CNN’s Jake Tapper noted on Sunday during an interview with Oren Segal, Vice President of the Anti-Defamation League’s (ADL) Center on Extremism, that the anti-Semitic attacks carried out in New York City are largely not being committed by white supremacists, but by “people of color.”
The segment on CNN’s “State of the Union” came after a mass stabbing attack happened at a rabbi’s home on Saturday night, which was approximately the 10th anti-Semitic attack to strike the New York City area over the past week or so.
Segal told CNN on Sunday that the anti-Semitic attacks in New York represent “an epidemic” for the Jewish community.
“And so we know that the NYPD’s Hate Crime Task Force is taking this seriously,” Segal told CNN’s Jake Tapper. “But we expect that the Jewish community, the places where they worship, places where Jews gather, will be more protected by law enforcement and others. We still have a long way to go, seeing the spate of anti-Semitism in the city.”
“So, this horrific attack last night, it’s the ninth apparent anti-Semitic attack in New York in just the last week,” Tapper said. “Obviously, there has been an increase in hate crimes against Jews in New York and nationally. Why do you think this is happening, specifically the attacks in New York?”
“Yes, I mean, for New York City, we have seen a 17 percent increase in anti-Semitic incidents from January through November of this year compared to last year,” Segal said. “So, we are indeed seeing a rise. And the answer of why is difficult. The mainstreaming of anti-Semitism in our public discussion, on our phones, I think, plays a part to it.”
“So, it appears that many, if not most of these attacks were allegedly carried out not by white supremacists, not by the alt-right, but by people of color,” Tapper continued. “What’s your response when members of the orthodox community say — and I have heard them say this, and I’m sure you have too — that there would be more of an outrage if the attackers were white supremacists and thus fell more easily into a political narrative?”
“I mean, I think, again, this is where investigations, not only to bring those perpetrators to justice who are carrying out these incidents, but to identify their motivations, right?” Segal responded. “In Jersey City, it was something beyond merely an African-American, right? It wasn’t representative of that community. It was somebody who subscribed to real anti-Semitic ideology.”
“And so, when we’re thinking about the communities, we have to come together,” Segal continued. That’s why, at ADL, we’re bringing our No Place for Hate educational programs to Brooklyn, doubling the amount of students that we’re reaching out to, because it starts at an early age for people to have an understanding, and then to be allies for each other. And so I don’t think we need to overstep and try to overanalyze what this means, but we have to get the data, and we have to understand the motivations before we jump to conclusions.”
“At this point, we are in an epidemic in New York City, of all places, for the Jewish community” Oren Segal, VP of the Anti-Defamation League, tells @jaketapper in response to the Hanukkah celebration stabbings in New York. https://t.co/Bw7w7JFxgv #CNNSOTU pic.twitter.com/irTSUrIoTs
— State of the Union (@CNNSotu) December 29, 2019
In November 2018, The New York Times noted this problem in a report that highlighted the explosion of anti-Semitic hate crimes in New York City:
In fact, it is the varied backgrounds of people who commit hate crimes in the city that make combating and talking about anti-Semitism in New York much harder….bias stemming from longstanding ethnic tensions in the city presents complexities that many liberals have chosen simply to ignore….When a Hasidic man or woman is attacked by anyone in New York City, mainstream progressive advocacy groups do not typically send out emails calling for concern and fellowship and candlelight vigils in Union Square, as they often do when individuals are harmed in New York because of their race or ethnicity or how they identify in terms of gender or sexual orientation.
Daily Wire Editor-in-Chief Ben Shapiro commented on The Times report at the time, writing, “In other words, Jews don’t fit the intersectional classification necessary in order to receive narrative attention from either the mainstream media or from progressive groups. Orthodox Jews, who are often the targets of anti-Semitic attacks, aren’t seen as victims; their victimizers, who aren’t conservatives and who can’t be linked with conservatives, aren’t seen as victimizers. There’s a reason Al Sharpton, who helped initiate a riot against Orthodox Jews in Crown Heights in 1991, has a show on MSNBC where he opines about President Trump’s linkages to white supremacist anti-Semitism. Certain types of anti-Semitism are worthy of note. Others aren’t. And those on the Left often decide which is which with simple reference to a preferred narrative in which Jews are part of the white privileged class, unless they are victimized by white supremacists.”
Shapiro added, “But anti-Semitism runs the gamut, and certainly isn’t restricted to white supremacists — nor is anti-Semitism relegated to convenient narratives about President Trump’s rhetorical foibles. In fact, anti-Semitism can spring from racial hatred from minorities, from progressives who hate Israel, from radical Muslims. But those stories simply don’t interest the media, as even the Times now admits.”