- The Washington Times - Friday, March 18, 2016

Dozens of rabbis and Jewish religious leaders are planning to boycott GOP presidential front-runner Donald Trump’s speech Monday to the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC), the nation’s largest pro-Israeli lobbying group.

Rabbis David Paskin and Jesse Olitzky have organized a group of more than 300 rabbis, cantors and Jewish voters and professionals who plan to protest Mr. Trump and “the hatred, the incitement of hatred, the ugliness that has engulfed this political season,” Rabbi Paskin told CNN.

The group plans to hand out fliers requesting that hundreds of attendees at the annual gathering either skip Mr. Trump’s speech or stand up as he starts speaking and silently walk out, The Associated Press reported. They said the protest is not designed to disrupt AIPAC but to signal their disapproval of Mr. Trump.

“He embodies ‘Sinat chinam’ — senseless hatred,” Rabbi Paskin told AP. “We are against the ugliness that has engulfed this election season. And he has driven much of it, from his comments about Mexicans and Muslims to the violence at his rallies.”

One of the former leaders of the liberal Reform movement, Rabbi Eric Yoffie, said the walkout will signify that “American Jews are beginning to wake up. And they are getting ready to take on Donald Trump.”

Other groups have also spoken out against Mr. Trump’s speech at AIPAC, though they haven’t officially announced plans to protest, CNN reported. The Union for Reform Judaism, representing the largest Jewish denomination in America, and J Street, another Israel advocacy group, have both put out statements condemning the mogul for inciting hatred.

Trump campaign spokeswoman Hope Hicks said in a statement that Mr. Trump “has a long history of being a strong supporter of Israel” and has “made significant contributions to a variety of Jewish related causes over the years,” The Washington Post reported.

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