Ex-ADL Head: Trump Hand-Raising Request Was Intentional ‘Fascist Gesture’

Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump speaks to the crowd asking them to take a pledge to promise to vote for him during a campaign rally, Saturday, March 5, 2016, in Orlando, Fla. (AP Photo/Brynn Anderson)
Start your day with TPM.
Sign up for the Morning Memo newsletter

The former head of the Anti-Defamation League railed against Donald Trump for asking the audience at a Saturday rally in Florida to raise their right hands and pledge support to him, calling it a “fascist gesture” that he said directly invoked Nazi salutes.

“As a Jew who survived the Holocaust, to see an audience of thousands of people raising their hands in what looks like the ‘Heil Hitler’ salute is about as offensive, obnoxious and disgusting as anything I thought I would ever witness in the United States of America,” former ADL director Abe Foxman said in an interview with the Times of Israel published Monday.

Trump was widely criticized for asking the crowd at the Orlando rally to raise their right hands and repeat the statement: “I do solemnly swear that I—no matter how I feel, no matter what the conditions, if there’s hurricanes or whatever—will vote, on or before the 12th for Donald J. Trump for president.”

Reporters at the rally posted pictures of Trump supporters with their right arms stretched out in front of them on Twitter:

“Don’t forget you all raised your hands,” the Republican frontrunner added. “You swore. Bad things happen if you don’t live up to what you just did.”

Foxman, who was born in Poland in 1940, said watching Trump’s fans enthusiastically follow his orders made him “quiver.” He dismissed the possibility that Trump did not see a parallel between the gesture of allegiance he asked his supporters to do and Adolf Hitler’s request that his followers physically signal obedience at Nazi Party rallies in the 1930s and ’40s.

“It is a fascist gesture,” Foxman told the Times of Israel. “He is smart enough— he always tells us how smart he is—to know the images that this evokes. Instead of asking his audience to pledge allegiance to the United States of America, which in itself would be a little bizarre, he’s asking them to swear allegiance to him.”

The Anti-Defamation League works to combat anti-Semitism and hate crimes in the United States.

Latest Livewire

Notable Replies

  1. Well, what are you gonna do?

    My mom saw this yesterday and called me to ask if I’d seen it. She said “He’s sickening.”

    I agreed.

  2. Avatar for dnl dnl says:

    Now he’s gone a pissed off the Jews. That about covers the spectrum of those who are offended.

  3. Avatar for fess fess says:

    Not so much “those who are offended” as those who have been insulted, demeaned, and degraded.

  4. that happened for the first time months ago

  5. he also reiterated his support for Israel while he was was at it…

Continue the discussion at forums.talkingpointsmemo.com

59 more replies


Avatar for mahniah Avatar for anon57629419 Avatar for srfromgr Avatar for mymy Avatar for tomdibble Avatar for mrcomments Avatar for mantan Avatar for johnbarleycorn Avatar for joelopines Avatar for theghostofeustacetilley Avatar for bimble Avatar for captaincommonsense Avatar for jcblues Avatar for ronbyers Avatar for mrf Avatar for khaaannn Avatar for dnl Avatar for occamsrazor2 Avatar for oofda Avatar for emilianoelmexicano Avatar for seedeevee Avatar for jordanolsen26 Avatar for pdxspurs Avatar for machoneman

Continue Discussion
Masthead Masthead
Founder & Editor-in-Chief:
Executive Editor:
Managing Editor:
Associate Editor:
Editor at Large:
General Counsel:
Head of Product:
Director of Technology:
Associate Publisher:
Front End Developer:
Senior Designer: