Michael Chabon, Ayelet Waldman Urge Jews to Reject Trump in Letter

Israeli-American novelist Ayelet Waldman (R) and her spouse American novelist Michael Chabon pose for a picture in Jerusalem on June 18, 2017.

Israeli-American novelist Ayelet Waldman (R) and her spouse American novelist Michael Chabon pose for a picture in Jerusalem on June 18, 2017. (Photo: Menahem Kahana/AFP/Getty Images)

In light of the neo-Nazi march at Charlottesville — and President Donald Trump’s tacit acceptance of the march in an address — bestselling authors Michael Chabon and Ayelet Waldman have posted a fiery plea calling for the global Jewish community to denounce the Trump administration.

Waldman and Chabon, who live in Berkeley, published the open letter to “our fellow Jews, in the United States, in Israel, and around the world” on Medium Thursday. The piece has since been shared over 26,000 times via Facebook.

The letter begins with the married couple of 24 years listing the ways in which some members of the Jewish community may have held off on rejecting Trump since his inauguration.

They specifically target “Steven Mnuchin, Gary Cohn, and our other fellow Jews currently serving under this odious regime,” requesting for their resignation — and for Trump’s head legal counsel Michael D. Cohen to part ways with the President.

The two also reserved some choice words for Jared Kushner, Trump’s son-in-law and adviser:

You have one minute to do whatever it takes to keep the history of your people from looking back on you as among its greatest traitors, and greatest fools; that minute is nearly past.

Notably, the letter also cautions casino magnate Sheldon Adelson and the Israeli government to “wise up” in light of Trump’s statements. Adelson contributed $5 million to Trump’s inauguration committee — the largest sum ever given to any president’s inauguration committee. And while the office of Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu tweeted out a statement on Monday following the events at Charlottesville, Netanyahu has come under fire for not issuing an official condemnation of Trump.

The letter concludes: “Any Jew, anywhere, who does not act to oppose President Donald Trump and his administration acts in favor of anti-Semitism; any Jew who does not condemn the President, directly and by name, for his racism, white supremacism, intolerance and Jew hatred condones all of those things.”

Chabon, the author of Telegraph Avenue and last year’s Moonglow, and Waldman, who may be best known for her Mommy-Track series and her writing on motherhood and LSD microdosing, aren’t ones to back down from tense political dialogue. Last May, the two authors were among 400 who petitioned against Trump’s presidency. This past May, they published a collection of essays on the Israeli occupation of the West Bank.

Michael Chabon, Ayelet Waldman Urge Jews to Reject Trump in Letter 22 August,2017Joshua Bote

Author

Joshua Bote

Joshua Bote is an intern for KQED Arts. A senior at UC Berkeley, Joshua previously served as the Arts & Entertainment Editor at The Daily Californian, UC Berkeley’s independently-run student newspaper. His work has been published in the East Bay Express.

He’s deeply enamored with Twitter culture, Carly Rae Jepsen, and love-oriented podcasts. He’s also  slowly learning to appreciate bad award shows. Follow him on Twitter @joshuaboat.

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