You are making me feel like the boy with his finger in the dike!
What’s worse you are scaring thousands of good American citizens and registered immigrants and students who have made significant contributions to American society!
That is not what I call making America great again!
Look, I’ll admit: I actively opposed your election. But I urged those who read what I write to give you chance. I feel that is the American way! I criticized those who tried to overturn the election results. I publicly scoffed at those who said you won because of Russia or the CIA or any other reason except that your election reflected the resonance of your message among the American electorate.
I’ve lost some friends because of you.
Many responded to my essays with anger and a long list of the things you’ve done to convince me that you have already blown any chance you might have had.
The most positive responses were gentle rebukes of my naiveté.
I’ll be honest. You’re making me look bad!
Like most Americans, I resonate to your pledge to crack down on,”Radical Islamic terrorism. And I do not object to your use of the phrase. I hate terrorism, and, as a rabbi, I particularly condemn when I see it perpetrated by Jews. The activities of the Jewish Defense league of Meir Kahane in the United States years ago, of Baruch Goldstein and those who perpetrated the 1994 Hebron Massacre and those who attack Palestinians today or who glorify violence of any kind bring disgrace to my people. I want them hunted down and stopped as much as I want ISIS brought to its knees.
But what you are doing Mr. President, is putting fear into the hearts of so many who are loyal to the ideals of American democracy.It is the worst form of prejudice to brand all members of any group as evil because of the actions of a few. Jewish terrorists do not represent Jews, and ISIS does not represent Muslims.
So please, in the name of all that America stands for, go on national TV (or at least TWEET) to proclaim that all registered foreign-born people are welcome to remain in this country. Please reassure us that while we will vet those seeking to enter, we shall hold all potential immigrants to the same standard of worthiness.
If we ever cease (to paraphrase Emma Lazarus’ immortal poem engraved on the Statue of Liberty) to welcome the tired, poor, huddled masses yearning to breathe free, America will lose any hope of greatness, past, present or future.
Mr. Trump, there are many other issues I would love to raise with you and for which many of my friends will chide me for ignoring. But reassuring law-abiding residents that they will always be welcome here would be an important first step.
As I write these words in San Francisco I look out of my hotel window and see “Old Glory” proudly rustling in the wind above a nearby building. May your words and actions, Mr. President, insure that now and always, “…proudly she waves!”