ADL Decries Anti-Semitic Turn in On-Line NY Politics


As the political campaigns have heated up, there has been an increase in on-line propaganda of a racially and religiously divisive nature. The Anti-Defamation League (ADL) has been very active this week in exposing anti-Semitic attacks on New York’s Attorney General and a possibly anti-Semitic meme being circulated against a Long Island State Senate candidate. Here is what the ADL had to say about slurs directed at the Attorney General:

The Anti-Defamation League (ADL) today strongly condemned a rash of virulent anti-Semitic attacks levied against New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman following an announcement that his office would open an investigation into the Donald J. Trump Foundation.

Since the September 14 announcement, Attorney General Schneiderman has been subjected to online anti-Semitic harassment including tweets such as “More like JEW York Attorney General” and “Just another lying kike grasping at straws.” On October 3, as part of his investigation, the attorney general ordered the Trump Foundation to cease raising money in New York. In response, well-known neo-Nazi Andrew Anglin took to his website the Daily Stormer writing, “New York Kike Attorney General Eric Schneiderman Suspends Trump’s Donations!”

“We strongly condemn all forms of anti-Semitic attacks on Attorney General Schneiderman,” said Evan R. Bernstein, ADL New York Regional Director. “These repulsive and disturbing actions are just the latest in a concerning trend from the ‘alt-right’ to spread their hate-filled and twisted views across the Internet and social media.

“The goal of Andrew Anglin and other anti-Semites and bigots of his kind is to promote hatred of Jews and to denigrate minorities,” Mr. Bernstein added. “We urge social media users to be vigilant of the extremist digital presence of the Alt Right and flag problematic content whenever it surfaces.”

ADL recently added two new symbols co-opted by the Alt Right to its Online Hate Symbols Database; the (((echo))) symbol used to single out Jewish journalists and users on social media for harassment, and “Pepe the Frog,” a cartoon character used as an Internet meme to suggest racist, anti-Semitic or other bigoted notions.

In response to the increase in anti-Semitism online from the Alt Right and other extremists, the League convened a task force to document the source and extent of anti-Semitic, racist, and other harassment against journalists on social media.

As a 501c3 nonprofit organization, ADL takes no position on behalf of or in opposition to any candidate for office.

The ADL also expressed concern about an internet meme posted in opposition to State Senate Candidate Adam Haber that depicts him as the Fiddler from Fiddler on the Roof. Evan Bernstein of the Anti-Defamation League said that; “While we do not know the intent or source of the image in question, we understand why some may take offense. By invoking a popular Jewish cultural figure from Fiddler on the Roof in the context of money, the image could help perpetuate age-old stereotypes of Jews and money.”

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Patrick Young blogs daily for Long Island Wins. He is the Downstate Advocacy Director of the New York Immigration Coalition and Special Professor of Immigration Law at Hofstra School of Law. He served as the Director of Legal Services and Program at Central American Refugee Center (CARECEN) for three decades before retiring in 2019. Pat is also a student of immigration history and the author of The Immigrants' Civil War.

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