March 9, 2017

DAVID BERNSTEIN: The great anti-Semitism panic of 2017. “There is also a general sense among Jews, at least liberal Jews, that Trump’s supporters are significantly more anti-Semitic than the public at large. I have many times asked for empirical evidence that supports this proposition, and have so far come up empty. I don’t rule out the possibility that it’s true, but there doesn’t seem to be any survey or other evidence supporting it. Given that American subgroups with the highest proportions of anti-Semites — African Americans, first-generation Hispanic immigrants, Muslims and high school dropouts — are strong Democratic constituencies (though the latter group appears to have gone narrowly for Trump this time), one certainly can’t simply presume that Trump has a disproportionate number of anti-Semitic supporters. Often living in a blue bubble, liberal Jews easily can panic when they don’t know anyone who voted for the other side’s candidate(s), and can assume the worst about the other side’s supporters. . . . The irony of all this is that if you talk privately to those who work in the Jewish organization world, many will confide that the greatest threat to the security of the American Jewish community is ‘changing demographics,’ which is a euphemism for a growing population of Arab migrants to the United States. Anti-Semitism is rife in the Arab world, with over 80 percent of the public holding strongly anti-Semitic views in many countries.”

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