Surge in Anti-Semitism, Thanks to Trump

Annie Cohen

With less than a month to go before the presidential election, Donald Trump has resorted to flinging about conspiracy theories to account for his increasingly likely loss. His latest tirades against the so-called rigged system have struck an especially venomous tone, as he warns his jeering crowds of a “global power structure” ruled by “international banks” and other “financial powers” who work hand-in-hand with Hillary Clinton to control the government. Put aside the obvious lunacy and impossibility of these claims and all that is left standing is a man essentially saying that a small, elite class of people run the world and ought to be taken down. Jews hearing this language recognize it as the words used by anti-Semites for centuries to accuse them of greedily monopolizing the world to their advantage. To his crowds, hell-bent on securing a Trump victory, the message is clear: Jews could steal the election.

These coded warnings are not the Trump campaign’s first brush with anti-Semitism. The examples are myriad — the photo of a Star of David superimposed on a picture of Clinton with stacks of money, Donald Trump Jr.’s inappropriate mention of gas chambers, the reluctance to denounce anti-Semitic white supremacists like David Duke, and of course, the campaign’s tacit approval of the alt-right’s hateful online presence. The latter cannot be trivialized as a mere fringe group of ignorant, unenlightened cyber-bullies thanks to the Donald Trump campaign, which has so normalized these abhorrent individuals that they are beginning to infect the mainstream with their hate.

For Jewish millennials like myself and other young people, this is our first real interaction with overt anti-Semitism. We are experiencing it in ways we never expected, from memes being co-opted by the alt-right to use as hate symbols to swastika signs being waved at political rallies. Anti-Semitism on college campuses has also seen an alarming spike, with the Anti-Defamation League reporting that the number of anti-Semitic incidents at colleges in 2015 is nearly double what it was in 2014. But NYU students are familiar with blatant prejudice as well, such as the anti-Semitic protesters who frequent Washington Square Park. When our generation looks to political leaders and their rhetoric, there can be no tolerance for anti-Semitism whatsoever. The stakes are too high, the tensions too sensitive.

I eagerly anticipate election day, and I have faith that the decent, democratic side of America will prevail over the dark, deplorable side. Even so, it remains a national disgrace that Donald Trump was ever given the platform he has to spew hate and conspiracy theories. His coalition poses a threat to our most storied institutions; that of a free press, of a democratic system, of a nation that eschews bigotry, not one that embraces it. In the end, history will prove Donald Trump and his supporters wrong.

Opinions expressed on the editorial pages are not necessarily those of WSN, and our publication of opinions is not an endorsement of them.

A version of this article appeared in the Monday, October 17th print edition. Email Annie Cohen at [email protected]



  1. You’re out of touch with 2016 politics. Completely behind the times, miss. The narrative you’re missing out on is the rise of antisemitic speech in the Democratic Party, in favor of Islam.

    The class was reinstated shortly after, for fear of offending Muslims. Numerous articles are available on the internet and this is just one incident in a much deeper narrative that’s brewing underground. The UCB faculty sponsor of the course, Hatem Bazian, has publicly called for a Muslim uprising in America, available on YouTube.

    This is far more dangerous than hicks out in Alabama whining about guns, if you ask me.

  2. Yeah…right….NOT.

    The Labour party in England – England’s most liberal party – is being town apart thanks to its increasingly public hatred of Jews.

  3. Not even close…

    Throughout Europe the liberal parties are embracing Jew hatred. They are promoting the BDS movement.

    It is the liberals who are today’s Naz*s, not the conservatives.

  4. Here is another example of liberals policies turning into disasters.

    Sweden’s liberal and socialist leaders – the people who have ruled Sweden for two decades – have opened up Sweden’s doorways to Muslim immigration. Today in Malmo, Sweden – Sweden’s third largest city – Jews are fleeing thanks to Muslims attacking Jews and thanks to the liberal policies.

  5. I agree with Ms. Cohen, and it is terrifying! The fact that Trump has gotten this far is a sad sign. If he were applying for any other job in the country he would have been deemed inappropriate long ago. I fear he has opened a pandora’s box, this level of vitriol, his lack of professionalism, outrageous lies taken as truth, now part of a “norm.” I couple years ago I predicted a civil war in the U.S., conservatives against the rest of us. I fear it’s started.

  6. I notice that most of the comments to this story are hate speech, or at least troll speech, yet have obviously not been deleted. Trump is a clown and a fool, more a celebrity culture meme than a human being, but his followers are both legion and scary … products of a culture that has lost its bearings. With this presidential campaign, America really has gone off the cliff.

  7. J writes, “The fact that Trump has gotten this far is a sad sign.”

    I agree. Trump is an embarrassment, but so too is Hillary. The biggest difference between the two of them is their way of expressing themselves. Hilllary is polished while Trump is a buffoon, and we like listening to polished speakers.

    But make no mistake about it Hillary’s policies are terrible. It was she who set the stage for giving the Ayatollahs the bomb arguably the worse decision made by an administration ever.

    And do not pretend for a minute that the rise of the right is not tied to the idiotic policies of the left. Just as we are seeing across Europe today, the right is in its ascendance thanks to the left controlling the stage for decades. The left’s idiotic positions has enabled the right to rise and so will it be for Hillary and Obama’s idiocy.


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