Can Wealthy Jewish Republican Donors Reduce the Number of Anti-Semitic Incidents?
A new report released today from the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) found that in 2019, the number of Audit of Antisemitic Incidents, increased 12% over 2018, with a disturbing 56% increase in assaults.
This report found there were, on average, as many as six antisemitic incidents in the U.S. for every day in the calendar year. The ADL said this was “the highest level of antisemitic activity ever recorded by ADL.”
The 2019 report recorded 270 antisemitic incidents attributed to known extremist groups or individuals representing 13% of the incidents.
In making their report, the ADL listed four courses of action, including asking “public officials and civic leaders [to] use their bully pulpits to speak out against antisemitism and all forms of hate and extremism.”
This is a great suggestion, but there is an even better one: Ask the major wealthy Jewish donors to the Republican Party, and the Trump presidential campaign specifically, to pressure Trump to stop referring to white supremacists as “good people.” Ask the wealthy donors to cut off their funding to Trump and the Republican party. Ask the donors to cut off the money until Trump stops equivocating about calling out white supremacists and other racist groups who he obviously knows are contributing to the rise in ant-Semitic incidents.
ADL Should Pressure the Big Jewish Donors to Trump
One of the largest donors to the Republican Party is 84-year-old billionaire casino magnate Sheldon Adelson. In February 2020, it was reported in The Guardian newspaper that Adelson was making a $200 million contribution to Trump and the Republican Party. Working on the premise that as a savvy businessman, Adelson gave his money with strings attached, such as beneficial tax treatment for his casino businesses worldwide and special favors for Israel, Adelson has some clout over the president.
Wealthy Jewish donors need to cut off their funding to Trump and the Republican Party
The problem is that Adelson also is allowing his millions in donations to be used to fund a Republican Party that has some control and informal connections to a distinct white nationalist, racist groups that espouse anti-Semitic messages. Some of these have promoted violent actions. These actions are included in the latest ADL study.
By being such a large donor, Adelson and others who are mostly in the Republican Jewish Coalition, have the power to control the spread of anti-Semitic messages from the Republican Party at the state and federal levels.
Adelson is a major donor to Israel and Holocaust memorials and studies, so he certainly knows about the global history of anti-Semitism. As a billionaire businessman (net worth estimated at $41 billion) he knows that his contributions have the power to stop parts of the Republican Party from advancing anti-Semitic and racist messages and actions at the national and state levels.
The big question is why has he not acted to curtail these messages?
This is a complex situation for Adelson. It probably revolves around his personal power-broker ambitions and how he presumably wants his political power used for the good of the Jewish community in the U.S., supporting a conservative government in Israel or advancing a conservative Republican political agenda, including reducing his corporate and personal tax liabilities. Adelson’s situation also shows the limitations of making political contributions and how that money can be misused to fuel a very different political goal than the donor wants.
The Link Between Republicans and White Supremacists
Connecting the dots between the huge contributions to Trump and the Republican Party, and their support of white supremacist groups may seem unfounded and irresponsible to many Jewish conservatives, including those in the ADL. But there are facts that support this assertion.
In August 2019, a Republican state senator from Nebraska accused the GOP of helping to enable white supremacy, according to The Hill.
“The Republican Party is enabling white supremacy in our country,” Nebraska state Sen. John McCollister (R) tweeted.
“As a lifelong Republican, it pains me to say this, but it’s the truth,” McCollister continued. “I, of course, am not suggesting that all Republicans are white supremacists nor am I saying that the average Republican is even racist. What I am saying though is that the Republican Party is COMPLICIT to obvious racist and immoral activity inside our party.”
Quoting Trump, State Senator McCollister said: “We have Republican senators and representatives who look the other way and say nothing for fear that it will negatively affect their elections. No more. When the history books are written, I refuse to be someone who said nothing.”
Inside the Republican Party, Trumps’ appeal to racist and anti-Semitic groups is no secret. An article in The Nation found that “there are Republicans who know that this president’s [racist and white supremicist] provocations have been harmful. But they have muted their disagreement for reasons of even cruder partisanship rooted in the fear of primary challenges, and of losing favor with party leaders who have become Trump’s enforcers.”
The ADL’s Next Course of Action?
While the ADL made four recommendations in response to its latest report, none of them are new. They basically call for more education, hearings and additional money for law enforcement to patrol schools and synagogues. These are good suggestions, but they are not outside the box, nor have reduced the number of anti-Semitic incidents
Ironically, Adelson and the other wealthy Jewish contributors to Trump, such as Bernard Marcus, Peter Thiel, Elliott B. Broidy, and Stephen Feinberg, and the Republican party can do much, much more. If they choose, these wealthy donors can cut off the funding to Trump and the Republicans.
As businessmen, they certainly know that money talks. Cut off the money and you get results. If they don’t want to cut off the money and the level of anti-Semitic incidents increases, we know who shares some responsibility.
Or, these wealthy donors can cut off their big contributions and tell the Republican Party to investigate their links to white supremacists. Then, the Republicans should make a public report.
Plus, they should ask Trump to fire Steven Miller. Miller is the White House aide who was friends with the white supremacist Richard Spencer in college. Spencer has praised Miller as “highly competent,” for the job. “The fact that [Miller] was one of the architects of the Trump administration’s Muslim ban, and the policies of reducing refugee admissions, halving legal immigration, and separating children from their parents at the border” all point to a white supremacist political bent according to an article in The Intercept.
So, if there is are connections between the rise in anti-Semitic incidents as the ADL reports, and the huge increase in the number of wealthy Jewish donors to Trump and the Republicans, and a link from the Republican party and Trump to white supremacist groups, this chain can be broken by the Jewish donors. Somehow, by a circuitous route, their money is being used to support or encourage anti-Semitic acts in the U.S.
This is not a new observation. The Jewish Democratic Council of America said in 2019 that “the biggest threat to the security of American Jews today is, incredibly, the president of the United States.”
Certainly, the ADL and other Jewish groups can ignore or refute these connections. But if all the dots all connect, this means the well-funded ADL can use its high-level relationships and ability to research these connections. If they are correct, they can make the needed phone calls to the right people to break this perverted, hate-filled funding pattern.
Who knows, it may even result in a decrease in anti-Semitic incidents in the ADL’s next report. Maybe the ADL will even make a public announcement about this to let us know what they uncovered.
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