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'White nationalism is killing us': Jews protest Trump, Fox ahead of Pittsburgh anniversary

In the week leading up to the first anniversary of the white nationalist terror attack that killed 11 worshipers in a Pittsburgh synagogue, progressive Jewish groups take to the streets to send an unequivocal message to Donald Trump and Fox News.

Author and activist Abby Stein speaks at a protest outside Fox News HQ held to commemorate the first anniversary of the Pittsburgh synagogue shooting, New York, October 25, 2019. (Gili Getz)

Author and activist Abby Stein speaks at a protest outside Fox News HQ held to commemorate the first anniversary of the Pittsburgh synagogue shooting, New York, October 25, 2019. (Gili Getz)

On the eve of the first anniversary of the Pittsburgh synagogue shooting, progressive Jews and their allies took to the streets in memory of the 11 killed, and to protest the white nationalism that led to their murder.

Early Friday morning, several groups including Jews for Racial and Economic Justice (JFREJ), IfNotNow, and Bend the Arc: Jewish Action marched to Fox News’ headquarters in Manhattan. Creating a makeshift memorial site out of candles and rocks on the plaza outside the building, demonstrators held up banners reading “We Remember” in English and Hebrew, and “Fox News: White Nationalism is Killing Us!”

By focusing on Fox News, which frequently acts as a de facto state television network, the protesters sought to spell out the connection between the racist and anti-Semitic rhetoric of Donald Trump and large swathes of the Republican Party, and the acts of white terrorism that have struck at Jewish, Black, Muslim, Latinx and immigrant communities over the past few years.

Protesters march to the headquarters of Fox News, New York, October 25, 2019. (Gili Getz)

Protesters march to the headquarters of Fox News, New York, October 25, 2019. (Gili Getz)

“We gathered outside Fox News because of the free rein they give to bigotry on their network,” Audrey Sasson, JFREJ’s executive director, told +972. During the course of the protest, demonstrators read out statements from Fox hosts Rush Limbaugh and Tucker Carlson in the weeks leading up to the shooting, which sought to blame “globalists” and “liberal elites” for migration to the U.S. — dog whistle terms for Jews. Such language is evidence of “the same anti-immigrant ideology that incited the Pittsburgh shooter’s violence,” Sasson continued.

“We know who to hold responsible for the Pittsburgh shooting, the El Paso shooting, for the separation of families and caging of children: it’s Trump, the GOP, and the Fox News pundits who are fanning the flames of all that hatred.”

This central message of the protest is backed up by the stats: a report released earlier this week by Political Research Associates and Bend the Arc notes that in the two months leading up to the Pittsburgh massacre, Fox News and five other major conservative news websites sought to connect George Soros and “globalists” to liberal causes in at least 345 articles.

In a nod to history, marshals for Friday’s demonstration wore armbands featuring a Yiddish slogan that has become a frequent sighting at left-wing Jewish protests in recent years: “Mir Veln Zey Iberlebn (We Will Outlive Them).” The phrase is thought to have originated with a group of Jews in Poland during World War Two, who — after being ordered to sing for the Nazis who had rounded them up — began calling out these words as a final act of resistance.

In Pittsburgh on Wednesday, a coalition led by Bend the Arc, IfNotNow and others organizing under the rubric of “Jews Against White Nationalism” marched to the David L. Lawrence Convention Center, where Trump was delivering a pro-fracking speech at the annual Shale Insights conference.

Once inside the convention hall, a group of Jews stood up during Trump’s remarks and chanted “Trump endangers Jews!” Video footage of the event shows Trump supporters booing and attempting to disrupt the protest, while Trump himself goaded his fans, saying “They don’t know they’re dealing with very tough people in this room… Go home to mom. Explain to mom that you tried to take on very powerful people, and many of them physically as well as mentally. That’s not a good thing to do — not in this room.”

Max Socol, campaigns manager at Bend the Arc, explained to +972 the message behind the protest: “When we learned that Trump was planning a return trip to Pittsburgh during the week of the anniversary of the killings — with no plans to honor the dead, but actually just to speak at a fracking conference — all of us were outraged, if not surprised.

“So we shut down the street by the convention center, and several of us, myself included, were also able to get inside the venue to deliver a message directly to the president and his supporters: we’re not afraid of you, we’re disgusted by your racism and we stand with the vast majority of Americans who want to see the white supremacist GOP driven from power, preferably for good.”

Socol, who was disrupting a Trump rally for the second time — his first such protest having earned him online death threats from neo-Nazis — was dragged out of the hall by a secret service agent, who insisted to him that “Jews love Trump.”

“In my opinion those of us who risked our physical safety to disrupt their hate-fest did them all a massive favor: we gave them their first peek in quite some time into what the majority of this country thinks of them,” Socol said. And that, he hoped, might prompt at least some of them to reexamine their views. “Fascism ultimately destroys all it touches, including fascists,” he added. “Everyone needs a way out of this mess.”

The first anniversary of the Pittsburgh massacre is on Sunday, Oct. 27.

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    COMMENTS

    1. Rivka Koen

      Kh’hob lib Abby Stein.

      Reply to Comment
    2. itshak Gordine

      I suggest American Jewish to come to Israel. They will feel much better. It is difficult to be a a Jew and to live a real Judaism outside Israel.

      Reply to Comment
        • Lewis from Afula

          Rivka:
          The violence in Israel is literally NOTHING when compared to Gun violence in Uncle Scam.

          Reply to Comment
          • Ben

            A preposterous statement. A preposterously false normalizing attempt. Presupposing massive ignorance about the violence of the occupation.

            Reply to Comment
    3. itshak Gordine

      Never has an American president done as much for the Jewish people as Mr. Trump. With all due respect, Mr. President.

      Reply to Comment
      • Rivka Koen

        The Führer thanks you for your cooperation, Judenrat.

        Reply to Comment
        • Lewis from Afula

          Yes, except this “Fuhrer” has a daughter who is an Orthodox Jewess, 3 Jewish grandchildren, Jewish son in law and a third of his administration are Jews.
          Trump has also formally recognized Yerushalyim and the Golan as part of Israel.

          This “Fuhrer” only exists in your twisted delusions.

          Now, as an American citizen you might not like Trump’s economic or foreign policies. That is your right. But to describe him as the “Fuhrer” just shows how cuckoo you really are.

          Reply to Comment
          • Ben

            No, it just shows how benighted about Trump you really are.

            Reply to Comment
          • Lewis from Afula

            I have already stated several times that I am NOT mad keen on Trump.
            However, I am not so cuckoo to call him “Fuhrer” like you and Rivka.

            Reply to Comment
          • Rivka Koen

            Indeed it’s scandalous the way Jared Kushner and Ivanka Trump have sold out our people, which (along with their general immorality) is one of many reasons the rest of the Kushners want nothing to do with them. Not only do other American Jews hate Kushner and Trump, but even the rest of the Kushners hate them – a typical situation with narcissists. Jared Kushner/Ivanka Trump for haram 2020. Their fans can go with them, assuming they’re Jewish and not just Christian Zionist trolls.

            Reply to Comment
          • Lewis from Afula

            Let me take an outlandish guess here.
            In your next talkback, you will accuse the Kushners of being…………”Nazis”.
            For me, this is just a wild, wild stab in the dark.

            Reply to Comment
      • Ben

        It says an awful lot about you, Halevy, that you mindlessly say these things about someone like Trump. What comes across, not just here but elsewhere, is a moral tunnel vision, an absolutely amoral approach to any human issue that is not in furtherance of the settlement craze. I also think your vision is tunnel vision tactically and strategically, even from your coldly amoral perspective, but that’s another matter. Rivka’s response to you puts this in visceral terms you can understand.

        “It is difficult to be a a Jew and to live a real Judaism outside Israel”

        You only feel this because for you being a Jew means to lord it over others, because you subscribe to one extremist sect of Judaism that permits extreme cruelty and sinfulness in the service of a supremacist, wild-eyed End of Days, land worshiping tribal eschatology. It’s bizarre. Like the deluded Christian friends in the video, a documentary of a cult. Getting back to Rivka’s comment, you know there were a lot of smiling, happy, true-believer Germans, as creepily cheerful and “positive” as the “Christians” in the video, who thought they were doing god’s work on earth by following the Fuehrer and making his mission possible. They felt their lives suffused with a special, glorious meaning, a revolutionary fervor, and thought the people who opposed them unfortunately deluded, unable to see the “light.” They did not think of themselves as bad people. Far from it.

        Reply to Comment
    4. Yaeli Roth

      although I agree, those are a bunch of JVP/INN Jew.
      so screw these people and everything they stand for.

      Reply to Comment
      • Rivka Koen

        “I want to join my fellow Jews to smash white nationalism, but I don’t agree with their belief that Palestinians are human beings, so fuck it; we can all die in the second Holocaust for all I care.”

        Meanwhile in Warsaw a coalition of Bundists, Marxist-Leninists, left Zionists, right Zionists, and traditional right-wingers joined together to oppose the Nazis. I can’t emphasize enough how much these groups hated each other.

        I don’t think you really agree that white nationalism is killing us; if you did, what would you be waiting for?

        Reply to Comment
        • Lewis from Afula

          Rivka:
          Why does every argument about anything always come back to the Nazis ?

          Reply to Comment
          • Ben

            This from the guy for whom every argument always comes back to The Commies. When it doesn’t come back to the Jordanians.

            Reply to Comment
        • Lewis from Afula

          It must be remembered that:
          1. Marxist-Leninism FAILED EVERYWHERE it was ever tried.
          2. Bundism aimed to create a Yiddish-based Autonomy in Europe. Yiddish’s problem is that it is irreversible dead.
          3. Left Zionism has FAILED to SOLVE PLO-promoted fascism. Furthemore, it bankrupted the Israeli economy.

          Thus, by a process of deduction, Right Zionism is the only option left.

          Reply to Comment
          • Ben

            Your powers of “deduction” leave something to be desired. You’re like the guy who says “camels, zebras, and ostriches have failed, I know, let’s try obstinate long horn steers! We’ll ride them into town and it will go great!” And never thinks to say, “Hey, what about horses, we never tried horses! Duh-oh!” Far right genocidal extremism is the wild animal you rode in on, but you could ride out of town on a nice, strong Center-Left Post-Zionist horse of mixed Arabian/Hebraic pedigree. Towards the sunrise of a two or one state solution, either destination is workable, cowboy (but the two state destination seems increasingly unworkable and impossible to reach—the Right Zionism Gang put way too may permanent obstacles in the way). Remember, this is no Disneyland Biblical theme park and this is not a dress rehearsal, this is real life.

            Reply to Comment
          • Rivka Koen

            “Centrist” extremism is how we all got into this mess. I highly recommend this dissection of the “center-left” order that most people rightly despise, despite some people having false consciousness about the nature of its problems: https://mondediplo.com/openpage/the-blue-state-model

            As for Lewis, fascism also failed, and it will fail again for Israel – all the more so because you don’t even recognize that it’s where you are.

            Reply to Comment
          • Lewis from Afula

            Rivka:
            I am against fascism in Israel, which is why I do not support HAMAS nor the PLO criminals.
            These abhorrent, evil ideologies must be fought until they self-destruct and disappear from history.

            By the way, Ben’s silly zoological analysis fails to impress – just like Ben himself.

            Reply to Comment
          • Ben

            Yes, my ungulate analogy was admittedly goofy, though the point is that your “deduction” was lame, leaving out obvious better alternatives. But regarding the Arab-Jewish element I was getting at, this is not goofy:

            By +972 Magazine
            |Published October 30, 2019
            Jewish-Arab partnership as an antidote to Jewish supremacism

            We need to redefine Israeli politics. No more left and right, liberal or conservative, religious versus secular. Instead: a new partnership of Arabs and Jews, working side-by-side to combat Jewish supremacism.
            https://972mag.com/partnership-arab-jewish-supremacy/144188/

            Reply to Comment
          • Lewis from Afula

            Yes, Israeli Jews ahould themselves reject their own country !
            Wow. Why didn’t I think of that clever stratefy before ?
            We should all immitate G. Levy and blink ourselves to death !

            Reply to Comment
          • john

            yes, israeli jews resolutely rejected israeli nationality.

            Reply to Comment
          • Ben

            If you have an incoherent and unsustainable mess on your hands that you created because, under pressure of events and the thrill of temporary absolute power over another people, you fell prey like a lot of 20th century Europeans did to a seductive idea and abandoned your founding principles and your consciences and became zealous proponents of your local national-religious-racist flavor of fascism (only you did it heedlessly, in the twilight of the 20th century and the dawn of the 21st, and after having the benefit of the lessons they learned the hard way but you thought you were special)–then the proper response is to recognize that the effective response to an incoherent and unsustainable mess is not to double down on the fascism but to realize that “our own country” is a mess that will need major structural change to move forward. And not cling to the idea that “Israel=Jews, Jews=Israel, Arabs don’t belong, and “IT’S ALL MINE, MINE MINE!!!” It’s past its sell-by date. This is reality. Now, I know you think mass transfer and ethnic cleansing is your PanzerBlitz ace in the hole, but we will have to agree to disagree here.

            Reply to Comment
          • Lewis from Afula

            Ben’s Plan
            1. Israelis should simply declare the end of the state of Israel.

            2. Israelis merge with the peaceful, Gay-murdering, honor-killing, polygamists next door.

            3. Israel must decide which of the 2 rival governments to amalgamate with. The choice is between the Islamo-lunatics OR the secular ones led by a guy with a PhD in Shoah-denial.

            4. After creation of a joint government, Israel invites back 5 million “peaceful Arabs” to create the new utopia. The influx of millions of angry muslims does NOT cause create chaos.

            5. Everybody lives happy ever after.

            6. Do other people agree with Ben’s brilliant new plan ??

            Reply to Comment
          • Ben

            I disagree with “Ben’s Plan” aka “Ben’s brilliant new plan.” Is “Ben” a neighbor of yours? Should we call him Ben from Afula? Ben the Drug-Addled Hippie from Afula? Ben the Fascist Troll?

            Reply to Comment
          • Lewis from Afula

            Ben does NOT RECOGNIZE HIS OWN PLAN !
            I cannot blame him though.
            His 1 state solution is just a tad utopian – only a tiny, tiny bit utopian though. Ha hahah !

            Reply to Comment
          • Rivka Koen

            Here are the 14 characteristics of fascism; I am going to put an asterisk next to the ones that I see in Israel.

            *1. Powerful and Continuing Nationalism – Fascist regimes tend to make constant use of patriotic mottos, slogans, symbols, songs, and other paraphernalia. Flags are seen everywhere, as are flag symbols on clothing and in public displays.

            *2. Disdain for the Recognition of Human Rights – Because of fear of enemies and the need for security, the people in fascist regimes are persuaded that human rights can be ignored in certain cases because of “need.” The people tend to look the other way or even approve of torture, summary executions, assassinations, long incarcerations of prisoners, etc.

            *3. Identification of Enemies/Scapegoats as a Unifying Cause – The people are rallied into a unifying patriotic frenzy over the need to eliminate a perceived common threat or foe: racial , ethnic or religious minorities; liberals; communists; socialists, terrorists, etc.

            *4. Supremacy of the Military – Even when there are widespread domestic problems, the military is given a disproportionate amount of government funding, and the domestic agenda is neglected. Soldiers and military service are glamorized.

            5. Rampant Sexism – The governments of fascist nations tend to be almost exclusively male-dominated. Under fascist regimes, traditional gender roles are made more rigid. Divorce, abortion and homosexuality are suppressed and the state is represented as the ultimate guardian of the family institution.

            *6. Controlled Mass Media – Sometimes to media is directly controlled by the government, but in other cases, the media is indirectly controlled by government regulation, or sympathetic media spokespeople and executives. Censorship, especially in war time, is very common.

            *7. Obsession with National Security – Fear is used as a motivational tool by the government over the masses.

            *8. Religion and Government are Intertwined – Governments in fascist nations tend to use the most common religion in the nation as a tool to manipulate public opinion. Religious rhetoric and terminology is common from government leaders, even when the major tenets of the religion are diametrically opposed to the government’s policies or actions.

            *9. Corporate Power is Protected – The industrial and business aristocracy of a fascist nation often are the ones who put the government leaders into power, creating a mutually beneficial business/government relationship and power elite.

            *10. Labor Power is Suppressed – Because the organizing power of labor is the only real threat to a fascist government, labor unions are either eliminated entirely, or are severely suppressed.

            *11. Disdain for Intellectuals and the Arts – Fascist nations tend to promote and tolerate open hostility to higher education, and academia. It is not uncommon for professors and other academics to be censored or even arrested. Free expression in the arts and letters is openly attacked.

            *12. Obsession with Crime and Punishment – Under fascist regimes, the police are given almost limitless power to enforce laws. The people are often willing to overlook police abuses and even forego civil liberties in the name of patriotism. There is often a national police force with virtually unlimited power in fascist nations.

            *13. Rampant Cronyism and Corruption – Fascist regimes almost always are governed by groups of friends and associates who appoint each other to government positions and use governmental power and authority to protect their friends from accountability. It is not uncommon in fascist regimes for national resources and even treasures to be appropriated or even outright stolen by government leaders.

            *14. Fraudulent Elections – Sometimes elections in fascist nations are a complete sham. Other times elections are manipulated by smear campaigns against or even assassination of opposition candidates, use of legislation to control voting numbers or political district boundaries, and manipulation of the media. Fascist nations also typically use their judiciaries to manipulate or control elections.

            Do you have any argument to make against this, other than identifying enemies and scapegoats as a unifying cause?

            Reply to Comment
          • Lewis from Afula

            Rivka:
            Answering “the Nazis” or “the Fascist doctrine” is NOT a solution to every problem under the sun. Some political questions, believe it or not, are totally unconnected to Nazis or Nazism.

            Reply to Comment
          • Ben

            We are profoundly shocked, shocked I tell you, that Lewis from Afula has no answer. I have to admit I was expecting him to shout “fakestinyan!” 14 times and say “there’s your answer!”

            Reply to Comment
    5. average american

      I don’t understand how you can talk of white nationalism in America and not in Israel. How can the dominant Jews in Israel be described as anything but white? They are from Europe and Russia, not the Levant.

      Reply to Comment
      • Lewis from Afula

        Re: “They are from Europe and Russia, not the Levant.”

        Um….No actually.
        They are not.
        Half are from Middle East and North Africa.
        You should visit Israel and see for yourself.

        Reply to Comment
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