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Trump emboldens anti-Semitism

Commentary by Jessica Schwartz |
November 6, 2018
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New York, NY - On October 27, eleven people were murdered in Pittsburgh’s Tree of Life synagogue by a man yelling “All Jews must die,” in the single most deadly attack on American Jews in history. On November 1, actress Ilana Glazer had to cancel an event at a Brooklyn synagogue after finding graffiti that read, “Kill all Jews.” Then on November 2, the New York Police Department received reports of fires at seven different synagogues in South Williamsburg.

What behind these anti-Semitic attacks? After Trump’s election, the number of hate crimes has shot up immensely. Trump’s rhetoric of “Make America Great Again” has ignited far-right white supremacists to come out of hiding and express their bigotry more openly. Trump himself has called himself a “nationalist” and claimed that some of the Nazis in Charlottesville were “some very fine people,” after they marched in the streets chanting, “The Jews will not replace us.” Words alone are not the cause of this violence. Trump has proven that he is willing to implement and support policies that hurt immigrants, oppressed nationalities, LGBTQIA+ people, and others. Anti-Semitism existed before Trump, but his election has emboldened those who believe in it.

One stark example of how this dynamic has played out locally is the difference in treatment of the far-right Proud Boys versus Jewish protesters in New York City. When Gavin McInnes spoke at the Metropolitan Republican Club on October 12, Proud Boys attacked protesters, while the NYPD and their Strategic Response Group stood by. On the other hand, 14 Jewish activists were arrested during a sit-in at the same club weeks later to protest this heinous incident and the Pittsburgh shooting. This contradiction exposes how the NYPD is complicit with white supremacists, while punishing those who are attacked by them.

The rise of the far right is undoubtedly a result of decaying imperialism in motion. We must continue to fight back against Trump’s attacks on oppressed people and stand with those victimized by white supremacist violence.

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