Daniel Greenfield, a Shillman Journalism Fellow at the Freedom Center, is an investigative journalist and writer focusing on the radical left and Islamic terrorism.
After weeks of outrage at the close ties between top Democrats and Louis Farrakhan, the leader of an anti-Semitic hate group, the media finally condemned anti-Semitism by a top political official.
President Trump and OMB Director Mick Mulvaney had referred to outgoing NEC Director Gary Cohn as a “globalist.” And “globalist,” according to Think Progress, the Huffington Post, Salon and Vox, is an “anti-Semitic slur.” Those are the same media outlets that had no problem using “globalist” as a slur when targeting Trump. HuffPo had published a piece tarring him as “Trump: The Globalist Plutocrat” and Vox had described Trump going to Davos, “the world’s biggest party for globalist elites.”
Both Trump and Mulvaney were praising Cohn and minimizing a globalist-nationalist split. That’s why President Trump said, “He may be a globalist, but I still like him. He’s seriously globalist, there’s no question, but you know what, in his own way he’s also a nationalist because he loves our country.”
And why Mulvaney wrote that, "I never expected that the coworker I would work closest, and best, with at the White House would be a "globalist." Gary Cohn is one of the smartest people I've ever worked with. Having the chance to collaborate with him will remain one of the highlights of my career in public service."
Can’t you just spot the “anti-Semitic dogwhistles”?
There are some in the alt-right who use “globalist” as an anti-Semitic slur, just as there were those on the left who used neo-conservative as an anti-Semitic slur. But that’s not what those terms mean.
When Stephen Miller, a Jewish Trump adviser, told CNN’s Jim Acosta, a Cuban-American, that he was suffering from a “cosmopolitan bias,” Politico accused Miller of using an “anti-Semitic dog whistle.” While “cosmopolitan” was an anti-Semitic euphemism in the USSR, Miller isn’t a Russian Communist, he’s a Jewish conservative.
But a congressional Democrat recently did use an anti-Semitic dogwhistle.
Rep. Danny Davis defended his ties to Farrakhan, the anti-Semitic leader of the Nation of Islam, by arguing, “The world is so much bigger than Farrakhan and the Jewish question and his position on that.”
About the only people who think there’s a “Jewish question” these days are anti-Semites. When Hitler and Marx weighed in on the Jewish question, it was to denounce the Jews. Unlike “globalist,” when the term is used by the alt-right today, (shortened to JQ), its meaning is unambiguously hostile.
But the national media chose to ignore Rep. Davis’ remarks. It embargoed the story, just as it embargoed the recent release of a photo of Obama and Farrakhan and the controversy over Women’s March leaders’ ties to Farrakhan. And Farrakhan, who once praised Hitler, has been venting a stream of anti-Semitic invective at the “Satanic” Jews because he knows that the national media won’t touch him.
The controversy over Obama, Davis, Keith Ellison, Linda Sarsour and Tamika Mallory has played out in the Jewish and conservative media. But no one in the mainstream media is willing to ask why Obama, the No. 2 man at the DNC, the Congressional Black Caucus and the next generation of intersectional feminist leaders are comfortable hanging out with a racist who suggested that Jews use pot to make black men gay. But the media will only discuss anti-Semitism is when it serves its political agenda.
ThinkProgress had the chutzpah to accuse President Trump of using an “anti-Semitic dogwhistle” when the lefty advocacy site had been forced to clean house over actual anti-Semitic dog whistles. The uproar over the use of “Israel firsters” by the site led its editor-in-chief to denounce the “terrible, anti-Semitic language”. But Salon, which also denounced Trump’s “globalist” remark, had published pieces defending TP’s anti-Semitic language while smearing the lefty group’s Jewish critics. Some of the same culprits are now targeting Bari Weiss at the New York Times for her willingness to call out anti-Semitism on the left.
But while its personnel were using anti-Semitic dog whistles, TP accused Sarah Palin of using an “anti-Semitic term” when she defended herself against false accusations of being responsible for the Arizona shooting by accusing the media of a “blood libel”. The accusation that Palin was being anti-Semitic made as much sense as Politico suggesting that Stephen Miller was using Soviet anti-Semitic slurs against CNN.
But the left is happy to invent fake anti-Semitism while refusing to address its own real anti-Semitism.
It will pretend that Mulvaney, Trump and Miller are using anti-Semitic language, but it won’t speak up when a member of the Congressional Black Caucus talks about a Hitler-lover and the “Jewish question”.
The left doesn’t just use anti-Semitism as a political weapon while refusing to renounce it. It will even deploy accusations of anti-Semitism as a political weapon in support of anti-Semites like George Soros.
The same media outlets that won’t talk about the genocidal threats by Iran’s regime and by its terror proxies in Gaza, have been accusing the critics of Soros, a billionaire lefty donor, of anti-Semitism. Soros, a former Nazi collaborator, had called his wartime activities “the most exciting time of my life.”
Soros described growing up in a "Jewish, anti-Semitic home" with a mother whom he called, a “typical Jewish anti-Semite” who hated his first wife because she was “too Jewish.”
After he compared Israeli Jews to Nazis at an event honoring a Holocaust survivor, Elie Wiesel had declared, “I heard what happened. If I’d been there—and you can quote me—I would have walked out.” That same year, Soros had blamed the Jewish State for a “resurgence of anti-Semitism in Europe”.
And Soros’ J Street, an anti-Israel group, is still mulling whether to stop endorsing Rep. Danny Davis. That’s their version of the Jewish Question. How much anti-Semitism by a progressive ally is too much?
The left treats anti-Semitism as another identity politics counter to be tossed in whenever convenient. It wants to be racist while accusing Republicans of racism. It wants to assault women while accusing Republicans of sexism. And it wants to be anti-Semitic while accusing Republicans of anti-Semitism.
Even while it appropriates anti-Semitism, treating it like another microaggression, triggered by terms like “globalist”, “cosmopolitan” or “blood libel” that have some anti-Semitic associations, but not in the context where they are presently being used, the left ignores what anti-Semitism actually is.
Anti-Semitism is not just another of the many intersectional expressions of bigotry as the left sees it. That misguided view of anti-Semitism makes it too easy to dismiss it as part of a bundle of attitudes that progressives don’t share. Emphasizing “globalist” and “cosmopolitan” appropriates anti-Semitism and reduces it to the worldview of people who don’t think about the planet the way that progressives do.
But anti-Semitism is ubiquitous. It’s not just a general phenomenon, but a specific one. It can pop up in any political worldview. It’s a black hole that curves ideologies and religions around its event horizon.
Appropriating anti-Semitism as a partisan political weapon lends cover to internal anti-Semitism within a political movement by externalizing it. The media can spot anti-Semitism in a random Trump quip, but not in the affinity of a former president, the second-in-command at the DNC and numerous members of Congress for Louis Farrakhan, a racist who praised Hitler and accuses Jews of running the country.
When Islamic terrorists kill Jews, when campus BDS thugs intimidate Jewish students, when their own party pals around with an anti-Semitic racist, they’re nowhere to be found. The left traffics in classic anti-Semitic stereotypes, supports rabid bigots and aids anti-Semitic regimes, but the moment they hear a whistle from the other side of the fence, they come barking as loudly as they can.
It’s bad enough that the left aids anti-Semitism from Berkeley to Tehran. It’s even worse when it appropriates anti-Semitism as a political weapon even while it remains an anti-Semitic movement.