In an MSNBC interview, Ron Dermer, Israel’s Ambassador to the U.S., blamed “both sides” for what has become the largest attack on Jews on American soil in history. While it makes sense that anti-Semitism would become more prevalent among racist white supremacists and the next generation of Nazis, it’s unclear who on the left he is attempting to blame for the 11 Jewish members of the Tree of Life synagogue in Pittsburgh Saturday.
Greetings of Shabbat shalom were pierced with bullets during the morning Sabbath. It is just a little over the first year since the Charlottesville, Virginia riots where men carried torches chanting “Jews will not replace us.” In wake of that incident, President Donald Trump proclaimed there were bad people “on both sides.
Israel has sent Rabbis and leaders to Pittsburgh to help those suffering following the tragedy. Ambassador Dermer echoed the same Trumpian language when speaking to MSNBC host Ayman Mohyeldin Sunday. After a sensible explanation that anti-Semitism has been continuing for centuries, Dermer claimed it had nothing to do with Trump because it’s happening everywhere.
He explained that the advent of social media has allowed Nazis to connect and spread their hate globally.
“I know that one of the things that Isreal always does is it combats or spearheads the effort to combat anti-Semitism around the world,” the host explained. “Obviously, the first question that comes to mind is a statistic that has come out from the Anti-Defamation League which reports a 57 percent increase in anti-Semitic attacks. Do you attribute that to the heated rhetoric since president Trump took office? Or how do you explain this explosion of anti-semitism in the U.S.?”
“I saw what President Trump said yesterday at a rally in Illinois,” Dermer continued. “I’m not aware of a single non-Israeli leader that has made such a strong statement in condemning anti-Semitism meaning he said to those who seek to destroy the Jewish people, we will destroy them. I have never heard a non-Israeli leader say that and we appreciated that. We know it wasn’t just on one side of the partisan divide in America. I just had a meeting with Sen. [Bob] Casey (D-PA), with Congressmen, both Democrats, and Republicans who have come together to condemn this heinous attack against the Jewish community in Pittsburgh and I think it sends a very strong message.”
Mohyeldin played the clip of Trump making the admission that he’s a “nationalist,” as well as his “both sides” moment after Charlottesville.
“I see a lot of bad people on both sides who attack Jews,” Dermer said. “This is not the first time a Jewish person — there was an attack in 2006. There was an attack in 2014 against the Jewish community center in Kansas.”
The host interjected to say he’s aware of the attacks on Jewish people in America; he’s was asking about the rhetoric.
Dermer repeated Trump’s words were the strongest that he heard from any leader.
“I think the problem is that when people attribute anti-Semitism to one side of the political debate, they make a very big mistake,” Dermer said. “The person we should blame is the anti-Semite… The difference in this president is that he has Jews in his family. So, I think there’s no question in my mind that he wants to confront the anti-Semites. I hope that people on both sides of the political aisle will put politics aside and will work together to confront anti-Semitism.”
“One of the big forces in college campuses today is anti-Semitism,” Dermer said. “And those anti-Semites are usually not neo-Nazis, on college campuses. They’re coming from the radical left. We have to stand against anti-Semitism whether it comes from the right or whether it comes from the left.”
The so-called “radical left” on college campuses is generally blamed on Antifa, a group that stands for anti-fascism. Such anti-fascists were arrested en masse during the Holocaust when trying to fight back against Nazis. Similarly, when college students tried to ban Nazis and white supremacists from being allowed on college campuses, the right called them “snowflakes” and anti-patriotic for denying First Amendment rights to all groups. So, it’s unclear what the “radical left” is that Dermer is referring to and it wasn’t explained.
Fox News commentator Sean Hannity appears to be knee-deep in Trump’s Ukraine scandal — despite his denials
Fox News host Sean Hannity raved that he never spoke with Secretary of State Mike Pompeo about ousted Ukrainian Ambassador Marie Yovanovitch after a third witness confirmed the alleged call to impeachment investigators.
David Hale, the undersecretary of State for political affairs, testified under oath that Yovanovitch was the victim of a baseless smear campaign led by Rudy Giuliani, the personal attorney of President Donald Trump, which led to her ouster. According to a transcript of the closed-door deposition released Monday, the smears originally stemmed from the conservative columnist John Solomon, who wrote in The Hill that former Ukrainian Prosecutor General Yuriy Lutsenko had claimed that Yovanovitch gave him a “do not prosecute list.” Lutsenko later retracted that claim.
Will Sondland turn on Trump? Watch live coverage of Day 4 of the Trump impeachment hearings
On Wednesday the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence will hold its fourth public impeachment hearing looking into allegations that President Donald Trump abused his office by attempting to pressure Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelensky into announcing an investigation that would benefit the president politically in return for releasing $400 million in much-needed security aid.
A historian explains why Robert E. Lee wasn’t a hero — he was a traitor
There’s a fabled moment from the Battle of Fredericksburg, a gruesome Civil War battle that extinguished several thousand lives, when the commander of a rebel army looked down upon the carnage and said, “It is well that war is so terrible, or we should grow too fond of it.” That commander, of course, was Robert Lee.
The moment is the stuff of legend. It captures Lee’s humility (he won the battle), compassion, and thoughtfulness. It casts Lee as a reluctant leader who had no choice but to serve his people, and who might have had second thoughts about doing so given the conflict’s tremendous amount of violence and bloodshed. The quote, however, is misleading. Lee was no hero. He was neither noble nor wise. Lee was a traitor who killed United States soldiers, fought for human enslavement, vastly increased the bloodshed of the Civil War, and made embarrassing tactical mistakes.