US Election: How Jews were targeted in lead-up to vote
search

The latest Jewish News

Read this week’s digital edition

Click Here
Analysis

US Election: How Jews were targeted in lead-up to vote

Campaigning for Biden and Trump turned ugly in some states, with a senator accused of antisemitism and a Jewish cemetery vandalised with election graffiti

Stephen Oryszczuk

Stephen is the Jewish News' Foreign Editor

A defaced Biden-Harris sign is spray-painted with the word "Trump" near Centre Hall, Pennsylvania on October 24, 2020. (Photo by Paul Weaver/Sipa USA)
A defaced Biden-Harris sign is spray-painted with the word "Trump" near Centre Hall, Pennsylvania on October 24, 2020. (Photo by Paul Weaver/Sipa USA)

As with most recent US presidential campaigns, Trump v Biden turned ugly in some states, with racists targeting Jewish candidates – and even Jewish cemeteries.

In Alaska’s race for the Senate, Republican incumbent Dan Sullivan was this week accused of using antisemitic tropes in an advert showing his Jewish rival holding piles of cash, with Jewish Senate leader Chuck Schumer behind him.

The American Jewish Congress said it “clearly employs age-old antisemitic tropes and innuendo… implying that [Gross] is buying the elections.

“At the same time, the ad shows in the shadows a sinister-looking image of Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, who is also Jewish, and evokes the antisemitic trope that Jews and Jewish money control politics and our government”.

The AJC added that Sullivan “should unequivocally apologise” and called on Alaskans to “condemn and disassociate” from it.

The anger stretched to Israel, with opposition politician Yair Lapid labelling Sulivan’s advert attacking Al Gross as “antisemitic… a disgrace and a stain on the American democracy we all admire so much”.

Dan Sullivan (Wikipedia/ Source https://www.congress.gov/member/dan-sullivan/S001198
Author US Congress)

Yet it has not been the only example. Weeks earlier Jon Ossoff, the Jewish Democratic Senate candidate in Georgia, was the target of an advert on Facebook from his Republican rival David Perdue in which Ossoff’s nose was artificially lengthened.

His rival later said it was a mistake and removed it, but Ossoff was left incensed. “You were lengthening my nose in attack ads to remind everybody that I’m Jewish,” he told Perdue in a debate. “Instead of leading and inspiring, he stoops to mocking the heritage of his political opponents.”

Meanwhile in Michigan on Monday, the Ahavas Israel Jewish cemetery was graffitied, with the words “TRUMP” and “MAGA” [Make America Great Again – Trump’s campaign slogan] painted in red across several gravestones.

In the same region last year, a local synagogue was vandalised with neo-Nazi posters, including one titled ‘Crusade against Semite led sub-humans’.

Worse may follow, according to the Anti-Defamation League’s Ryan Greer, who last month suggested that there may be serious problems if Biden wins. “We are very concerned that there will be some violent acts,” he said. “As the conspiracy theories become more urgent, many of them may be directed toward Jews.”

READ MORE – US ELECTION:

Support your Jewish community. Support your Jewish News

Thank you for helping to make Jewish News the leading source of news and opinion for the UK Jewish community. Today we're asking for your invaluable help to continue putting our community first in everything we do.

Unlike other Jewish media, we do not charge for content. That won’t change. Because we are free, we rely on advertising to cover our costs. This vital lifeline, which has dropped in recent years, has fallen further due to coronavirus.

For as little as £5 a month you can help sustain the vital work we do in celebrating and standing up for Jewish life in Britain.

Jewish News holds our community together and keeps us connected. Like a synagogue, it’s where people turn to feel part of something bigger. It also proudly shows the rest of Britain the vibrancy and rich culture of modern Jewish life.

You can make a quick and easy one-off or monthly contribution of £5, £10, £20 or any other sum you’re comfortable with.

100% of your donation will help us continue celebrating our community, in all its dynamic diversity...

Engaging

Being a community platform means so much more than producing a newspaper and website. One of our proudest roles is media partnering with our invaluable charities to amplify the outstanding work they do to help us all.

Celebrating

There’s no shortage of oys in the world but Jewish News takes every opportunity to celebrate the joys too, through projects like Night of Heroes, 40 Under 40 and other compelling countdowns that make the community kvell with pride.

Pioneering

In the first collaboration between media outlets from different faiths, Jewish News worked with British Muslim TV and Church Times to produce a list of young activists leading the way on interfaith understanding.

Campaigning

Royal Mail issued a stamp honouring Holocaust hero Sir Nicholas Winton after a Jewish News campaign attracted more than 100,000 backers. Jewish News also produces special editions of the paper highlighting pressing issues including mental health and Holocaust remembrance.

Easy access

In an age when news is readily accessible, Jewish News provides high-quality content free online and offline, removing any financial barriers to connecting people.

Voice of our community to wider society

The Jewish News team regularly appears on TV, radio and on the pages of the national press to comment on stories about the Jewish community. Easy access to the paper on the streets of London also means Jewish News provides an invaluable window into the community for the country at large.

We hope you agree all this is worth preserving.

read more:
comments