President Donald Trump spoke out against anti-Semitic threats Tuesday, but his words were not enough for the Anne Frank Center for Mutual Respect, whose executive director called the president’s acknowledgment of anti-Semitism a ‘‘Band-Aid on the cancer of Antisemitism that has infected his own Administration.’’
‘‘The anti-Semitic threats targeting our Jewish community at community centers are horrible and are painful and a very sad reminder of the work that still must be done to root out hate and prejudice and evil,’’ Trump said after a visit to the Smithsonian’s National Museum of African American History and Culture.
He also called his tour of the museum a ‘‘meaningful reminder of why we have to fight bigotry, intolerance and hatred in all of its very ugly forms.’’ Trump told NBC News earlier in the day that anti-Semitism was ‘‘horrible,’’ and was ‘‘going to stop.’’
On Tuesday morning, Steven Goldstein, executive director of the Anne Frank Center for Mutual Respect, blasted Trump in a Facebook post.
‘‘His statement today is a pathetic asterisk of condescension after weeks in which he and his staff have committed grotesque acts and omissions reflecting Antisemitism, yet day after day have refused to apologize and correct the record,’’ Goldstein said in the statement. ‘‘Make no mistake: The Antisemitism coming out of this Administration is the worst we have ever seen from any Administration.’’
The statement continued:
‘‘The White House repeatedly refused to mention Jews in its Holocaust remembrance, and had the audacity to take offense when the world pointed out the ramifications of Holocaust denial. And it was only yesterday, Presidents’ Day, that Jewish Community Centers across the nation received bomb threats, and the President said absolutely nothing. When President Trump responds to Antisemitism proactively and in real time, and without pleas and pressure, that’s when we’ll be able to say this President has turned a corner. This is not that moment.’’
Trump’s comments came after Jewish community centers across the country were hit with bomb threats, according to the Anti-Defamation League. The organization said in a news release that this was the fourth ‘‘series of such threats’’ this year. They also followed the news that more than 170 gravestones at a Jewish cemetery in Missouri had been found toppled.
The St. Louis Post-Dispatch on Tuesday reported that the vandalism occurred over the weekend and was under investigation.
The Anne Frank Center for Mutual Respect has its headquarters in New York and an office in Los Angeles, according its website. It has previously been critical of Trump.
The Trump administration in January was criticized for not mentioning Jews in a statement issued on International Holocaust Remembrance Day. Trump remembered ‘‘the victims, survivors, heroes of the Holocaust’’ but did not specifically mention Jewish people in the brief statement.
‘‘I don’t regret the words,’’ White House chief of staff Reince Priebus said, when he was asked to defend the statement during a ‘‘Meet the Press’’ appearance.
Priebus added: ‘‘Everyone’s suffering [in] the Holocaust including obviously all of the Jewish people affected and miserable genocide that occurs – it’s something that we consider to be extraordinarily sad.’’
Trump on Feb. 15 was asked about what he was going to do to about the increase in anti-Semitic incidents in the U.S. since his campaign and Election Day victory. He responded by talking about his electoral college win. And at a news conference Thursday, he was asked about the increase in anti-Semitism.
‘‘Number one, I am the least anti-Semitic person that you’ve ever seen in your entire life,’’ Trump said. ‘‘Number two, racism, the least racist person.’’