He Fanned Those Flames: Obama Partially Blames Trump For Rise in Anti-Semitism

Donald Trump always said he was a friend to American Jews. He often pointed out that his son-in-law Jared Kushner was Jewish and that his daughter Ivanka had converted.

Photo by Michael M. Santiago/Getty Images

Still, plenty of the people supporting the former president were fiercely anti-Semitic. During the Charlottesville rally which Trump said was full of “fine people,” Conservatives marched down the street saying “Jews will not replace us.”

During a recent interview with The Jewish Insider, former president Barack Obama blamed Trump for “fanning the flames.” Obama began:

“I have said that the seeds that gave rise to the Holocaust have always been with us. They have found root across cultures, faiths, and generations. And they have reemerged again and again, especially in times of change and uncertainty. When I gave that speech, it was clear that anti-Semitism was on the rise around the world. People’s anger over everything from immigration to inequality was boiling over — and many of them were looking for someone else to blame. And for four years, we had a President in the White House who fanned those flames.”

Obama continued, “So while I never anticipated what happened at the Capitol on January 6th, some of the negative and divisive trends that we’ve seen at home and around the world have contributed to a rise in anti-Semitism and other forms of hate.”

The former president closed his remarks, “We’ll never be able to wipe out hatred from every single mind, but we must do everything we can to fight it. And more people are realizing that. That dynamic, more than anything, is what gives me hope.”

You can read the entire interview here


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