Although Republican presidential candidate, Donald Trump, has publicly stated that he has no ties to antisemitic hate groups, that has not stopped Trump’s antisemitic supporters – neo-Nazis, white supremacists, and the alt-right – from making death threats against the press.
Jewish journalists have discovered that for some Trump supporters, demonstrating loyalty to their “Glorious Leader”, the extreme right’s nickname for Trump, has threatened their sense of personal safety.
Jewish Russian-born journalist, Julia Ioffe, infuriated Trump supporters when she wrote an article for the magazine, GQ, that was critical of Trump’s wife, Melania. As a result, Ioffe, filed a report with the Washington D.C. police over threats “to kidnap or injure a person”.
Flooded with death threats and prank calls, Ioffe, even received a prank call that played a recording of Hitler’s speeches. Another caller said “her face would look good on a lampshade”. Ironically, Ioffe’s family fled Russia because of antisemitism.
Reporter Bethany Mandel, a convert to Judaism, who has an active presence on Twitter, wrote in an article for the Jewish newspaper, the Forward, that after making anti-Trump tweets, she was a victim of “terrifying and profound antisemitism”. But it was receiving actual death threats in her private Facebook mailbox that motivated Mandel, a resident of New Jersey, to file a report with the New Jersey police.
Ultimately, Mandel, who was called a “slimy Jewess” and told that she “deserved the oven”, felt so threatened that she even applied for a gun permit.
Former Breitbart writer, Ben Shapiro, who is an Orthodox Jew, also felt the need to purchase a weapon after being hit “with a number of death threats”. Shapiro told writer Bethany Mandel that “there are an outsized set of Trump supporters who will threaten your safety”. The fact that Jews feel so threatened by supporters of the Trump campaign that they feel like they must own weapons for their own safety indicates just how dire the situation is becoming, with rising far-right activity clearly denting citizen’s faith that the police can protect them.
Shapiro, who is the recipient of hate tweets from David Duke, the former Grand Wizard of the Klu Klux Klan, left the conservative website, Breitbart, because he was unable to support their pro-Trump editorial stance.
And yet, according to Jewish writer, Bradley Burston, a reporter for the Israeli newspaper, Haaretz, it’s just not Trump’s supporters who are dangerous. Trump harms democracy because he “enables and tolerates and excuses and pumps it [antisemitism]”.
Andrew Anglin, the editor of the alt-right (alternative right) white nationalism website, The Daily Stormer, told the Los Angeles Times that “virtually every alt-Nazi I know is volunteering for the Trump campaign”.
Peter Montgomery, who tracks far right groups at People For The American Way, an advocacy group, believes that the extreme right’s involvement in politics will have “damaging, long-term consequences” for America. This fact would not surprise Burston, who criticized Trump for giving “a podium to bigots, an arena stage to hatred”.