Hate — a lethal mix

The Jewish Chronicle - - NEWS -

of the in­for­ma­tion age was made by Michael Bloomberg, who was not afraid to put his name on his en­ter­prise. He used the pub­lic pro­file to run suc­cess­fully for Mayor of New York. Ge­orge Soros used his for­tune, in the heady days after the col­lapse of the Soviet Union, to help ed­u­cate Eastern Euro­pean so­ci­eties that had gone from Nazism to Stal­in­ism with­out paus­ing over how to or­gan­ise open so­ci­eties.

A sig­nif­i­cant mi­nor­ity of Amer­i­can Jews felt so se­cure that they ven­tured forth from the New Deal co­coon, leav­ing the Demo­cratic Party to be­come Repub­li­cans.

And when the Repub­li­can Party be­came a sub­sidiary of the Trump fam­ily busi­nesses, they stayed right with it. In Au­gust 2017, neo-Nazis marched through Char­lottesville chant­ing “Jews will not re­place us.” After the event, Mr Trump said, “You had some very bad peo­ple in that group, but you also had peo­ple that were very fine peo­ple, on both sides.”

None of the Jews in his ad­min­is­tra­tion re­signed and none of his Jewish sup­port­ers who I know per­son­ally have dis­avowed him.

Stephen Miller, a Jewish boy from Santa Mon­ica, is a spe­cial ad­viser to the Pres­i­dent. Over the two years of the Trump ad­min­is­tra­tion, Mr Miller has be­come the silent con­sigliere clos­est to him. He puts the words into Mr Trump’s mouth — when he stays on script — and is re­garded as the strong­est anti-im­mi­gra­tion voice in the ad­min­is­tra­tion. This past Rosh Hashanah, Neil Comess-Daniels, rabbi at the tem­ple where Mr Miller re­ceived his Jewish ed­u­ca­tion, de­nounced him from the pul­pit: “We Jews have cho­sen our his­tory to be our man­date … We are all refugees, Mr Miller.”

As the mid-term elec­tions ap­proached, the Trump ad­min­is­tra­tion car­ried on politi­cis­ing the is­sue of im­mi­gra­tion, fix­at­ing about an or­gan­ised car­a­van of sev­eral thou­sand would-be im­mi­grants from Hon­duras walk­ing the 1,800 miles to the Texas border. Mr Trump knows that there are votes to be gained in fear. He tweeted with­out proof that there were Isis ji­hadis mixed in with the im­mi­grants.

Aided by Ru­pert Mur­doch’s Fox News, fears have been stoked fur­ther. Fox re­peated a lie tweeted out by Repub­li­can Con­gress­man Matt Gaetz that Ge­orge Soros was fund­ing the marchers. That was on Oc­to­ber 17. On Oc­to­ber 23, a pipe bomb was found in Mr Soros’s mail box in sub­ur­ban New York. The next day, more bombs sent to lead­ing Democrats and Trump crit­ics were in­ter­cepted.

Then on Satur­day, Oc­to­ber 27, Robert Bow­ers walked into the Tree of Life syn­a­gogue, open to the world, the soft­est of tar­gets, shout­ing “All Jews must die” and killed 11 peo­ple.

This is an­ti­semitism but not the kind I faced walk­ing home through a work­ing class Catholic neigh­bour­hood from school. Soros-bait­ing is not sim­ply Jew-bait­ing. Jews do it, too. Ben­jamin Ne­tanyahu has spread lies about Mr Soros hav­ing links to the Ira­nian regime. He has warmly wel­comed Hun­gar­ian Prime Min­is­ter Vik­tor Or­ban, whose an­tisemitic at­tacks on Mr Soros have helped him stay in of­fice, on a state visit to Is­rael.

This is a con­fused and ter­ri­ble con­flu­ence: petty pol­i­tics to main­tain power, a re­turn of the ethno-na­tion­al­ism that has al­ways led to vi­o­lence, and the al­ways-present re­sent­ment of Jews are the strands that un­der­gird the ter­ri­ble events at the Tree of Life syn­a­gogue.

An an­ti­semitism for the 21st cen­tury.

A mi­nor­ity of Jews felt so se­cure they joined the Repub­li­cans

Michael Gold­farb is a free­lance writer


White na­tion­al­ists on the march in New­nan, Ge­or­gia, in 2018. Left: Trump at a rally in Illi­nois ear­lier this year

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