Donald Trump’s Holocaust Remembrance Day Statement

On Friday Jaunary 27th, President Donald Trump released a statement on International Holocaust Remembrance Day.  The content of the statement has sparked widespread controversy.  The statement was as written: “It is with a heavy heart and somber mind that we remember and honor the victims, survivors, heroes of the Holocaust. It is impossible to fully fathom the depravity and horror inflicted on innocent people by Nazi terror. “Yet, we know that in the darkest hours of humanity, light shines the brightest.‎ As we remember those who died, we are deeply grateful to those who risked their lives to save the innocent. “In the name of the perished, I pledge to do everything in my power throughout my Presidency, and my life, to ensure that the forces of evil never again defeat the powers of good. Together, we will make love and tolerance prevalent throughout the world.” The center of the this statement’s invoked controversy is in its lack of direct statement of anything regarding Jews or Antisemitism.  Countless people spoke out against this omission, bringing light to the horrors committed against millions of Jews during the Holocaust.  According to a Politico article from January 29th, President Trump’s statement stood out among those made by Republican leaders in the past.  According to this article, “President Bush always talk about the Holocaust in connection with the slaughter of Jews.”  Many are concerned that chief strategist Steve Bannon’s connection to antisemitic organizations has much to do with the vague and exclusive statement. Actions such as these made by the Trump Administration are extremely important when considering the changing social, political, and religious...

Shia LaBeouf and antisemitism

USA Today published an article on January 26th, 2017, about the antisemitism that triggered actor Shia LaBeouf’s recent arrest for pushing and pulling a scarf of an unidentified man. The protest and arrest happened outside the Museum of the Moving Image in Queens, New York. The article discussed how LaBeouf’s had started a 4 year long art protest called “He Will Not Divide Us” after Donald Trump was sworn in as the 45th President. LaBeouf’s project is a public participatory live stream that will stream 24/7, so his arrest was caught on type. When he first started the project Trump supporters, along with neo-Nazis, have been harassing the actor online and in person. Along with Trump’s infamous slogan, neo-Nazis would hold up signs with Pepe the frog on them, which has been defined as a hate symbol by the Anti-Defamation League. This once popular Internet meme became a symbol for antisemitism as it spread across websites and people used it to create racist images. More the recently, the “alt right” segment of America has adopted it as their symbol. In addition to those symbols, the neo-Nazi supporter yelled“1488” at LaBeouf, which is also a neo-Nazi slogan. The 14 in 1488 stands for the “14 words slogan” that called for Nazis to secure existence for their white kids and the 88 stands for “Hell Hitler” (ADL). The neo-Nazi also pulled LaBeouf close to him and yelled “Hitler did nothing wrong”. According to the article, that is what sent LaBeouf over the edge and it caused him to take action that would lead to his arrest. This act is classified as...

No printer is safe

  On January 26, the Jewish Telegraphic Agency reported that three major college campuses, Stanford, Vanderbilt and California, Berkeley, were victims of suspected printer hacking. Printers across these campuses were producing antisemitic fliers with images of swastikas. It is believed that these fliers were used to reference the date January 20th in which President Donald  Trump was inaugurated. The article gives further information about the details of these filers in which some included the phrase, “Samiz.dat … It’s almost here, we take power on the 20th.” Historically the phrase “Samizdat” is used to describe censored publications passed discreetly across the Soviet bloc. While investigations are still taking place across these universities, many believe there might be some connection to similar events that took place on campuses such as Princeton and Brown back in March. However what is pleasing to hear is the rapid responses of these universities and their zero-tolerance policies. It has become a main priority of universities like Vanderbilt to stop these types of hacking attacks from occurring in the future. Being a college student myself I find it baffling that events like these are taking place at universities around the country. While antisemitism is something I occasionally see in the paper or on the news it’s very scary to think of such awful events happening in and around my own university. Also assuming different forms of antisemitism are not occurring on my campus would be simply ignorant. So to this effect, no matter the size, uses of antisemitism on campus need to be some publicly discussed and acknowledged. We will never be able to stop something unless we first...

Attacks on Jewish Centers

Raylin Pellatt January 2017 brought reoccurring incidents of bomb threats being called into the police targeting a range of Jewish centers, some almost 500 miles apart.  These calls were from an anonymous source, although all different voices. These calls were made during a very busy time for the centers and were made to local police stations saying there were bombs in these locations. Centers were evacuated and were deemed safe to return to several hours later. The police are still searching for the ones who made the phone call, and it is left to be determined if it is hate groups, terrorists groups, or someone unaffiliated. Luckily, no one was hurt from these calls but it shows the normalizations of hatred against minority groups in our current political climate and these actions being deemed okay by members of hate groups, specifically the alt-right. With both antisemitism and gun violence in America rising, these threats reflect the division in our country today and the decreasing sense of security for minority citizens. Calling in these threats might not have resulted in an attack this time, but targeting minorities is a reoccurring theme in America, along with the rest of the world, and proving to be a more dangerous place to live for everyone. With this kind of negative rhetoric in the United States, these negative and disgusting events will continue until there is a significant change in the way the United States focuses on all of its citizens.  ...

Norwegian newspaper calls Jared Kushner ‘the Jew’

On January 27th, 2017, The Local no (a Norwegian news site published in English) released a story about backlash to an insensitive comment that was made in a popular Norwegian newspaper, Aftenposten. Aftenposten published an article that said, “the Jew Kushner reportedly pushed for David M. Friedman as the new ambassador to Israel!” In response to this, the Norwegian Jewish society Det Mosaiske Trossamfund (or DMT) said that it was antisemitic for the news outlet to use Kushner’s religion as justification for his political opinion. They also said that stereotyping Jewish people as having different loyalty than others is a practice that is centuries old and inherently antisemitic. While I see and agree with the point that they make, I wonder if the article published by Aftenposten was consciously antisemitic or rather just ignorant? I say this because I am not familiar with Norwegian or the type of news that this outlet typically publishes.  Either way, another great point is made when a representative from the DMT says that other politicians religions are not used as justifications for their ideologies in the same way that Aftenposten used Kushner’s. Ultimately, Aftenposten issued a formal apology to the Jewish community for their choice of wording, saying that they realize the same wording has often been used in an openly antisemitic context and that that was not their intention....