Trump’s recent attacks on district attorney include anti-Semitic dog whistle

Donald J. Trump
Photo: Shutterstock

Donald Trump, the twice impeached disgraced former President of the United States, announced on his Truth Social media platform on March 18 that: “NOW ILLEGAL LEAKS FROM A CORRUPT & HIGHLY POLITICAL MANHATTAN DISTRICT ATTORNEYS OFFICE…INDICATE THAT [I]…WILL BE ARRESTED ON TUESDAY OF NEXT WEEK [March 30, 2023].”

He continued with a vicious rant against the Manhattan prosecutor and the justice system. Then, as he did before his supporters stormed the Capitol on January 2, 2021, in this and subsequent outbursts, he summoned his supporters to: “PROTEST, TAKE OUR NATION BACK!” and “WE JUST CAN’T ALLOW THIS ANYMORE. THEY’RE KILLING OUR NATION AS WE SIT BACK & WATCH. WE MUST SAVE AMERICA! PROTEST, PROTEST, PROTEST!!!”

As egregious and highly dangerous as his diatribe was, what got my attention from the outset was his allegation that the Manhattan District Attorney’s office, “WHICH HAS ALLOWED NEW RECORDS TO BE SET IN VIOLENT CRIME…,” and that the District Attorney, Alvin Bragg, “IS FUNDED BY GEORGE SOROS,” a multibillionaire Hungarian American businessman and philanthropist who has donated an estimated 64% of his substantial fortune to progressive organizations.

By invoking the name of George Soros—a Jewish billionaire–Trump not-so-subtly conjures up the antisemitic trope of a Jewish cabal seeking world domination over world banking systems, political leaders, businesses, and the media.  

Trump’s time in the Oval Office was replete with direct and indirect attacks on Jews and the Jewish community. 

The Unite the Right rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, in 2017 brought together white supremacists, members of the alt-right, neo-Confederates, neo-fascists, white nationalists, neo-Nazis, and far-right militias chanting “Jews Will Not Replace Us.” They killed a counter-protester by plowing a car into the crowd. 

“I think there is blame on both sides,” said Trump about the Charlottesville rally. “You had a group on one side that was bad. You had a group on the other side that was also very violent. Nobody wants to say that. I’ll say it right now.”

He criticized “alt-left” groups that he claimed were “very, very violent.” He later stated, “There were very fine people on both sides.”  

Trump also then focused his venom on George Soros. He erroneously accused him of funding protesters of Trump’s Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh and also suggested that Soros might have financed a refugee caravan from Central America. 

This added to the conspiracy theory that Jews are bringing immigrants into the United States to replace white people (thus, the “Jews will not replace us” chant of the neo-Nazi white nationalists at the Charlottesville rally).

The shooter of the horrific murders at the Tree of Life Synagogue in Pittsburgh, who killed 11 parishioners and wounded six others, including four police officers, blamed Jews for bringing in an invasion of nonwhite immigrants to the United States who will diminish and slaughter the white race. 

“The Washington establishment and the financial and media corporations that fund it exist for only one reason: to protect and enrich itself,” stated Donald Trump in a rally speech in West Palm Beach, Florida, on October 14, 2016. 

He continued, “For those who control the levers of power in Washington, and for the global special interests…[i]t’s a global power structure that is responsible for the economic decisions that have robbed our working class, stripped our country of its wealth and put that money into the pockets of a handful of large corporations and political entities.”

“This is a conspiracy against you, the American people, and we cannot let this happen or continue. This is our moment of reckoning as a society and as a civilization itself.”

Trump certainly has no general grasp of history, but he understood how to use the antisemitic propaganda of fascism to sway public opinion. 

While his wife, Melania, finally admitted to plagiarizing the words of Michelle Obama in her speech before the delegates at the Republican National Convention in the summer of 2016, Donald will never admit to lifting sentiments and words verbatim from the notorious Protocols of a Meeting of the Learned Elders of Zion.

The Protocols was a fabricated antisemitic text dating from 1903 that was widely distributed by Russian Czarist forces to turn public opinion against a so-called “Jewish Revolution” to convince the populace that Jews were plotting to impose a conspiratorial international Jewish government.

The Protocols was translated into many languages and circulated throughout the world. On the cover of some of these editions was an evil-looking and stereotypical caricature of a Jewish male’s face, usually that of wealthy Baron von Rothchild, piercing the world with bloodied fingers. 

More recently, the political far right has replaced the face and conspiratorial theories of the Baron with Soros.  

During his Florida speech, Donald Trump succeeded in having his antisemitic leitmotiv dog whistle heard since; the racist Christian white supremacist so-called “alt-right” received it loud and clear. 

Former Ku Klux Klan leader and current racist radio host David Duke added his praise of Trump’s “incredible speech” on his radio show on October 14, 2016: “Donald Trump had an incredible speech last night in West Palm Beach, maybe the strongest, most all out speech concerning the war that is being waged against us and the war that is being waged by the oligarchs who control the international banks and the globalists….” he charged.

“These Jewish supremacists and these Jewish radicals who have been dominating international banking, the financing of politics and leaders, bribing them in effect, the people who have controlled the media, the people who have controlled the political apparatus in so many countries, who have controlled much of the academia, much of the discourse, they’re crazy….They’re willing to risk World War III for their political objectives in the Middle East, in Israel, and elsewhere.”

The Christian white nationalist website, The Right Stuff, celebrated Trump’s Florida speech. Lawrence Murray wrote an article affirming that “somehow Trump manages to channel Goebbels and ‘Detroit Republicanism’ all at the same time.” 

Joseph Goebbels, Nazi minister for Propaganda and Public Education, continually wrote and spoke of an alleged “Jewish conspiracy” to undermine German culture and civilization. For example, at the September 1935 Nazi Party Congress in Nuremberg, Goebbels connected Bolshevism with international Jewry. He warned Nazi party members of a supposed international Jewish conspiracy to snuff out western civilization. 

Toward the end of his 2016 presidential campaign, Trump ran an ad portraying three wealthy Jews — then-Federal Reserve Board Chair Janet Yellen, Goldman Sachs CEO Lloyd Blankfein, and financier George Soros — with the narration denouncing “those who control the levers of power in Washington,” and the “global special interests” who “partner with these people who don’t have your good in mind.” 

During his first presidential campaign, Donald Trump tweeted a picture of Hillary Clinton with $100 bills and a six-pointed Star of David (Mogen David), evoking the age-old stereotype of Jews as money-grubbing cheats. The meme was also on a neo-Nazi website. Trump did not apologize but ultimately took the tweet down from his site. 

Wayne Allyn Root, a far-right conspiracy theorist, asserted that Jews in Israel regard Trump as akin to “the King of Israel” or “the second coming of God.” Does Root not realize that Jews do not believe in Jesus as the son of God or a “second coming.”

Of course, Trump delighted in Root’s words and only half-jokingly announced to reporters, “I am the Chosen One.” 

Though he talked about Jews, Trump rarely talks to them. He directs his comments to conservative Christian Evangelicals. 

He stirred up what Christians call “The Rapture” in which Armageddon will come in the area of Israel. Jews will be sacrificed so that “good Christians” will go forth to meet Jesus on the final judgment day. It is a cynical use of the Jewish people to conform to prophecy in the Christian testaments. Many of these people are known as “Christian Zionists.” They use Jews for their own supposed “purposes.”

It does not matter that Trump’s son-in-law is an orthodox Jew, that his daughter Ivanka converted to Judaism, and that he has Jewish grandchildren. It does not matter that Trump has employed Jewish people and counts Jews among his friends. 

However, it is clear that when anyone uses an already marginalized group to advance their agendas or careers by tokenizing or feigning support, that is an act of oppression, in this case, antisemitic. 

Donald Trump uses Jews, and by so doing, he demonstrated his hateful antisemitic bigotry by attempting to weaponize Jewish bodies!    

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