San Francisco’s American Jewish Committee and Trump
JNS.org – Michigan Governor George Romney used to quip during his election campaigns that under his leadership, the state had experienced more days of sunshine than during the prior four-year period.
Of course, only the intellectually-challenged would have taken Romney’s humor seriously.
Since the white supremacist rally in Charlottesville, the intellectually-challenged have condemned President Donald Trump for encouraging the violence there. Of course, Trump was as much a cause of the violence in Charlottesville as Romney was responsible for the extra days of Michigan sunshine.
It is now commonplace to assert that hate crimes increased after Trump’s election. But where is the data to prove that?
The most accurate and meaningful database for hate crimes is the one compiled by the Bureau of Justice Statistics (BJS), whose latest data is from 2015. Those citing an alleged increase in hate crimes might be quoting the Southern Poverty Law Center’s (SPLC) data. But as the BBC correctly notes, that data lacks statistical value.
The SPLC itself says that while hate crimes are a formidable national problem, “there is no reliable data on the nature and prevalence of the violence [caused by hate].”
We don’t know if hate crimes have increased. We won’t know until the BJS releases data for 2017, probably two years from now.
These issues come to mind because in my community — the San Francisco Bay area — the local branch of the American Jewish Committee (AJC) is circulating a letter about hate crimes that is high on criticizing Trump, but low on facts.
Aside from condemning Trump for the events in Charlottesville — and alleging that he is responsible for the alleged increase in hate crimes — the letter is obsessed with violence from the right.
The Antifa movement, which some claim is also violent, is barely even alluded to. The Black Lives Matter (BLM) movement, with its antisemitic foundational document, escapes notice. The “bluewashing” of Jews from progressive demonstrations, such as Chicago’s Dyke March and SlutWalk, is not on the agenda of condemnation.
If Jewish organizations want to get serious about antisemitism, they will need to begin by recognizing that it is not only the neo-Nazis that they have to worry about; it is also people who share the progressive mindset of much of the Jewish community.
The extreme left has access to foundation money and the halls of Congress. The Ford Foundation and Borealis Philanthropy have announced their intention to raise $100 million for the anti-Israel BLM movement. This comes on top of a $33 million grant from George Soros’ Open Society Foundations.
I pray that the pathetic missive by the San Francisco AJC never goes beyond the organization. If it does, it will show a partisan and ideological bias that will immunize leftist antisemites, who pose a far greater threat than a few thousand antisemites indulging their Hitler Youth fantasies.
Abraham H. Miller is an emeritus professor of political science, University of Cincinnati, and a distinguished fellow with the Haym Salomon Center. Follow him on Twitter: @salomoncenter.