(JTA) – For the first in the publication’s history, The Jewish Week of New York has endorsed a U.S. presidential candidate, saying Democrat Hillary Clinton has “the ability and promise” to “open ourselves up to what we can accomplish as a caring society.”
The editorial, appearing Tuesday, also asserts that Republican candidate Donald Trump “presents a danger to this country” and his campaign “is based on instilling fear in Americans, doubling down on divisions among us, [and] describing virtually every aspect of society as broken, corrupt, defeated.”
“Never before has a candidate so ill-equipped for the demands of the Oval Office – in temperament, experience, character, compassion and humility – been so close to its doors,” the editorial says in reference to Trump.
The newspaper, an influential voice in the New York metropolitan area, also recently began to publish an edition in parts of New Jersey. New York has the largest Jewish population in the U.S.
The editorial has as much criticism of Trump as it does praise for Clinton, who served as a U.S. senator from New York from 2001 to 2009. It does praise her record on Israel, saying she has “in-depth knowledge of the region – its leaders and its problems – and is more openly compassionate toward Jerusalem than either Obama or Trump.”
The editorial also asserts that “most seasoned political and strategic experts in Israel are more comfortable with Clinton, who showed strong support for the Jewish state as a U.S. senator.”
“Experts have always insisted that a strong U.S. means a strong Israel, and they worry that Trump would be a loose cannon whose recklessness could incite even more instability and anti-U.S. attitudes, and violence around the world.”
The editorial also praises Clinton’s experience as first lady, senator and secretary of state, saying she is known for her “deep knowledge of issues and empathy for the underdogs of society.”
By contrast, it ridicules Trump for savaging his opponents, calling for a ban on allowing Muslims into the United States, pledging to build a wall on the Mexican border “to keep out the killers and rapists,” for refusing to apologize “for outrageous racist and biased statements against minorities and women” and for his “lack of discipline, substance and self-control.”
The editorial also bemoans the support for Trump expected among members of the Orthodox community, who represent a third of the Jewish population in the New York metropolitan area. Polls have indicated that a majority of Orthodox Jews favour Trump over Clinton, just as a majority of Orthodox Jews voted for Republican presidential candidates in recent elections.
Trump, according to The Jewish Week, represents the “antithesis” of the Orthodox community’s values, including piety, sexual modesty and “respect for leaders with spiritual and intellectual authority.”