TALKBACK—(This is a response to Scott Goldstein’s CityWatch article: ‘Silence in the Face of Evil’.) Every four years during presidential campaigns, the Simon Wiesenthal Center, which never endorses candidates for any political office, receives numerous requests from members of the public to react to statements made by various politicians who they believe have crossed the line.
In the long history of the Center, we have never failed to criticize both Democrats and Republicans as far back as Jesse Jackson’s “Hymie Town” comment and Ronald Reagan for his Bitburg visit.
The Center has publicly done the same (see Jewish Week March 1, 2016) when Donald Trump initially refused to denounce the endorsement of David Duke, as we did when Trump said he would ban all Muslims trying to enter our country.
The author of the attack on the Simon Wiesenthal Center, Scott Goldstein, who has sent a barrage of emails to the Center about Donald Trump, is fully aware of the Center’s record and statements, particularly as he has worked for our institution in the past. He knows that we will never allow the Center to be controlled by any political party. Despite this, Mr. Goldstein has refused to accept our explanation that the Center, as well as other human rights organizations, can’t be in a position where we are responding to every remark made by a politician every single day.
We are disappointed that Mr. Goldstein, who has done fine work for the Center in the past, singled us out to create the impression that we support a particular candidate. Nothing can be further from the truth and Mr. Goldstein knows it. We are left to wonder whether his attack has more to do with the fact that he is angry that we have not engaged his services for our new projects.
(Avra Shapiro is Director of Public Relations at the Simon Wiesenthal Center.)