With the election of Donald Trump to the Presidency, the U.S. media has finally discovered the rising pandemic of anti-Semitism. According to the ADL’s annual Audit of Anti-Semitic Incidents, there were 941 incidents in the U.S. in 2015, an increase of about 3% from the 912 incidents in 2014.
The mainstream media finally showing concern about rising anti-Semitism – an issue they should have been tracking since at least 2012 – is a positive development. However, it is disturbing that the media has manipulated this very serious problem for their own agenda.
The media is fixated on the ideas that Trump and members of his administration are anti-Semites, and that the Trump administration has inspired the “alt-right” to conduct anti-Semitic incidents. However, they have produced little to no evidence to back up these assertions.
The real question that we should be asking regarding anti-Semitism in the U.S. is: who are those committing the anti-Semitic incidents?
There are essentially four possibilities. The first is the “alt-right” fans of Trump. The second are the traditional right-wing, KKK anti-Semites. Third are the committed left-wingers in the U.S., who claim to be only anti-Israel, but are often anti-Semitic as well (This group might be committing these crimes to implicate Trump supporters as well). Fourth, and finally, are the Islamic radicals, who are viciously anti-Semitic as a result of growing up with anti-Semitism spewing imams or school systems.
Already, one of the actual perpetrators has been apprehended for allegedly being behind at least eight bomb threats called or emailed to Jewish organizations. It turns out he is a racist African-American left-wing (and disgraced) journalist – and an opponent of Donald Trump – named Juan Thompson. In other words, category “three.”
To some, the background of this man is surprising. It should not be.
The mainstream media has focused a lot of its attention on Donald Trump and the Republican Party. But they seem to have missed some disturbing news in the other political party in the U.S, the Democrats.
Recently, U.S. Congressman Keith Ellison of Minnesota narrowly lost a vote for the Chairmanship of the Democratic National Committee (DNC). Ellison was long associated with the Nation of Islam (NOI), an anti-Semitic and black racist group, for over a decade. He was not a hot-headed teenager when he associated with them; this occurred during his twenties and thirties. Ellison’s showing in the DNC race was so strong that the winner appointed him the Deputy Chairman of the DNC.
Congressman Ellison has quite a long and controversial history in the NOI, which continued after he left that organization. He repeatedly defended Louis Farrakhan, the leader of the NOI. Ellison claims he didn’t know that Farrakhan was bigoted, which is simply not a credible assertion for anyone who lived through the 1990s. Ellison helped organize events featuring NOI members, which he attended and where he introduced vile racists and anti-Semites. Ellison argued with others, who have come forward to say that he did so in a racist and anti-Semitic manner. There is even a picture of him handing out the NOI’s newspaper, The Final Call. Ellison has also made comments more recently (2010) to a group of supporters, in which he suggested that American foreign policy in the Middle East is driven by Israel, a common anti-Semitic talking point that even the left-leaning ADL has called “deeply disturbing.”
As I said before, in the U.S., there is little firm data regarding the perpetrators of the recent anti-Semitic attacks. But, this is not true of the anti-Semitism in Europe, whose origin is well known. Much of the European violence is driven by the upsurge in the number of Muslim radicals, and, to a lesser extent, the corresponding rise in the popularity of left-wing anti-Semitism, which radical Muslim voters in Europe support. See here, here, and here.
In February, in France, a hotbed of anti-Semitism, two Jewish brothers were abducted briefly, beaten by several, “Middle Eastern” looking, men in Paris, in an incident that ended with one brother having his finger sawed off by an assailant.
Now, maybe these assailants were just “alt-right” foreign fans of President Trump. And maybe, the rest of anti-Semitic attacks in the U.S. are also by Trump-inspired criminals.
But the evidence does not suggest that.
Adam Turner serves as general counsel to the Endowment for Middle East Truth (EMET). He is a former counsel to the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee where he focused on national security law.