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July 14, 2016 1:35 pm

Jewish Human Rights Champion Foxman: Trump Didn’t Create, Encourage Antisemitism Among Followers

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Former ADL national director Abraham Foxman. Photo: Wikipedia.

Former ADL national director Abraham Foxman. Photo: Wikipedia.

Presumptive Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump has neither created antisemites nor encouraged them, a Jewish human rights leader told Slate in a recent interview.

Abe Foxman, former national director of the Anti-Defamation League, said critics of Trump must differentiate between the man and his followers.

“I wouldn’t focus on the Trump campaign as much as I would focus on Trumpism,” he said. “All Donald Trump has done is identified an anger and frustration and unhappiness in our society…. He is not responsible for them. But he has broken some taboos that have existed in our country.”

When it comes to racism and discrimination in the US, Foxman said, “You can have bigotry in your heart, but if you act out bigotry, there will be consequences.” Trump, who has effectively removed the taboos of “criticiz[ing] a veteran, a woman’s looks, a Mexican, a Muslim,” Foxman said, has released and given life to such sentiments, but, “He hasn’t created it.”

Foxman’s comments come amid several antisemitism scandals that have plagued the Trump campaign in recent months.

Earlier in July, Trump came under fire for tweeting what many called an antisemitic image — which was traced back to a white supremacist website — featuring the Star of David that invoked antisemitic tropes. The image showed presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton against a background of $100 bills alongside a Star of David with the text, “Most Corrupt Candidate Ever!”

Trump later deleted the post, following intense backlash, and tweeted a new image, this time covering the Star of David with a circle. Taking to Twitter, Trump defending the tweet, writing, “Dishonest media is trying their absolute best to depict a star in a tweet as the Star of David rather than a Sheriff’s Star, or plain star!”

The Republican presidential hopeful has also attracted the attention and garnered the support of neo-Nazis and white supremacists, who have rallied around his “America first” credo, and attacked his critics on social media with antisemitic and racial slurs.

According to Foxman, the reason antisemitism has become much more noticeable today is not because of Trump, but due to society’s ability to shirk responsibility for words and actions.

“Antisemitism exists and unfortunately existed. The fact that it manifests itself shouldn’t surprise anybody. The advent of the internet and social media is really what’s fueling not the antisemitism but the ability to communicate in nanoseconds, respond quickly and be anonymous,” he said. “Anonymity makes things uglier because it encourages people to be ugly. It’s nothing new, except for the phenomenon of how you express it.”

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  • Jonah

    A very well written article. It is a very good example of Jewish genious when it comes to rightly divideing truth from liberal propaganda. This is off the subject but needs your undivided attention. Obama has his own war room showing the quantity and positions of all the weapons his surreptitious army intends to use to eliminate Israel. Russia has been poking a stick in his eye and things have not gone as planned because of Russian intervention in the Syrian war. Now Obama has sent Kerry to Russia with a plan supposedly to fight terrorists together. That’s not the plan, the plan is the same as it was when Obama won his election….to terminate Israel. Whatever plan he submitted to Russia will lead to Israel being more. Vulnerable. Russia must not be inadvertently draw into a plan that will jeapordized Israels existance or God will hit Russia so hard recovery will be very painful. I can’t believe their has not been an earthquake in Russia as Kerry arrived. Kerry is a minion for the beast with one goal in mind…destroy everything that does not bow to Islam and that includes Russia. Kerry knows full well what the consequences will be for Russia if they participate in any plan that jeapordizes Israels right to exist. Kerry understands scripture from the dark side I hope Putin understands it from the light side well enough to keep his country on the right side of God. I told You God has adopted Russia and has thrown America out of heaven

  • Kaila

    Did not CNN manufacture the tweeted star scandal by using the same CNN “news” technique that brought Egypt down, with Anderson Cooper make-believing that a few hundred thousand protesters in Tahrir Square represented ninety million Egyptians?

    the worst anti-Semitism in America today comes from the far left’s embrace of the false Palestinian narrative, and the libels of Farrakhan, amplified by most of the media, apparently including “Jewish” media too worried about being politically correct

  • moishe pippick

    Note a conspicuous typo: Part of second sentence should read: “and then SPITS in our faces and tells US we’re crazy for seeing the obvious Jewish scapegoating”

  • moishe pippick

    Abe are you jokng??? Where is the very clear condemnation of Trump that I’d expect from the former leader of the ADL/ Trump fans the flames of racism for political gain, unleashes the poison of antisemitism in the most public way I’ve seen in my lifetime and then sits in our faces and tells is we’re crazy for seeing the obvious Jewish scapegoating he’s engaged in and Abe Foxman tepidly makes excuses for him. Thank god the ADL has new leadership.

  • Yaakov

    “The advent of the internet and social media is really what’s fueling not the antisemitism…” = “Guns don’t kill; people kill.”