* Only because he got caught.
If he hadn’t got caught he’d have been a mensch for helping to keep other Jews at the proper level of paranoia.
* Jews were not only not “terrorized” (Tablet) by the bomb threats, they were ecstatic to be targeted by what they imagined were Trump-inspired Alt-Right Nazis. It’s safe to presume the 19-year-old Israeli saw matters this way too. He was spreading joy, not terror.
*There is certainly a species of contempt among some Jews towards gentiles in general and against other specific groups of gentiles (e.g., Arabs, blacks). So just for the sake of the argument, let’s stipulate that there is this phenomenon called “anti-Gentilism” and is found (obviously) in the non-Gentile, that is, Jewish community.
Is the guy who made “Mad Men” “anti-Gentile”? Having never watched the show, but having read about his remarks, and his apparently carefully nursed resentments, I guess so. So now what? Is this really a widespread phenomenon?
On the other hand, were these phone threats made for the purpose of encouraging hatred of gentiles? I really don’t think so.
I mean I suppose someone could write “The History of Anti-Gentilism”, however, by definition, it would consist of nothing more than miscellaneous Jews saying and doing nasty things to non-Jews. So such a tome would probably be considered “anti-Semitic.” Next up, Talmudic quotes that say nasty things about Jesus and Mary.
I mean exactly what is the scope of Anti-Gentilism? It is not going to be same as Anti-White, which is already a word. It is not going to be the same as Anti-Christian, because that word also exists. What is being proposed is a new word describing a special kind of resentment Jews have for non-Jews. Okay, I’m fine with that. Except that I don’t think the phenomenon is that widespread and I still don’t think it applies in this case for the reasons given.
This goes to the idea that a “hate hoax” is identical to a “blood libel.” I would say this is wrong on three levels. In the case of a “hate hoax” I cannot think of gentiles being arrested, imprisoned, and put on trial for a hate crime that was later shown to be a hoax (I’m sure there must be some, I will let someone fill me in.) Certainly it did not happen in this case. But secondly, non-Jews (aka gentiles) do not feel that kind of group solidarity with other gentiles. I mean, both Trayvon Martin and George Zimmerman were gentiles. So, for that matter, so is OJ Simpson and Pablo Gomez, Jr. Finally, third, the reason we do not feel solidarity with these individuals is that no one is saying to us, “As a gentile, please explain Pablo Gomez, Jr. to me.” What, am I collectively responsible for everything any gentile does? To this day, anytime a Jew does anything wrong, any other Jew can expect someone to come up to them and expect them either to justify or condemn whatever it is.
I suppose the best one could argue is that “hate hoaxes” bring shame and scorn to all gentiles in a case like this, and to all whites in the case of hate hoaxes perpetrated by blacks (whites in this instance include Jews), and so on. But the problem is that the members of all of these splinter groups that are constantly lecturing straight white males about their wickedness are mostly gentiles themselves.
So anti-Gentilism has a certain utility in describing a certain type of Jewish resentment. And yet the term is still too broad. The Weiner guy, after all, didn’t resent all gentiles: just the straight white male Christians he went to school with.
Speaking as a straight white Christian male: I was not overly concerned about these threats, and I didn’t feel any responsibility for them, no one asked me to speak out about them, and I don’t feel any outrage at this spurious blot on my gentile escutcheon. If I were a more sensitive and self-absorbed person, I might write about how I lost sleep for weeks, my cheeks burning with hot tears as I thought about the terrible shame I felt that these crimes were being committed by a fellow gentile. But I didn’t. I’m just not that kind of person.
* I once lived in a predominantly Hassidic ultra-orthodox community, so I came across more anti-gentilism than I really care to remember. While it may be “logically parallel” to anti-semitism, it wasn’t structurally parallel. They positively revel in ignorance of gentiles and, if necessary, feign it. They make bizarre comments like “the goyim think it’s fine to steal”, which they pull out of their arse and then talk about something else. If you ask them to name a doctrine of Christianity/Islam/Hinduism they will stare at you blankly. If you ask them the capital of the country they live in they usually can’t answer. Conversely, they are minutely interested in every detail of rival ultra-orthodox sects. They can tell you umpteen completely boring details about the the differences between the Haredi community in Montreal, Lakewood, Stamford Hill, Williamsburg etc. but they couldn’t find any of them on a map.
Anti-semites, on the other hand, love nothing more than to demonstrate their expertise in Judaism. An anti-gentilist would regard the idea of reading a four volume epic on the ways of the gentile by Kevin McHymiestein with bafflement. He would get bored 15 seconds into a youtube video.
In short, the main thing anti-gentilists and anti-semites have in common is that they are obsessed with Jews.
* Calling this person mentally ill relieves him of much of the motive and responsibility of this actions. If the calls were made by someone in the alt-right, I doubt many people would just throw up their hands and say “what are you going to do, he was clearly mentally ill”.
His actions resulted in a few things that many left-leaning Jews would consider beneficial:
1) Raised awareness of anti-Semitism in a major way
2) Donations to SPLC skyrocketed
3) Gave the impression that Trump’s election emboldened an anti-semitic base
4) Forced Trump and his administration to denounce the supposed acts as the worst form of hatred
For all of these elements to come together through some random act of mental illness is just not believable. The odds are that his political leanings drove him to do this, and the use of sophisticated precautions to hide his tracks suggests that he didn’t want to be caught and was behaving rationally.
* It also led Amazon to delete all of its Holocaust Denial titles.
Simple story: a Jewish guy, propelled by the prevailing moral panic among some Jews since Trump’s election, decided to goose the project a bit by making threatening phone calls.
So let’s put him in prison for a few years.
At a press conference in mid-February, Donald Trump said something that was, even for him, astonishing. He predicted that when authorities discovered the perpetrators of the anti-Semitic attacks that had broken out since his election, “It won’t be my people,” who had committed them. “It will be the people on the other side.” He repeated the thought later that month, reportedly telling state attorneys general that the bomb threats against Jewish Community Centers across the country may be “the reverse” of what they appear and may have been committed “to make others look bad.”
Democrats and officials of Jewish organizations officials were appalled. Jonathan Greenblatt, chief executive of the Anti-Defamation League, declared: “We are astonished by what the President reportedly said.” Steven Goldstein, executive director of the Anne Frank Center, which combats bigotry, asked, “Mr. President, have you no decency? To cast doubt on the authenticity of Anti-Semitic hate crimes in America constitutes Anti-Semitism in itself.” When the Trump adviser Anthony Scaramucci repeated Trump’s claims, Democratic Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer called them “absurd and obscene.”
But it now appears that Trump may have been, partially, right. On Thursday, Israeli police arrested a Jewish Israeli American teenager for leveling some of the bomb threats. Earlier this month, prosecutors charged Juan Thompson, an African American who had previously worked at a left-leaning publication, with some of the others. There’s no evidence that either suspect tried to frame Trump supporters or white supremacists. And it’s still possible that right-wingers called in other bomb threats, or committed some of the other anti-Semitic incidents that have erupted since Trump’s election. Still, if two of the primary perpetrators of the JCC bomb scares turn out to be a Jewish Israeli and a left-leaning African American, that will, indeed, turn out to be “the reverse” of what Trump’s critics expected.
Trump’s critics—and I’m one of them—should learn from that.
Many critics have a narrative in their heads: That Trump and his supporters think and do bigoted things.
It’s not just the JCC bomb scares. It’s become commonplace to hear Jewish liberals claim that, in the words of former Democratic National Committee Chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz, Trump has given “license and permission to anti-Semites” and thus “opened the floodgates” for anti-Semitic attacks.
But have the floodgates really opened? According to the FBI, anti-Semitic incidents did rise 9 percent between 2014 and 2015, when Trump announced his candidacy. And New York City has announced that there were substantially more anti-Semitic incidents during the first two months of 2017 than during the equivalent period in 2016. But neither the FBI nor the Anti-Defamation League has yet reported national data for 2016. And defining what constitutes an anti-Semitic incident is tricky. If the JCC bomb threats—many of which appear to have been carried out by an Israeli Jew—boost the numbers, does that really show that anti-Semitism is rising in Trump’s America?
And a February Pew Research Center poll found that Republicans and evangelical Christians—two core Trump constituencies—feel even more favorably towards Jews than Democrats do. Since Trump’s takeover of the GOP, Republican fondness for Jews has actually increased.
If liberals have been too quick to blame Trump supporters for anti-Semitism, they’ve also been too quick to blame Trump’s advisors. Liberals frequently hurl the charge at Steve Bannon or his old publication, Breitbart. But the two Breitbart articles critics most commonly call anti-Semitic—an attack on the Weekly Standard editor Bill Kristol that called him a “renegade Jew” and an attack on the Washington Post columnist Anne Applebaum that called her “a Polish, Jewish, American elitist scorned”—were both written by Jews.
We’ve been playing this game for months now. First with Michael Flynn. Then with Stephen Bannon. Now with Sebastian Gorka.
Liberals accuse a Donald Trump adviser of having ties to right-wing anti-Semites. Trump’s Jewish supporters defend him. And, not content to stop there, they throw the charge back in the accusers’ faces — claiming that they have ties to left-wing anti-Semites.
You’re an anti-Semite! No, you’re an anti-Semite! It’s not doing anyone any good.
Both sides deserve blame for this dialogue of the deaf. Conservatives need to stop pretending that “supporting Israel” (by which they really mean “supporting the Israeli government”) exonerates Gorka, Bannon, Flynn or anyone else of anti-Semitism. It’s entirely possible to admire Benjamin Netanyahu’s government because it is nationalistic, militaristic and religious and to revile American Jews because most of them are cosmopolitanism, dovish and secular. It’s also possible to love Jews when they’re in their own country, because that means they’re not living in yours. As Yale historian Timothy Snyder details in his book “Black Earth: The Holocaust As History And Warning,” the Polish government was fervently Zionist in the 1930s, since Zionism offered a rationale for moving Poland’s Jews somewhere else.