Orthodox bodies join Jewish groups rejecting Trump call on Muslims

Ron Kampeas

WASHINGTON (JTA) — The umbrella bodies for modern Orthodox Jews joined Jewish groups in rejecting Donald Trump’s call to ban Muslims’ entry into the United States.

Unlike the range of other groups that have condemned the call by the candidate for the Republican presidential nod, the Orthodox Union and the Rabbinical Council of America in a joint statement did not name Trump.

Instead, it said the two umbrella bodies “reject calls to limit immigration to the United States based on religion.”

“We call on all Americans to reaffirm that discrimination of any group solely upon religion is wrong and anathema to the great traditions of religious and personal freedoms upon which this country was founded,” O.U. Executive Vice President Allen Fagin said in the statement.

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RCA President Rabbi Shalom Baum said threats of terrorism are real and need to be addressed but “in sober and responsible ways.”

The statement quoted Natan Sharansky, the former prisoner of the Soviet Gulag and now the chairman of the Jewish Agency, who said of Trump’s call: ” “We should not permit ourselves to turn our legitimate fears and threats and challenges of terror into hatred of the other, into dismissing whole national or religious groups of people.”

Trump issued his call after last week’s massacre in San Bernardino, Calif. of 14 people, carried out by a couple who had become militant Islamists.

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