In a recent campaign ad paid for by the Jewish Democratic Council of America, a proud endorser of Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden, the viewer is shown a video compilation of Nazi Germany, a vandalized Jewish grave, the 2017 Charlottesville demonstration, the Pittsburg Synagogue shooting, and Trump rallies. A narrator speaks softly in the background, asserting how, “History shows us what happens when leaders use hatred and nationalism to divide our people.”
This rhetoric, comparing the Trump administration to Germany’s third Reich, has unfortunately moved passed what would normally be dismissed as Facebook clickbait. This comparison has become the mainstream narrative for many within the Democratic party. Days before Yom Kippur, Joe Biden compared President Trump to propaganda minister Joseph Goebbels, arguing that when, “You say the lie long enough, keep repeating it, repeating it, repeating it, it becomes common knowledge.” For those who do not know, but should, Goebbels was one of the leading figures behind the Holocaust and the vilification of the Jewish people throughout Europe — along with other high-ranking Nazi party members, such as Herman Goering, Heinrich Himmler and Reinhard Heydrich.
The Jewish Republican Coalition clamped down on the vice president’s claims and demanded that he apologize for this comment, asserting;
The rule in debate is that if your only argument is to call your opponent a Nazi, you have no argument at all. Instead of engaging in a debate on policy, Joe Biden has descended to name-calling and Holocaust references.
The Trump administration has been be an advocate for equal justice of the Jewish community in America and aboard over the past four years. The administration pursued with vigor the deportation of the last Nazi concentration camp guard. During his 2019 State of the Union address, President Trump delivered a standing ovation for Judah Samet, a survivor of the Holocaust and Pittsburgh synagogue massacre. And yes, the president has condemned white supremacy in all its forms both before and after taking office.
Although the ad’s attempt to draw a parallel between Nazi Germany and President Trump is wrong, it is correct in saying that anti-Semitism is on the rise in the US. Just within the past few months alone, the country has witnessed countless examples of prominent individuals using their influence to amplify their anti-Semitic sentiments.
Philadelphia Eagles’ wide receiver, Desean Jackson, posted a false Hitler quote to this Instagram story in early July, claiming that Black people were “the real Children of Israel.” Another post alluded to the Jewish peoples’ plan to seek “world domination.” Later in the month, Nick Cannon was fired from ViacomCBS after insinuating that white and Jewish people were “savages” because they lacked melanin. Cannon also perpetuated antisemitic conspiracies, claiming, “the Rothschilds, centralized banking, the 13 families, the bloodlines that control everything outside of America.” Like Jackson, Cannon initially refused to apologize for his comments.
The Biden campaign was also caught in deep water after it tried to distance itself from controversial figures, such as Linda Sarsour. Sarsour was a founding member of the 2017 Women’s March. New York Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand called her the, “suffragists of our time.” However, controversy struck in 2018 after a scathing article in the Table accused her and other Women’s March co-chairs of antisemitic remarks and for defending Louis Farrakhan, a notable anti-Semite and member of the Nation of Islam. At the request of its members, Sarsour was ousted in September 2019.
Sarsour spoke at the Democratic National Convention this past August. The Biden campaign was quick to disavow her, reiterating that, “she has no role in the Biden Campaign whatsoever.” This is no surprise considering Sarsour was a large backer of Sen. Bernie Sanders throughout the Democratic primaries. As Aaron Kliegman argues, the American Left has drifted further towards an ideology of absolutism. This is a trend best attributed to the rise of politicians like Sanders, who’s base the Biden team is trying hard to convert. According to the New York Post, leaked audio of a call between Ashley Alison, the national coalition director for the Biden Campaign, and various members of the Arab and Muslim community, indicates that Alison apologized for the Campaign’s decision;
I am sorry that that happened. And I hope that whatever trust was broken, that this conversation is one small step to help build back the trust, but that is not the last time we have this conversation.
Nothing, especially in politics, is as black and white as it seems. This effort to liken President Trump to the Nazis completely neglects the president’s track record of helping and protecting the Jewish community.