisted on a much shorter stop at Yad Vashem, an important Holocaust memorial and museum, than either Barack Obama or George W. Bush had made, and he stuck to that plan even as many Israelis and American Jews cried foul. The tone-deaf breeziness of his approach was accentuated by the message he left in the visitors’ book: “It is a great honor to be here with all of my friends — so amazing & will never forget!” As Yair Rosenberg of the Jewish magazine Tablet tweeted, it was ‘basically just what teenagers write in each other’s high school yearbooks.’