“Trump Made Me Do It!”

It is not news that Rep. Rashida Tlaib, a charter member of “The Squad,” traffics in anti-Semitic tropes. The Washington Post points this out today:

On Aug. 1, Tlaib announced that she had identified how Israel’s occupation of Palestinian land “really interacts” with the treatment of Black Americans. “Cutting people off from water is violence. And they do it from Gaza to Detroit,” she explained to the Democratic Socialists of America. “The structure we’ve been living under right now is designed by those who exploit the rest of us, for their own profit,” on issues ranging from human rights to health care. Making a drapes-parting gesture with her hands, she continued: “If you open the curtain and look behind the curtain, it’s the same people that make money — and yes they do — off of racism.”

A vague “they” conspiring to “exploit the rest of us for their own profit” from “behind the curtain”: These antisemitic tropes have been used against the Jews for generations. If that weren’t clear enough, Tlaib let it be known that “they” operate both in Gaza and Detroit, and only Jews meet that description. Tlaib went on to say the exploiters “made record profit” during the pandemic — an antisemitic conspiracy theory popular on the Web.

“Stunning,” pronounced Jonathan Greenblatt, head of the Anti-Defamation League and a former Obama White House official. “We’ve heard this kind of ugly antisemitic dog whistling before, but it’s appalling when it comes from a member of Congress.”

The Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations issued a statement on Friday saying it was “deeply concerned by the antisemitic nature of recent comments and allegations” by Tlaib, adding, “it is clear that Rep. Tlaib is suggesting that the Jews are the uniting factor” in the exploitation.

Good for the Post. At least so far. Because you won’t believe what the Post blames for Rep. Tlaib’s anti-Semitism. Yup—it’s all Donald Trump’s fault. Seriously, here’s the Post headline:

Naturally this is a Dana Milbank column, so we should expect gems such as this:

Acts of antisemitism rose dramatically during the Trump presidency, reaching a high in 2019 and barely dropping in 2020, the ADL reports. In May 2021, during the fighting between Israel and Hamas (and anti-Israel protests by left-wing demonstrators in the United States), anti-Jewish violence and harassment surged to more than double the previous year’s level.

Greenblatt called Tlaib’s unwillingness to clarify antisemitic remarks “a lesson of the Trump era” characterized by a refusal to apologize for anything. “Reckless words lead to reckless things,” he told me.

Milbank no doubt calls this kind of ventriloquist journalism “reporting.” Of course, aside from concluding that perhaps, just maybe, Tlaib is in fact anti-Semitic, this account deliberately elides acknowledging who are the predominant perpetrators of violence against Jews, just as the left ignores who is the predominant offender against Asians today: it is coming from the left. The New York Times recently reported on rising violence against Asians in the San Francisco Bay Area without once mentioning the predominant race of the people committing assaults on Asians, leaving the impression that it is Trumpsters, even though the number of Trump supporters in the Bay Area can meet in a phone booth.

Clearly we need to end the eviction moratorium soon, since Trump is living rent-free inside the heads of the media and the left (but I repeat. . .)

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