Democrats in Washington, D.C., have “roiled” the city government with anti-Semitic comments and anti-Semitic conspiracy theories, the AP reported Wednesday (without actually mentioning the Democrat part). And clumsy attempts by Democrat officials to ease tensions have reportedly only made matters worse.
The growing firestorm began when a city council member posted a problematic Facebook post back in March. Councilman Trayon White, 33, posted a video accusing the prominent Jewish Rothschild family of “controlling the climate to create natural disasters” after D.C. was hit by an unseasonable and unexpected snowfall.
This prompted fellow council members and Jewish community leaders to accuse White of “spreading an anti-Semitic conspiracy theory about Jewish control of world events.”
White said he had no idea that the Rothschild conspiracy theory could be construed as anti-Semitic and awkwardly tried to make amends.
He attended a Passover Seder and met with Jewish community leaders for breakfast over bagels and lox. He went on a guided tour of the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum but abruptly left halfway through without explanation.
The controversy blew up again after a video surfaced from a February meeting of top city officials featuring White pushing another Rothschild conspiracy theory during a presentation about the University of the District of Columbia. During the meeting, White asked a question regarding “the claim that the Rothschilds controlled both the World Bank and the federal government.”
The video shows city leaders in the room, including Mayor Muriel Bowser, awkwardly laughing it off and moving on, but the footage further upset Jewish community leaders. Then a further revelation: White had contributed $500 from a fund meant for his Ward 8 constituents to a Chicago event for Louis Farrakhan, leader of the Nation of Islam.
The Nation of Islam, of course, has been designated a hate group for promoting anti-Semitism and racism. The Anti-Defamation League calls Farrakhan “the leading anti-Semite in America,” who for years “has repeatedly alleged that the Jewish people were responsible for the slave trade, as well as the 9/11 attacks.”
Farrakhan also enjoys support among Democrats in the U.S. House of Representatives, where Republicans have introduced a resolution pressuring them to denounce the anti-Semitic leader.
Last week, White’s Democratic allies held a “unity rally” that was organized by Josh Lopez, a mayoral appointee, in a show of support for the embattled councilman. But instead of a positive display of unity, it turned into a massive debacle when a representative of the Nation of Islam got the bullhorn and started attacking Jewish people.
Abdul Khadir Muhammad, a Mid-Atlantic representative for Farrakhan, said: “What is the fake Jew that calls themselves Jews, the ADL, the JDL,” referring to the Anti-Defamation League and Jewish Defense League. He also referred to the Jewish people as “termites.”
As Muhammad spoke, Lopez, who was holding a megaphone for him, whispered in his ear, to which Muhammad responded he was “staying positive.”
Then Muhammad tore into Silverman, one of two Jewish members of the D.C. Council.
“Elissa Silverman talking about Brother Farrakhan can’t come into D.C. no more. That will never happen,” he said. “You got your nerve to say Farrakhan can’t come back to D.C. What nerve are you, you fake Jew?”
Neither Lopez nor any speakers challenged Muhammad. As the rally was wrapping up about 10 minutes later, Muhammad shouted “Termites!” in reference to Jews.
Lopez immediately came under fire with calls for him to resign. White himself didn’t attend the debacle.
Everything came to a head Tuesday morning during a pre-session breakfast meeting “where council members debated how best to respond to the rally and whether to call for Lopez’s resignation.”
The meeting went off the rails when a local rabbi who was there as an observer began shouting at the council members, saying they should be ashamed of themselves.
“Shame on the council for not being willing to censor Trayon and shame on all of the council for not standing up and saying that Mr. Lopez needs to resign!” the rabbi exclaimed. “This is unacceptable! You know better!”
The council members then held an impromptu press conference outside the building where City Council Chairman Phil Mendelson said that “intolerant speech … has no place in our city.”
As the council returned inside and resumed its normal meeting, news broke that Lopez had resigned.
Bowser’s office had called for Lopez to apologize but not resign, but she accepted the resignation and issued a statement calling for unity going forward.
As the Washington Examiner’s Eddie Scarry pointed out, all of the players in this sordid little tale are Democrats, a point somewhat obscured in the AP report.
It mentioned City Councilman Trayon White, who posted a video on social media claiming that Jews control the weather; Mayor Muriel Bowser, who was present for a meeting with lawmakers including White, wherein he claimed the “Rothschilds” controlled the World Bank; D.C. Public Housing Authority board member Josh Lopez, who organized a rally to support White; and Councilman Jack Evans, who is quoted in the story as also offering words of support for White.
This is worth mentioning because the mainstream media has worked hard to promulgate a narrative that an alleged rise in anti-Semitism across the country is linked to the election of President Trump, a Republican.