In a tweet that went viral, an Orthodox Jewish immigrant dedicated his vote to Capt. Humayun Khan, a Muslim American soldier killed in Iraq.
Yosef Rapaport, who, according to his Twitter bio, consults for Agudath Israel of America, told the Washington Post that the idea came to him on Tuesday morning.
“I would probably not agree politically with Capt. Khan if he met me and we talked about world affairs,” Rapaport said. “I don’t know. I can’t be sure. That doesn’t diminish one iota the deep respect I have for him and his family for what they did for America. We owe them our deepest respect.”
Rapaport, 62, is chasidic. He immigrated to New York from Montreal 40 years ago. Both his parents and his wife’s were Holocaust survivors from Hungary.
He told the Post that the rhetoric against Muslims in this election cycle has disturbed him. “When there’s an attack on one religious group it means my religious liberty is diminished,” he said.
Khan was a captain in the Iraq War and was awarded a Purple Heart and a Bronze Star posthumously for saving the lives of fellow soldiers.
His parents made an appearance at the Democratic National Convention in July. In his speech, the slain soldier’s father, Khizr Khan, excoriated Trump and challenged him to read the Constitution. In return, Trump blasted the Khans, saying that Ghazala Khan, Khizr’s wife and Humayun’s mother, didn’t speak at the convention because she “wasn’t allowed to have anything to say.”
Ms. Khan said that she did not speak because she was too overcome by grief, not because she was not permitted to do so.
For his part, Rapaport told the Post that he couldn’t wait for Tuesday to be over. But the reaction to his tweet has been a bright spot in an otherwise bitter campaign season.
“The people who write me in response, it brought me to tears,” he told the Forward. “It’s what makes me proud to be an American.”
JTA Wire Service