For the past two weeks, the Trump administration has been slammed for its supposedly tepid response to anti-Semitic attacks on cemeteries and threats to Jewish Community Centers. Trump himself was smashed over and over for suggesting that the threats might be coming from left-wing provocateurs attempting to cast a shadow on his administration.
He was widely mocked for such an assertion – pretty much everyone on the left assumed that the JCC threats had to be coming from Trump supporters, including The Intercept, a left-wing publication that headlined just two days ago, “Trump Can’t Accept That His Allies Are Targeting Jews – So He Blames His Opponents.”
It now turns out that the culprit, at one point, worked for…The Intercept.
On Friday, a Missouri man named Juan Thompson was arrested for making multiple threats to JCCs across the country in order to harass his ex-girlfriend. Thompson is suspected of being a copycat – of hearing about the JCC phone calls and then conducting his own campaign of phone terrorism. According to the FBI, Thompson dated a Jewish woman; after their relationship ended, he sent defamatory emails and faxes to the woman’s employer. He then stalked her. After that, he made “at least eight JCC Threats nationwide as part of his campaign” against his ex-girlfriend. He then tried to blame the woman in order to have her prosecuted; he tweeted, “Know any good lawyers? Need to stop this nasty/racist #whitegirl I dated who sent a bomb threat in my name & wants me to be raped in jail.”
Here’s what we know about Thompson: he’s a left-wing reporter who made up material while working at The Intercept. He was fired in February 2016 for fabricating quotes in his stories and creating “fake email accounts that he used to impersonate people,” one of which was a Gmail account in the name of the editor-in-chief of that publication. He says he “voted for Bernie Sanders.” Thompson, who is black, tweeted just weeks ago that Trump was attempting to “remove black ppl from the southside of Chicago.”
Naturally, the right is triumphantly pointing out the irony: the guy behind the JCC threats isn’t a Trump backer but a left-winger who hates Trump, when for weeks the left stated that this had to be an outgrowth of Trumpian anti-Semitism. But let’s be fair: this guy sounds like a complete nut job, not just a left-winger gone awry. According to the FBI, this was all designed to act out some personal vendetta against an old girlfriend who was Jewish – the Jews were only involved insofar as they could be used as a tool against her. That doesn’t make this guy’s conduct any less egregious or anti-Semitic. But it doesn’t seem to connect to leftist ideology so much as a desire to hurt someone he knew. Furthermore, there’s still another suspect out there – dozens of JCCs have been called, and this terrorist was a copycat.
Still, it’s evidence that while the left-wing media constantly accuses the right of jumping to conclusions about terrorism and ignoring right-wing terror involvement, the left has a major blind spot for its own extremists.
And you just know Trump’s Twitter feed will be epic this morning.