(JTA) — The Anti-Defamation League said it did not believe Donald Trump intended to evoke anti-Semitic stereotypes in his address to the Republican Jewish Coalition.
Trump, who addressed the group’s candidate forum on Thursday along with other Republican presidential hopefuls, had made several remarks that seemed to employ anti-Semitic stereotypes.
“Here, context is everything,” ADL CEO Jonathan Greenblatt said in a statement Thursday evening. “Mr. Trump’s presentation was completely supportive of Israel and the Jewish community, even if one might disagree with him on some of the other issues he raised.”
Earlier in the day, Trump had said he didn’t expect support from Republican Jews because he wasn’t seeking their money.
“You’re not going to support me because I don’t want your money,” Trump said. “You want to control your own politicians.”
Making his oft-repeated claim about his deal-making prowess, Trump, said he would be able to negotiate a better Iran deal.
“I’m a negotiator like you folks, we’re negotiators,” Trump said. “Is there anyone in this room who doesn’t negotiate deals? This room negotiates a lot. This room perhaps more than any room I’ve ever spoken to.”
“After having carefully reviewed the speech, we do not believe that it was Donald Trump’s intention to evoke anti-Semitic stereotypes,” Greenblatt said. “He has made similar comments about spending his own money on the campaign, and not asking for money from donors, to many other groups.”
Greenblatt said he recognized that Trump’s comments could be understood as anti-Semitic and urged the candidate to clarify that was not his intent.