The Anne Frank Center has hit back at Donald Trump in an ongoing row over anti-Semitism, accusing the US President of being a Holocaust denier.
Steven Goldstein, the civil rights organisation’s Executive Director, said the Republican “quacks, walks and talks like an anti-Semite. That makes him an anti-Semite”.
It came after a speech by Mr Trump on the topic of hate crime was dismissed by the Anne Frank Center as “pathetic”.
“It’s remarkable”, Mr Goldstein told MSNBC. “And what’s more remarkable about Donald Trump’s appearance... was his complete tin ear to the perception, that is accurate, that he is anti-Semitic.”
“There Donald Trump was this morning and he expected, like Moses, the waters to part because he said anti-Semitism was bad.”
The Center had earlier issued a statement criticising Donald Trump’s remarks, in which he called anti-Jewish attacks “horrible”, “painful” and “very sad”.
In the statement, Mr Goldstein called the Republican’s comments “a pathetic asterisk of condescension after weeks in which he and his staff have committed grotesque acts and omissions reflecting Antisemitism”
That led Mr Trump’s Press Secretary, Sean Spicer, to tell reporters he “wished [the Anne Frank Center] had praised the President for his leadership in this area”.
“Hopefully as time continues to go by, they will recognise his commitment to civil rights, to voting rights, to equality for all Americans”, Mr Spicer added.
But Mr Goldstein claimed that President Trump was guilty of “Holocaust denial”.
“Donald Trump refused to include Jews in Holocaust remembrance” he said, in reference to a White House statement on Holocaust Memorial Day that did not mention Jews.
“Denying Jews had a particular hurt in the Holocaust is nothing short of Holocaust denial and anti-Semitism at its worst.
“This weekend our organisation and others begged Doanld Trump - begged him - to comment on the bombings and bomb threats of [Jewish Community Centres] He wouldn’t do it. He wouldn’t talk about the desecration of 170 Jewish [gravestones] in St Louis.
“Today...he read soullessly this statement [saying] ‘anti-Semitism is a very bad thing’. Every Jewish person, like myself, who has a conscience should be shocked. Here’s a man who doesn’t know how to stick to a teleprompter. Today he stuck to a teleprompter because he probably couldn’t say the words from his heart.”
Speaking during a White House conference last week, Mr Trump angrily dismissed a question about whether anti-Semitic attacks were being carried out in his name.
“Sit down…quiet, quiet, quiet”, Mr Trump told the Jewish reporter who asked the question.
“"So here's the story folks. No. 1, I am the least anti-Semitic person that you've ever seen in your entire life. No. 2, racism. The least racist person.
"But let me just tell you something: I hate the charge. I find it repulsive.”
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