Editorial: White House, U.S. must take stand against rising anti-semitism


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Is anti-Semitism rising in America? This is a question that is slowly becoming a real issue that many Americans continue to ponder.

With the rise of the “Alt-Right” and the movement taking on the “White Nationalist” mentality, does that mean anti-Semitism is truly going to become an issue across the country?

NBC released a story Monday stating bomb threats across the country in 11 states forced evacuations of Jewish community centers.

Just last week, there had been a reported 48 anti-Semitic bomb threats already in 2017. The attacks were aimed at synagogues and Jewish communities. These threats included the vandalizing of Jewish cemeteries in Philadelphia and in St. Louis.

Now, because of this, many in the U.S. worry that since President Donald Trump has taken office that he has given the “Alt-Right” the power to be more open about their movement.

Recently at a Trump press-conference, Trump was asked by a Hasidic Jew reporter if the president was at all concerned about the spike in anti-Semitism in the U.S. Trump told the reporter to “sit down,” and that he understood the rest of the question.

“So, here’s the story, folks. Number one, I am the least anti-Semitic person that you’ve ever seen in your entire life. Number two, racism, the least racist person,” Trump said.

Trump’s son-in-law and advisor, Jared Kushner, is Jewish and his daughter, Ivanka Trump, converted to Judaism when she married Kushner. Trump has reiterated that he is not anti-Semitic and cannot be because of his family.

This doesn’t mean, though, that Trump hasn’t attracted anti-Semites along the destructive, war path of a campaign he ran. Trump didn’t necessarily encourage anti-Semitism, but he did encourage to break down the politically correct rules our society has.

Many Trump supporters and conservatives in general have encouraged the sort of idea to “toughen up” or “it’s a joke.” This has also been the main platform of the “Alt-Right” movement, with leaders like Milo Yiannopoulos preaching for equal free speech and writing what at times bordered hate speech. Yiannopoulos backed his comments by saying “it’s his British humor.” (Not very fair to say Great Britain shares his humor.)

When reading Yiannopoulos before his resignation from Breitbart.com last week, he often commended the “Alt-right” for “saying the unsayable.”

“Earlier, we mentioned the pressure to self-censor,” Yiannopolous wrote. “But whenever such pressure arises in a society, there will always be a young, rebellious contingent who feel a mischievous urge to blaspheme, break all the rules, and say the unsayable. Why? Because it’s funny!”

Well, clearly even he had a line that he crossed. But still, these ideas are out there and now with the “Alt-Right” at least believing they’re in power, it’s subscribers have found a way to give reasoning to their movement.

The president did come out and publicly condemn the idea and actions of anti-Semitism, but just like during the campaign, it came out too late and as though it was painful for him to say.

Trump is probably not an anti-Semitic, but what he is, is a campaigner and his biggest fear is losing votes. That was made clear when he had his first rally for the 2020 reelection within less than a month of being in office.

So, like when he took too long to openly condemn David Duke, the former leader of the Ku Klux Klan, he has taken too long to condemn anti-Semitism.

Many people, such as Jonathan Greenblatt of the Anti-Defamation League, have told news outlets such as NBC that he wants to see a real plan from the Trump administration to combat these threats.

The issue with allowing these threats to just linger is that sooner or later something could happen. It’s not like anti-Semitism hasn’t been a problem in America before. During the 1920s, the KKK saw a resurgence in it’s membership after the death of Leo Frank, a Jewish business man.

The White House and the U.S. need to take a stand now that religious persecution will not be condoned.

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