Statement by Robert Bank, President and CEO of American Jewish World Service:
“As the leader of an American Jewish organization which works in solidarity with people in 19 countries in Africa, Asia, Latin America and the Caribbean to advance human rights and end poverty, I offer my apologies for the hurtful and hateful words of Donald Trump, the President of the United States of America. I offer special apologies to our allies and close friends who live and work in El Salvador, Haiti, Congo, Cote d’Ivoire, Kenya, Liberia, Senegal, Sudan, and Uganda. President Trump specifically denounced African countries, Haiti and El Salvador last week in the Oval Office of the White House.
“In no way do the words of President Trump represent me or the views of the supporters of American Jewish World Service, who cherish our ability to work cooperatively with people from a diverse array of countries, cultures, faiths and worldviews to build a better world anchored by respect for the dignity and rights of every person.
“As Jews, we are members of a community that has been the target of hatred for millennia, and we must speak out against expressions of hatred against others. We are saddened and sickened that a leader of the United States would debase his office and the entire nation he leads by using hateful and racist words to describe other countries, cultures and people. This is not the America we know and love or wish to be.
“On a personal note, my family and I fled South Africa to escape Apartheid and racism and to live in the United States, which we viewed as a beacon of liberty. It is heartbreaking that Donald Trump is soiling the reputation of this great land by denigrating millions of human beings whose dignity, worth and humanity are equal to our own.
“At AJWS, we will continue to work with partners of every background to build the kind of world we and they wish to live in. That is a world based on justice, equality and respect for the infinite value of each and every person.”
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