Ivanka's NYC Rabbi Condemns Trump's Lack of Moral Clarity On Charlottesville As Richard Spencer Tells Israelis To Trust Him

Rabbi Emeritus Haskel Lookstein of New York, Ivanka Trump's rabbi

Rabbi Emeritus Haskel Lookstein of New York, Ivanka Trump's rabbi

Rabbi Emeritus Haskel Lookstein and his successors Rabbi Chaim Steinmetz and Rabbi Elie Weinstock, sent a letter Wednesday night to members of New York's Congregation Kehilath Jeshurun In New York. Rabbi Lookstein oversaw Ivanka's conversion to Judaism in 2010. 

The rabbis said: "We are appalled by this resurgence of bigotry and antisemitism, and the renewed vigor of the neo-Nazis, KKK, and alt-right." The letter continued: "While we avoid politics, we are deeply troubled by the moral equivalency and equivocation President Trump has offered in his response to this act of violence."

Other Jewish leaders spoke out on Wednesday. the Republican Jewish Coalition is calling on the president to “provide greater moral clarity in rejecting racism, bigotry, and anti-Semitism.”

In a statement issued by the group’s national chairman Norm Coleman and executive director Matt Brooks, the RJC made clear it does not agree with Trump’s assertion that there were some “fine people” among the crowd of alt-Right and white supremacists who descended on Charlottesville.

“The Nazis, the KKK, and white supremacists are dangerous anti-Semites. There are no good Nazis and no good members of the Klan,” RJC said, adding that in modern America these groups are marginal and “have never been welcome in the GOP.”

Casino magnate Sheldon Adelson is the largest donor to the Jewish Republican organization, which initially condemned the terror in Charlottesville did not mention Trump by name.  

Related: A Model of Contemporary Jewish Leadership: Haskel Lookstein

Richard Spencer Chides Jews For Not Supporting Him

Richard Spencer, a key figure in the alt-right movement, said in an interview this week on Israeli TV, that Jews should ignore the anti-Semitism of the alt-right and respect with empathy his desire to create a whites-only ethno state. 

“You could say that I am a white Zionist in the sense that I care about my people,” Spencer told Dany Kushmaro, the host on Israel’s Channel 2 News. “I want us to have a secure homeland that is for us and ourselves, just like you want a secure homeland in Israel.”

Kushmaro pressed Spencer on the anti-Semitic chants heard at the white nationalist held in Virginia over the weekend, such as “Jews will not replace us.” White nationalists also brandished swastika flags and held their arms in the Nazi salute at the rally, which later devolved into open brawling and violence.

“Let’s be honest, Jews have been vastly overrepresented in the historical left,” Spencer said. “They’re vastly overrepresented in what you can call the establishment.”

Kushmaro reminded Spencer that he was speaking with a Jew and that the majority of the audience was Jewish. “How should we, how should I, feel?”