Donald Trump is a moderate fascist. His rhetoric is extremely xenophobic and is growing dangerously close to Nazi rhetoric (except this time against Muslims) everyday. The idea that this country would require Muslims to register themselves as the Nazis did to the Jewish people is disturbing and dangerous. The idea that this country would deny entry to Syrian refugees is disturbing as well. Apparently this country learned nothing from its failure to accept Jews trying to escape persecution from the Holocaust. Apparently society has not accepted that it was xenophobia and anti-Semitism not only in Germany but in the the United States and around the world which enabled the massacre of 6 million Jews.
It is this history of persecution and oppression that every Jewish individual carries with them. This history of persecution has sadly been used by some (such as Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu) to justify the oppression of Palestinians and persecution of African asylum workers. But it has also been used for good. Rabbi Abraham Joshua Heschel was open about his desire to fight for the civil rights of African Americans in the context of his knowledge of the persecution of the Jewish people. Bernie Sanders invoked the lessons of the Holocaust when condemning Islamophobia. It is in this tradition which American Jews must reflect upon when standing up to Trump’s fascism which includes Islamophobia and racism among other sentiments.
American Jews must tell Trump that we reject not only his xenophobia, but also the admiration of Israel’s racist walls which are designed to keep out Palestinians and African Asylum seekers. We must tell Trump that his views do not bode well with our values and that his rhetoric is the type of rhetoric which led to the Holocaust. We need to do this with urgency for the sake of the United States. We must not let it be taken over by the ultranationalist fascism of Donald Trump and Ben Carson.