Sanders, Bloomberg, and the threat of anti-SemitismRoundup
tags: politics, Michael Bloomberg, anti-Semitism, Bernie Sanders, 2020 Election
Zimmerman teaches education and history at the University of Pennsylvania. He is the author of the forthcoming book “The Amateur Hour: A History of College Teaching in America."
Bernie Sanders, the front-runner for the Democratic presidential nomination, is a Jewish socialist. One of his major challengers, Michael Bloomberg, is a Jewish billionaire who made his fortune on Wall Street.
What’s wrong with this picture?
You don’t have to be a Jew or a historian — and I’m both — to know the answer. Across the past century, anti-Semites have reviled Jews as both rapacious capitalists and as revolutionaries against capitalism. That makes no sense, but prejudice rarely does. Add to the mix Donald Trump, who has traded in his own anti-Jewish rhetoric, and you have a formula for a hate-filled 2020 election.
Yes, Trump’s daughter and son-in-law are Jewish. And he issued an order last year to combat anti-Semitism on campus.
But during his campaign for the White House, Trump told a group of Jewish Republicans that they were “tough negotiators” who sought to “control [their] own politician.” Later, he charged that Hilary Clinton met secretly with “international banks” to “plot the destruction of U.S. sovereignty” and to enrich “her special interest friends” — a clear reference to anti-Semitic theories about Jewish global domination. He also retweeted a white-supremacist graphic showing Clinton against a backdrop of $100 bills and a Star of David.
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