Rabbi Marvin Hier made history at Trump’s inauguration by becoming the first Orthodox Rabbi to speak at a President’s inauguration.
Rabbi Hier has met with various Presidents, and is the founder of the Simon Wiesenthal Center, an organisation named after the famous Nazi hunter, and which fights against antisemitism, terrorism and racism, as well helping to educate about the Holocaust.
The fact that Rabbi Hier was asked to speak at Trump’s inauguration, after a divisive campaign which caused many Jewish leaders to express concern, could be seen as a sincere positive step from the Trump camp. Unfortunately, his appearance was marred by torrents of antisemitic abuse.
Some tweets include the following:
“Why is there a Jew on my screen”
“He escaped from the camp! Gas him before its too late”
“someone light that Jew on fire”
“MY EARS ARE BEING RAPED BY JEW INCANTATIONS OMG PUSH THIS RABBI WITCH OFF THE STAGE”
“What the hell is some Jew rabbi doing at the inauguration? They are the enemies of America !”
“not down with that false pig religion of the devil”
“Guys, the Jew put a spell on us!”
“The Jew disappeared soon after his speech. Holding human form takes a lot of energy” – this tweet, which suggests Jews are not really human, but also plays on conspiracy theories about Jews (who are often referred to in more obscure conspiracy theories as “shapeshifters”) controlling the world.
“crazy how they let a Jew speak after their attacks on 9/11”
“Trump is just a puppet for the Jews”
“bruh this is why we need Hitler. who the fuck let the jew out the chamber”
“DON THERES A FUCKIN JEW ON THE SAGE KILL IT”
In the photo displayed above, someone photoshopped an antisemitic caricature of a Jew, and wrote that they were “wearing my ‘they live’ glasses”. They live is a film in which special glasses make the protagonist able to see the propaganda behind everyday advertising and media. However, the creator of the film has recently disavowed its popularity with neo-Nazis, insisting that the film is about consumer capitalism and has nothing to do with antisemitism.
Some in the Jewish community criticised Rabbi Hier for appearing at Trump’s inauguration, as many believe the President employed antisemitic tropes during his campaign. However, it is extremely worrying to see such vitriol being directed towards a Rabbi who was chosen to speak by the President. If these people are Trump supporters, it indicates that some of Trump supporters do not merely engage in antisemitic discourse, but will refuse to accept a Jewish person even when they have some form of personal endorsement from the candidate they support. However, of the hundreds of tweets that Rabbi Hier received, though they tended to have the general character of far right antisemitism, that some would have come from opponents of Trump.