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In the wake of a machete-attack carried out by a black man in Monsey on Saturday night, many Democrats are blaming President Trump for the rising tide of anti-Semitism but at least one Jewish Democratic politician is pointing at the stark reality that is the real culprit in New York: unrepentant left-wing anti-Semitism. 

President Trump responded strongly to the attack, calling for a united fight to “eradicate the evil scourge of anti-Semitism.”

Despite the unequivocal message, many Democrats criticized the president, going so far as to place the blame for the rise in anti-Semitism on the first president to play with his Jewish grandchildren in the White House.

In a rather confused diatribe, Rep. Eric Swalwell (DEM-CALIFORNIA) published an opinion piece in The Forward, a Jewish left-wing media, titled, “We Must Hold Trump Accountable for Embracing Anti-Semitism.” Swalwell claimed that by criticizing left-wing Jews like George Soros and Michael Bloomberg, Trump was being anti-Semitic. Swalwell also inaccurately criticized the president for not condemning the 2017 neo-Nazi rally in Charlottesville. The president did, in fact, condemn white supremacists in the strongest possible terms. Glaringly absent from Swalwell’s article was any reference to the source of the anti-Semitic attacks in the black community.

This opinion was echoed by Rep. Steve Cohen, Tennesee’s first Jewish Congressman, in a tweet.

Congressman Rashida Tlaib, a strong supporter of the BDS movement, predictably blamed the president for the attack.

Tlaib retweeted a post that claimed inaccurately that “anti-Semitic, Islamophobic, racist, sexist, homophobic & transphobic hate” were on the rise. The FBI report cited by the tweets did, in fact, note that anti-Muslim incidents decreased for the second year in a row while homicides targeting Jews were at an all-time high.

Tlaib’s criticism of President Trump is ironic since her short time in Congress has been characterized by her anti-Semitic remarks. It should be noted that after an anti-Semitic shooting attack in a kosher market in Jersey last month, Rep. Tlaib posted a tweet decrying the white supremacist roots of anti-Semitism. When it became clear that the attack was carried out by a black couple with links to the replacement theology Black Hebrew Israelite movement, she removed the tweet and made no more comments on the attack.

Rather than take responsibility for the wave of anti-Semitism that has plagued the state he serves, Mayor Bill Deblasio doubled down on blaming the right-wing. In an interview with Fox News the day after the attack, the mayor claimed that President Trump was to blame.

“An atmosphere of hate has been developing in this country for the last couple of years,” Deblasio said. “A lot of it has been emanating from Washington and it’s having an effect on all of us.”

When asked if he was accusing President Trump of generating hate, Deblasio answered, “Not just the president.”

In a classic example of passing the buck, the mayor said that the change has to begin in Washington. 

Deblasio’s claim was harshly criticized by Dov Hikind, a former Democratic New York State Assemblyman representing Brooklyn who is a religious Jew. In an interview on Fox News, Hikind highlighted the rise in a uniquely left-wing anti-Semitism in the form of the Boycott Divestment Sanctions movement and its Democratic supporters in Congress like Rashida Tlaib, Ilhan Omar, and Alexandria Ocasio Cortez.

“Within my party, the Democratic party, there is a double standard,” Hikind said. “One is for anti-Semitism and the other is for the other types of hate. The anti-Semitism that emanates from within the left, you don’t hear anything.”

Hikind directly called out Deblasio for misdiagnosing the problem.

“All the hate in New York is coming from the left,” Hikind insisted.

Deblasio’s statements should come as no surprise. In June, when confronted by reporters about the 90% growth of anti-Semitism on his watch, the mayor dismissed it as a “right-wing movement.” His assessment was widely criticized by local politicians and police officials.

The Republican Jewish Coalition (RJC),  a lobbying group for conservative political issues for the Jewish-American community, reacted strongly to criticism of the president, calling it “deranged.”

The Jewish Democratic Council of America, which defines itself as socially liberal and pro-Israel, condemned anti-Semitism while placing partial blame for anti-Semitism on the president.

“President Trump is not solely to blame for the rise of anti-Semitic violence – and we do not yet know the political beliefs or motivations of the perpetrators of recent attacks,” their official statement read. “But the president is not absolved of responsibility for emboldening hateful ideologies and extremists in our country. Hatred does not emerge in a vacuum, and President Trump’s rhetoric and policies have unquestionably played a role in legitimizing and normalizing the rise of hatred that has afflicted our community in recent years. Symbolic gestures on Israel have done nothing to make American Jews more secure.

These claims are, even on a superficial level, perplexing. Trump’s presidency has been highlighted by unprecedented support for Israel as illustrated by recognition of Jerusalem as the capital, Jewish sovereignty in the Golan, and removing the State Department’s description of a Jewish presence in Judea and Samaria as “illegal”. Also, earlier this month, Trump signed an executive order that would cut federal funding to colleges and universities that don’t curb anti-Semitism against Jewish students.

 


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