‘It’s an appeal to some of the worst elements in our country’
In 2012, 71 percent of presidential campaign contributions from Jewish donors went to Democrat Barack Obama and 29 percent to Republican Mitt Romney. But this year, 95 percent of Jewish donors have given to Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton and only 5 percent to Republican Donald Trump. This astonishing change in donor behavior is most likely attributed to Trump’s dog-whistle calls to anti semites throughout his campaign. Trump has retweeted anti-semitic tweets, hired a known anti semite as his campaign manager, and is credited for helping to bring the anti-semitic alt-right movement mainstream.
So it’s no shock that Trump brought his anti-semitic dog whistles out again for his presidential campaign’s closing argument. Yesterday, Senator Al Franken (D-Minn.), who is Jewish, called Trump out for the ad on CNN. “When I saw the ad, I thought that this was something of a German shepherd whistle, a dog-whistle, to a certain group in the United States,” Franken said. “I think, I’m Jewish, so maybe I’m sensitive to it, but it clearly had sort of Elders of Zion kind of feel to it, international banking crisis...uh, plot, or conspiracy rather, and then a number of Jews,” he continued. “It’s an appeal to some of the worst elements in our country as his closing argument, and I think that people who aren’t sensitive to that or don’t know that history may not see that in that [commercial], but that’s what I immediately saw,” he said.
Trump’s closing ad, “Argument for America” is loaded with anti-semitic imagery reminiscent of the 113-year-old Protocols of the Elders of Zion conspiracy. This conspiracy alleges that, in 1903, a group of Jewish leaders gathered to discuss a plan to subvert gentile values by controlling the media and the world’s economies. Trump’s ad features three prominent Jews: billionaire investor George Soros, Goldman Sachs CEO Lloyd Blankfein, and Federal Reserve chair Janet Yellen. Throughout the ad they’re used as examples of people who aim to control the levers of power in Washington (Soros), global special interests (Yellen), and accuses them of robbing the American working class (Blankfein).
Trump’s thinly-veiled appeal to anti semites didn’t make it past the watchful eye of the Anti-Defamation League.