“Courage in Crisis” an Exclusive Eli Valley Comic
In the face of an alarming wave of threats to its JCCs and cemeteries in the Trump era, the American Jewish community looked to its leaders for guidance.
This comic features, from left to right: Malcolm Hoenlein, Richard Sandler, Mort Klein, Ronald Lauder and Sheldon Adelson. Here are some recent remarks by each of these men:
Malcolm Hoenlein, CEO of the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations — in JPost.
“He declined to attribute the wave of antisemitism currently rocking America to the Trump election campaign or certain members of Trump’s cabinet, underscoring this by stating that there are people in the cabinet with long records of being pro-Israel.
Antisemitism in America was on the rise long before Trump announced he was running for president, he said.
Hoenlein also emphasized that Trump was proceeding with his pledge to fight hatred and incitement, just as he promised when on the campaign trail. Moreover, the Palestinian incitement issue was getting more attention than before.”
Richard Sandler, Chair of the Board of Trustees of the Jewish Federations of North America — in haaretz.
“Sandler said he believed there was a tendency among liberal Jewish-Americans to underestimate Trump. ‘I think he is probably more knowledgeable than some people think on a number of topics,’ he said, ‘and I think he’s serious about wanting to find a solution here. I’m sure that whatever policies he and those around him decide are the right ones, Mr. Friedman [Trump’s far-right extremist pick for Israel ambassador] will reflect when he is here.’
“Sandler expressed concerns about deepening divides within the Jewish-American community ever since the election. ‘At the federations, we see that as part of our responsibility now — bringing the community together,’ he said. ‘We don’t have a problem attacking one another, but we have a problem talking to one another.’
“At the same time, he said, he drew hope that relations between Israel and the United States would improve under the new administration. ‘There is no question that relationships mean a lot to Mr. Trump and he clearly has good chemistry with the prime minister [Benjamin Netanyahu] right now,’ he said. ‘I would not underestimate the importance of that personal relationship.’”
Mort Klein, President of the Zionist Organization of America — in politico:
“‘Whatever conversations I’ve had with people in the White House have been more than satisfactory in terms of the issues I’ve been concerned about,’ said Mort Klein, a friend of Adelson and president of the Zionist Organization of America. Klein had criticized Trump several times during his first days in office, but said, ‘I couldn’t be more sanguine’ now.
“‘If there was a hint of anti-Semitism in this administration,’ added Klein, the son of Holocaust survivors, ‘I’d be all over them.’”
Ronald Lauder, President of the World Jewish Congress — in their statement:
“World Jewish Congress President Ronald S. Lauder said the following in response to the Anti-Defamation League’s criticism of a statement made by US President Donald Trump on the occasion of International Holocaust Remembrance Day:
“‘It does no honor to the millions of Jews murdered in the Holocaust to play politics with their memory.
“‘Any fair reading of the White House statement on International Holocaust Remembrance Day will see it appropriately commemorates the suffering and the heroism that mark that dark chapter in modern history.
“‘There is enough real anti-Semitic and there are enough true threats facing the Jewish people today. Our community gains nothing if we reach a point where manufactured outrages reduce public sensitivity to the real dangers we confront,’ Lauder said.”
Sheldon Adelson — in politico.
“On Thursday evening, Adelson invited RJC board members to his palatial estate nearby. Over a dinner of brisket, the group listened to Brooks moderate a discussion between Adelson and fellow casino mogul Steve Wynn, with whom Adelson has sometimes had a rocky relationship. The two spoke extensively about Las Vegas and business life, yet there was little talk about politics.
“It was only during a ‘lightning round’ of questions at the end that Adelson remarked that Trump could end up being the best president for Israel in history.
“Three people in attendance said they were struck that Adelson didn’t speak more about Trump, given the intensity of interest in the new president and his pledge to restart the peace process. Some said they suspected that the event was specifically designed so that Adelson wouldn’t have to talk extensively about Trump.”