Anti Semitism, Trump, And The Republican Convention

Early Tuesday evening, we learned quite precisely where the line is, delineating the level of anti-Semitism that Donald Trump and the Republican National Committee are comfortable embracing.

It is not an encouraging answer.

You can promote vile theories that place rich, all-controlling Jews such as George Soros and the Rothschilds behind vast global conspiracies. Even claims that they seek the literal blood of Christian children.

What you cannot do, to maintain your seat at the most elite GOP tables, is specifically promote the notorious hoax book, Protocols of the Elders of Zion, by name.

The woman who did that on Tuesday was removed as a speaker at that night’s convention. A woman who did all the rest was invited by Trump to the White House as an honored guest for his nomination speech Thursday.

It is not said enough: Donald Trump and the Republican Party have welcomed anti-Semitism into their tent. It is like the invited snake in the story Trump loves to tell, and it is growing, becoming more confident in its place, and will ultimately inflict deadly harm.

Trump has repeatedly declined to condemn anti-Semites; he and his GOP enablers have consistently excused obvious anti-Semitism. Trump has used Jewish stereotypes and tropes himself. Much worse, he has openly espoused the offensive belief that American who are Jewish owe their primary national allegiance to Israel.

He, and other Republicans in power, know full well that anti-Semitism soaks through conservative web sites and social media. They know that it is expanding, and is dangerous.

There is anti-Semitism on the left, to be sure; most of it aimed at Israel but some revealed in language and attitudes toward American Jews as well. It is no historical anomaly that Jews, and perhaps only Jews, are excluded from the self-definition of both people of color and white supremacists.

But that is little compared to the scale and ferocity of anti-Semitic community-building on the right, or the use of anti-Semitic conspiracy theories to bind people to conservative politics, and ensure their partisan vote.

So, it is rare to see Trump’s GOP officials appear to condemn any offense to Jews. Yet it finally did, after Mary Ann Mendoza took that step too far on Tuesday.

Mendoza is an advisor to the Trump re-election campaign whose son died in a drunk driving accident caused by a man who was in the United States illegally.

On the very day she was to speak at the convention, Mendoza tweeted to her followers: “Do yourself a favor and read this thread.” The material she was recommending told of plans by the Rothschilds—a German banking family at the center of many fevered anti-Semitic conspiracy theories—to destroy the “goyim,” enslave them, and take their property.

Amid the lengthy Twitter diatribe, the author specifically recommended the Protocols, which among other things is known as a popular spreader of anti-Semitic propaganda in 1930s Germany.

After the Daily Beast reported on Mendoza’s tweet, an uproar began on social media—much of it focusing on the tweet with the Protocols—and before long, the RNC announced that she would no longer appear at the convention.

So, that was too far. But, Mendoza had previously posted other, similar anti-Semitic theories about the Rothschilds, even during her time on the campaign advisory board. The problem appears not to have been poor vetting, but that the newest example was worse than what they knew of.

And at just around the same time on Tuesday, Republican congressional candidate Marjorie Taylor Greene announced that she had been invited to attend Trump’s nomination acceptance speech this Thursday.

Greene, who recently won her primary in a heavily Republican Georgia district, has promoted the now-infamous QAnon cult—which is rooted in deeply anti-Semitic conspiracy theories. In fact, the Twitter thread that got Mendoza in trouble was posted by a QAnon advocate. Greene, too, has posted about Rothschild and Soros conspiracies, according to Jewish Insider.

Although many QAnon adherents don’t think of it as an anti-Semitic belief system, the conspiracy theory is built primarily on anti-Jewish tropes, particularly those of wealthy, all-controlling globalists; and the ancient “blood libel” of requiring blood of Christian children.

It is almost impossible to travel far into the QAnon universe without encountering blatant anti-Semitism; to continue down its path, one inevitably internalizes those calumnies as truth. And, inevitably becomes eager to vote against Democrats. That’s a trade-off Trump is more than happy to make.

Tree Of Life

The danger this poses is not theoretical, at all.

Though apparently long-forgotten already, it has been less than two years since the slaughter at Tree of Life synagogue in Pittsburgh. That assault, the deadliest attack on Jews in United States history, took place in late October, 2018—not coincidentally, shortly before this country’s last major election.

Just a day before that assault, a report had warned of spiking anti-Semitic activity prompted by rhetoric related to the upcoming 2018 midterm elections.

The alleged attacker reportedly discussed, in online white supremacist forums, his belief that Jews were funding the “caravans” of people travelling through Central America—“invaders” he wrote, “that kill our people. I can’t sit by and watch my people get slaughtered… I’m going in.”

Those caravans, of course, had been the constant focus of paranoid warnings from President Trump and right-wing media. The theory of Jewish backing for them was never more than a click or two away from relatively mainstream coverage; for those habituating more extreme sites, it was unavoidable.

What the Tree of Life shooter saw in those caravans—like many others trading messages on those sites—was the fulfillment of the “Great Replacement” conspiracy, by which Jews planned to use immigration and inter-racial breeding to overwhelm white populations with non-whites, eventually eliminating or exiling whites altogether.

You might recognize that from the 2017 Charlottesville march, when neo-Nazis chanted “Jews will not replace us.”

While most Americans recoiled in horror from the Tree of Life shootings, and what they learned of the ideas leading to it, others absorbed the Great Replacement theory itself.

Two months after that synagogue shooting, Greene posted a video on Facebook. Newly reported by Media Matters for America, the video blames “Zionist supremacists” for supposedly orchestrating mass migration of non-whites into Europe.

That video, which is still posted on her page with Greene’s own comment that “This is what the UN wants all over the world,” alleges a scheme “to promote immigration and miscegenation, with the deliberate aim of breeding us out of existence in our own homelands.”

As of this writing, she has not been disinvited from her honored place at the White House for Trump’s speech on Thursday. And Mendoza remains listed on the Trump campaign advisory board.

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Anti-Semitism, Trump, And The Republican Convention


Anti-Semitism, Trump, And The Republican Convention

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