Rabbis to boycott Trump speech to pro-Israel group

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A coalition of rabbis is organizing a boycott against Donald TrumpDonald TrumpTrump floats opposition to debate schedule 100 days to go in volatile race Trump blasts fire marshal for capping rally attendance MORE’s speech before a major pro-Israel group, according to The Washington Post.

Trump is slated to speak before the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) conference on Monday.

"Jewish history teaches that when hatred is unleashed, it takes on a life of its own,” said Jeffrey Salkin, a rabbi based in Hollywood, Fla., who is among the 40 religious leaders organizing the effort.

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Salkin said they hope to offer a platform for those in the Jewish community “both nauseated and terrified” by the GOP presidential front-runner. He said they are calling for a boycott in lieu of “more radical” action during Trump’s speech, such as walkouts and heckling.

Trump’s campaign on Thursday dismissed criticism that his views run counter to Jewish values.

“[Trump] has a long history of being a strong supporter of Israel,” said spokeswoman Hope Hicks. "[He has] made significant contributions to a variety of Jewish-related causes over the years.

“Many of [Trump’s] top executives and closest friends are Jewish. There will be no one stronger on Israeli-American relations than him, and his consistent support and advocacy over many years is proof of this.”

The Republican Jewish Coalition, a group of major GOP donors, will also discuss Trump during its annual meeting in Las Vegas next month, according to the Post.

“[Trump has given] normally reliable Republican Jewish voters reason to doubt and question him,” said Ari Fleischer, an RJC board member and former George W. Bush press secretary.

Trump has sparked controversy over his tough rhetoric on immigration as well as for claiming he would be a neutral broker between Israel and the Palestinians.

"The term ‘neutrality’ is a terrible buzzword,” Fleischer. "It’s fraught with the language of the left, that is, anti-Israel. So it’s hard to accept the proposition that he’s pro-Israel when he uses such a misguided word.”

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