Foxman: Now is Jared and Ivanka’s ‘Mordechai and Esther’ Moment

“This is a dark moment for those of us who remember what hatred can do,” is how Abe Foxman, a Holocaust survivor and former National Director of the Anti-Defamation League, started off a phone interview with Jewish Insider moments after President Donald Trump’s combative press conference in New York on Tuesday.

Doubling down on his controversial comments from Saturday, Trump drew a moral equivalence between the white supremacists chanting anti-Semitic and Nazi slogans in Charlottesville over the weekend with the counter protesters. “You had many people in that group other than neo-Nazis and white nationalists and the press has treated them absolutely unfairly,” the President said during the freewheeling press conference at Trump Tower in New York. “I think there’s blame on both sides. You look at both sides — I think there’s blame on both sides and I have no doubt about it.”

“As a Holocaust survivor, I never thought that I would witness the day that a president of the United States would rationalize away Nazism, its hatred, its violence, and find excuses for it,” said Foxman, who now serves as Director of Center for the Study of Anti-Semitism at the Museum of Jewish Heritage. “For him to have seen the torch parade and the epithets against his daughter, his grandchildren, his son-in-law, and stand up and say both sides are equal? Shame, shame, shame.”

Recognizing that Trump has a tendency of doubling down on irrational behavior when being pushed into a corner, Foxman said now might be the time for Ivanka Trump and Jared Kushner to take matters into their own hands and step into the roles of Mordechai and Esther. “Trump loves his daughter. She is the apple of his eye, and I saw him, he likes his son-in-law, but he certainly loves his grandchildren,” Foxman explained. “They need to sit down with him, and say to him, face-to-face, ‘Do you understand what message you’re sending to your grandchildren? That it’s okay for people to march down and yell get rid of the Jews, we don’t want the Jews. And you say this is nothing, this is like people who protest against something that they don’t like.’ I don’t see anybody else. I think this is the moment. People have said, ‘Well maybe Jared …’ Jared’s grandparents are Holocaust survivors. People say, ‘Well, maybe they were put there to be Esther or Mordecai.’ Well, maybe they have.”

Subscribe now to
the Daily Kickoff

The politics and business news you need to stay up to date, delivered each morning in a must-read newsletter.