A progressive Jewish advocacy group on Thursday took out a full back-page ad in The Hill condemning President Donald Trump's recent executive order on anti-Semitism as an attempt to silence criticism of Israel on college campuses and further undermine Palestinian rights.
"Through this executive order, the president has cemented into law what he knew could never pass through a democratic process: using anti-Semitism as a weapon against Palestinians and Palestinian rights activists," said Beth Miller, government affairs manager of Jewish Voice for Peace (JVP), which purchased the ad.
"Trump is bad for the Jews, he is bad for Palestinians, he is bad for free speech."
—Beth Miller, Jewish Voice for Peace
"During this moment of very real, terrifying anti-Semitism coming from white nationalists and the White House, we need Congress to catch up and finally speak out," Miller added. "Trump is bad for the Jews, he is bad for Palestinians, he is bad for free speech."
The executive order, which Trump signed last week, is ostensibly aimed at "combating anti-Semitism" on college campuses in the United States. But critics warned the order is a thinly veiled effort to equate anti-Semitism with legitimate criticism of the state of Israel and its brutal treatment of the Palestinian people.
JVP's ad denounces the executive order as a "harmful, authoritarian act that will not protect Jews."
"It will punish Palestinians and those who speak up with them," the ad states.
Trump signed the executive order just days after he was accused of making anti-Semitic remarks last Sunday at a Florida conference sponsored by the Israeli-American Council.
"A lot of you are in the real estate business because I know you very well," the president said. "You're brutal killers. Not nice people at all. But you have to vote for me, you have no choice."
"You're not going to vote for Pocahontas, I can tell you that," Trump said, using his racist nickname for Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.). "You're not going to vote for the wealth tax."
In a statement Thursday, Rabbi Alissa Wise, acting co-executive director of JVP, said Trump "routinely engages in anti-Semitic tropes that serve to embolden his white supremacist base, reduces Judaism to support for Israel, and uses anti-Semitism as a tool to attack Palestinians advocating for basic rights and freedom."
"We're not fooled," said Wise, "and we're fighting back!"