Board receives complaints over deputy who branded pro-Trump Jews ‘fascist sympathisers'

Amos Schonfield - who is Yachad's representative on the Board - made the claim in a social media post


Left-wing group Yachad’s representative on the Board of Deputies is at the centre of complaints after he branded three members of the community who spoke out in defence of Donald Trump “fascist sympathisers”.

Amos Schonfield made his comments on social media after reading last week’s report in the JC  which quoted three people who praised the outgoing US president’s achievements, despite the shocking scenes that took place earlier this month in Washington DC.

In a tweet following last week’s report, Mr Schonfield - who has represented Yachad at the Board since 2015, where he sits on the International Division – wrote on social media: “Why is there a clamour to further elevate fascist sympathisers in our community though?”

Mr Schonfield’s comment  sparked a furious reaction among those who spoke out in defence of Mr Trump and that complaints have now been made to Board President Marie van der Zyl and to outgoing chief executive Gillian Merron calling for them to suspend the deputy and launch an investigation into his remarks.

Activist Yochy Davis suggested it was “particularly hurtful” that Mr Schonfield labelled her a “fascist” because she was herself the “daughter of a Holocaust survivor.”

Ms Davis also stressed to the Board that she had no issue with Mr Schonfeld disagreeing with her political views over Mr Trump – but she added that being called “fascist” was “extremely hurtful and insulting.”

Further complaints made to the Board about Mr Schonfield relate to previous incidents in which he has branded members of the community “racist”.

A petition containing signatures protesting about Mr Schonfield's use of the word "facist" was sent to the Board President and the out-going chief executive.

It stresses that the communal organisation's Code of Conduct says that Deputies must treat fellow Deputies, Board employees and others  with respect, courtesy, honesty and fairness.

Mr Schofield told the JC:"I was very clear in my language. I have not referred to these three individuals as "fascists", and would only use it to describe someone who I believe to fit the ideology.

"The idea that I am "using the word ‘fascist’ towards others for expressing a view you don’t agree with" is a total fabrication.

"I referred to three people as "fascist sympathisers", which I did because of their continuing and unwavering support for President Trump and for the Capitol Insurrection that has been widely commented upon as a display of fascism.

"Those that stormed the US Capitol did so in order to overturn the results of a democratic election, while wearing antisemitic clothing ("Camp Auschwitz" and "6MWE"), carrying racist flags  and brandishing tattoos that have been linked to white supremacist and neo-Nazi ideologies. "

A Yachad spokesperson said:"‘The scenes at the Capitol in which people attempted to violently overturn the results of the US elections, resulting in the deaths of 5 people, were terrifying.

"Protestors erected gallows,  flew the confederate flag and wore jumpers which said Camp Auschwitz and 6 Million Wasn’t Enough on them. Suggesting that those that tried to justify the violence could be sympathising with fascism, may cause offence to some, but is a perfectly legitimate statement to have made."

The JC has contacted the Board for comment.




Share via

Want more from the JC?

To continue reading, we just need a few details...

Want more from
the JC?

To continue reading, we just
need a few details...

Get the best news and views from across the Jewish world Get subscriber-only offers from our partners Subscribe to get access to our e-paper and archive