Trump’s Antisemitic Hillary Tweet

71 years ago, the Allies liberated the Nazi death camps, and, aghast in the knowledge of what had transpired in them, there seemed to be a fresh collective resolve globally to “never again” generate the sorts of conditions that might lead to genocide (antisemitic demonization, collective silence in the face of growing evils like fascism, etc.).

Fast forward to 2016. On the very day the death of Holocaust survivor Elie Wiesel was announced, the Republican candidate for President of the United States tweeted an antisemitic trope against his opponent, affiliating her supposed corruption with, you guessed it, Jewish finance. Would anybody have imagined, even a year ago, that an American candidate for President could put forward such an antisemitic trope and still remain a viable candidate?

Trump is inuring us to fascism.

Visuals matter—and one shared on Trump’s Twitter account on Saturday quickly drew criticism.

About Santi Tafarella

I teach writing and literature at Antelope Valley College in California.
This entry was posted in donald trump, feminism, Genesis, God, hillary clinton, Politics. Bookmark the permalink.

6 Responses to Trump’s Antisemitic Hillary Tweet

  1. andrewclunn says:

    The six pointed star or filled in hexagram is a fairly common stamp in several paint applications. “Look at my African American!” was racist. This is imagined conspiracy mongering. Come off it. There’s plenty of solid dirt for Trump. This is just ridiculous.

    • Santi Tafarella says:

      I wouldn’t play this down, Andrew. Trump has dog-whistled to antisemites before, as with his infamous Jon Stewart tweet, and his first wife specifically recalls Trump keeping a book of Hitler’s speeches on his bedside table. His dad was also an antisemite, perhaps passing along this attitude to the son. And this image came directly out of his campaign. No 70 year old who grew up in the 1950s can be innocent of what the Star of David symbolizes, and the contexts to which it is put to antisemitic effect. It’s on the Israeli flag. Trump was born in the year following the liberation of the death camps, and grew up in an environment where the world was actively grappling with antisemitism and how to stop future genocides.

      Any decent man would call a press conference and make an unequivocal apology, perhaps blaming a staffer if it was a staffer who indeed posted it, and not Trump himself. Then that staffer would be fired. He would send a signal that antisemitism is unacceptable, full stop. But Trump doesn’t apologize, does he?

      Yet this is an existential moment, if not for him personally (for he obviously doesn’t care, and has already made his choice of being in the world), then for the country. Every person who learns of this tweet is confronted with a choice of response.

  2. Staffan says:

    I’m with Santi on this one. A six pointed star identical in shape to the Star of David with a background of dollar bills in reference to Clinton’s Wall Street benefactors. You’d have to be pretty gullible not to connect the dots on that one.

    Not that it makes Clinton any less corrupt or that Sanders didn’t lose because Clinton got all the anti semitic minority votes.

    • Santi Tafarella says:

      I agree that the issue of whether Clinton is more corrupt than the average American politician is independent of whether Trump’s tweet is antisemitic. I regard the Trump tweet image as jarring. The moment I saw it, I could barely believe that he could be so brazen. I simply assumed he had forwarded the image from a white supremacist website (as he had done with a Mussolini quote), and somehow didn’t notice (!) where it came from. And when I read that the image had been generated in-house, within his own campaign, perhaps by himself directly…well, what can one say? This is the sort of moment that ought to be focused on by journalists until Trump addresses it directly–and there should be a sustained conversation about it, for it encapsulates everything dangerous about this moment in the nation’s history, and what it means to enter a voting booth and cast a ballot for this man. We need focus here, not indulge cognitive dissonance and a moving-on to the next distraction.

      Trump’s tweet recalls the scene from Woody Allen’s Husbands and Wives, where a couple is about to go to dinner with Woody and Mia, and just before they head out the door together, that announce that they’re getting a divorce. This is accompanied by a nonchalant, “Let’s eat.” But Mia Farrow freaks out. “Let’s eat? Let’s eat!?”

      Trump’s tweet breaks the American social contract. It’s akin to a divorce. You don’t just shrug, and move on. You stop and deal with what the declaration means. And you don’t let the announcing party move on without explanation–not if you’re going to go on having a relationship with the person.

      Let’s eat! Seriously?

  3. Staffan says:

    “I simply assumed he had forwarded the image from a white supremacist website (as he had done with a Mussolini quote), and somehow didn’t notice (!) where it came from.”

    Most sources say the picture comes from a guy who calls himself Fishbonehead, who appears to be racist but not part of Trump’s campaign. Lot’s of people now claim Trump was unaware of it’s antisemitic nature. I don’t buy it.

    That said, I’d vote for him if I was American. Besides crime, corruption, low intelligence, mass immigration also means mass importation of antisemitic people. Trump is the only one who wants to stem that influx.

    • Santi Tafarella says:

      Your response illustrates the tricky position a centrist liberal like myself is in. I feel sandwiched between a populist nationalism and an irresponsible capitalism (big oil, big coal, big banks, Rupert Murdoch, etc.) that fuels populist resentments. I don’t know if the center can hold. It obviously didn’t in Britain. We’ll see in November about the United States. One of my biggest concerns is the fate of the Paris agreement on climate change. There is a new international and Anglo-French humanist politics (all men are brothers, etc.) trying to be birthed out of the environmental movement, the EU, etc., but it faces heavy headwinds.

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