Why Is This Hate Different From All Other Hate?

In Anti Semitism, Violence and Hate On

On March 23, a Jewish teenager was arrested in Israel, accused of being behind the wave of bomb threats that had terrorized Jewish organizations since President Trump’s election. For people alarmed about the uptick in religious and ethnic bigotry in the Trump era, this was a shock.

Mr. Trump had been slow to condemn the threats, as well as several incidents of anti-Semitic vandalism. Pennsylvania’s attorney general said that Mr. Trump told him that this activity could be a false flag campaign intended “to make people — or to make others — look bad.” This theory had been floating around white supremacist circles, and much to the delight of the far right, it turned out to be partly correct.

As a result, the Trump administration is now acting as if it has been permanently absolved from addressing hate crimes. Last Monday, the journalist April Ryan asked the White House spokesman, Sean Spicer, if the White House had anything to say about the murder of a black man in New York City by a white supremacist. In response, Mr. Spicer complained about how unfair it had been to ask “folks on the right” to denounce anti-Semitic bomb threats, when it turned out those threats hadn’t come from the right.

It was a bizarre argument. Normally, it is routine for presidents to offer sympathy to victims of high-profile crimes — without treating it as an opportunity to settle a political grudge.

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