Last week, Max Blumenthal—a professional hater of Israel and the Jews whose father is a sometime confidant of Hillary Clinton—assaulted the memory of Elie Wiesel. While Clinton has privately praised the younger Blumenthal’s work in the past, her campaign responded by condemning his latest outburst. Meanwhile, Donald Trump faced an anti-Semitism scandal of his own. Ben Cohen compares the candidates’ responses:
After retweeting an image sourced to a white-supremacist website that showed a grinning Clinton superimposed onto a pile of money and a Star of David, Trump compounded the offense by blockheadedly sticking to his guns, criticizing his staff for deleting the tweet instead of “defending it.”
At the same time that Trump engages in anti-Semitism denial—something he does every time the issue of his white-supremacist supporters comes up—his campaign pursues the tiresome tactic of putting his Jewish daughter and Jewish son-in-law before the media in his defense. . . .
Except that nobody serious has called Trump an anti-Semite. The charge is that he tolerates anti-Semites and even enables them when it suits him to do so. Citing your Jewish relatives and friends is a favored method of the Israel-haters—“Some of my best friends are Jews!”—and most Jews aren’t fooled by it. They also aren’t fooled by Trump, who further insults our community by insinuating that we’re stupid enough to believe that he understands what constitutes anti-Semitism better than we do.
What both candidates need to do is declare a zero tolerance policy for anti-Semitism around their respective campaigns.