I do not believe Donald Trump is an anti-Semite. His daughter Ivanka underwent an orthodox conversion to Judaism; he relies on her heavily for advice, according to all sources. But there is no question that a disquieting number of Trump supporters hate Jews as Jews. I have criticized President Obama in blunt fashion; I have defended Israel’s right to self-defense against the Palestinians consistently; I have bashed Ron Paul. I have never received the amount of anti-Semitic hate I currently do each day for the crime of criticizing The Great Trump.
Here’s a taste from yesterday alone:
@benshapiro THE NOSE HAS BEEN EXPOSED, SHILL FOR THE HIGHSCORE. MUH ISRAEL.— WallBuilder (@sasezc) February 29, 2016
The Daily Stormer, a neo-Nazi site with an entire vertical labeled “Jewish Problem” and another labeled “Race War,” has dedicated article after article to little old “Christ-Killing Kike Shapiro,” complete with pasted-on Nazi-style Jewish star. 4chan is chock full of threads questioning my ethnicity and my evil Jewish plans for world domination – all of which involve stopping Trump.
It’s not just me, of course. Jake Tapper of CNN now says he’s received anti-Semitic tweets “all day.” My friend Bethany Mandel, another orthodox Jew who opposes Trump, just bought herself a gun out of fear of unhinged Trump supporters. John Podhoretz of Commentary says he receives tweets consistently from “literally neo-Nazi White supremacists, all anonymous…I don’t think I can attribute being a supporter of Trump to being a validator or an expresser of these opinions, but something was let loose by him.” Noah Rothman of Commentary tweets, “It never ends. Blocking doesn’t help either. They have lists, on which I seem to find myself.”
This isn’t Trump’s fault. Politicians often have supporters they can’t stand and don’t control. But one thing is Trump’s fault: Trump has been reaching out to these supporters. They feel empowered by his rise not merely because they agree with his policies, but because of the language Trump uses and the people with whom he associates.
This week, Trump infamously refused to denounce the Ku Klux Klan and David Duke on national television when asked to do so by Jake Tapper of CNN, although he had done just that two days before (Trump later claimed there was something wrong with his earpiece, an obvious and blatant lie). Rush Limbaugh rightly pointed out, “Maybe [Trump’s] nervous after that debate. Maybe he’s worried. The polls don’t indicate it. Maybe he’s worried that Cruz and Rubio are gaining on him, and he doesn’t want to tick off anybody that might vote for him.”
And while Trump claims that he doesn’t want to take moral sides between the Israelis and the Palestinians for purposes of dealmaking, there’s another possible explanation: he doesn’t want to look like a “cuck” for Israel. The same day as Trump’s KKK debacle, Louis Farrakhan told Chicago’s Mosque Maryam that Trump “is the only member who has stood in front of the Jewish community, and said I don’t want your money. Any time a man can say to those who control the politics of America, ‘I don’t want your money,’ that means you can’t control me. And they cannot afford to give up control of the presidents of the United States.” Farrakhan’s comments specifically refer to Trump’s speech before the Republican Jewish Coalition in December in which he suggested to a roomful of Jews, “you’re not going to support me because I don’t want your money…I’m a negotiator, like you folks…Is there anyone in this room who doesn’t negotiate deals? Probably more than any room I’ve ever spoken.” He added, “I don’t know if Israel has the commitment to make [peace].”
The association between Trump supporters and anti-Semitism is not entirely Trump's fault, but it isn't pure coincidence. Trump could do a lot to fight the anti-Semitism within his support base. But he won’t. After all, that might be construed as “politically correct,” as opposed to non-vulgar (as I’ve explained before, there is a major difference between the two). And it’s more important to be construed by terrible people as “politically incorrect” than it is to be a decent human being.