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Rabbis, Jewish religious leaders plan to boycott Trump's pro-Israel conference speech

Washington: Rabbis and Jewish religious leaders are planning to boycott US presidential hopeful Donald Trump's speech to a pro-Israel conference here, accusing him of encouraging hatred, CNN reported on Friday.

Trump is scheduled to address the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) conference on 22 March. Rabbis David Paskin and Jesse Olitzky are at the forefront of a campaign called "Come Together Against Hate".

Donald Trump. Reuters

Donald Trump. Reuters

Paskin has organised a group of more than 300 rabbis, cantors and Jewish voters and professionals who plan to signal their distaste for Trump.

AIPAC is a pro-Israel lobbying group focused on energizing Americans around strengthening the US-Israel relationship and encouraging members of Congress to support its agenda.

The annual conference is a key stop for politicians seeking an audience with the influential group and is the largest pro-Israel policy gathering of the year.

Other groups have also spoken out against Trump's attendance at AIPAC though they have not officially announced plans to protest.

The Union for Reform Judaism (URJ), representing the largest Jewish denomination in America, has slammed Trump.

"At every turn, Trump has chosen to take the low road, sowing seeds of hatred and division in our body politic," said the URJ.

The American Jewish Committee also condemned the "presidential campaign violence" but it did not specifically name Trump.

Citing in part Trump's statements on immigrants, women and refugees, another Israel advocacy group, J Street, said Thursday that "these factors in our view render Trump unfit to be president of the US".

Trump has been criticised throughout his campaign for comments he has made, including calling for a temporary ban on all foreign Muslims entering the US and blocking Syrian refugees.


Updated Date: Mar 18, 2016 14:57 PM

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