Obama on Rising Anti-Semitism: Trump ‘Fanned Those Flames’
Former President appears to blame Trump for attacks on Jews
Obama referred to a 2016 speech he gave at the Israeli Embassy in Washington, D.C.
In an interview published by Jewish Insider, Obama said:
“I said that the seeds that gave rise to the Holocaust have always been with us,” Obama said.
“They have found root across cultures, faiths, and generations.
"And they have reemerged again and again, especially in times of change and uncertainty."
“When I gave that speech, it was clear that anti-Semitism was on the rise around the world,” Obama wrote.
"People’s anger over everything from immigration to inequality was boiling over — and many of them were looking for someone else to blame."
"And for four years, we had a President in the White House who fanned those flames."
According to the Anti-Defamation League, anti-Semitic incidence rose to an all-time high in 2019.
Over 2,100 acts of assault, harassment, and vandalism occurred across the U.S., most notably in New York, New Jersey, and California.
In 2019, two shooters launched an attack at a kosher market in a Jersey City Orthodox community, killing a police detective and three bystanders.
Just weeks later, a man stabbed five people at a Hanukkah party in a rabbi’s home.
A 72-year-old rabbi was stabbed in the head multiple times and later died.
In 2021, a shooting at a synagogue in Poway, California, left a woman dead and three others injured, including the synagogue’s rabbi during Passover.
The Washington Post noted in 2017:
As bad as 2017 has been for anti-Semitic incidents, 2016 wasn’t great, either. Nor was 2015, when the Anti-Defamation League reported 90 anti-Semitic incidents on campuses, twice as many as the year before — a slow drip that has continued into this school year. … While there is real anti-Semitism, we have no reliable statistics available to show there’s been a rise in anti-Semitism since Trump’s election. And while it’s easy for some to blame Trump for all acts of bigotry, we should discern what’s new from what we’re simply noticing for the first time.
Members of the Democratic Party like Rep. Ilhan Omar have been accused of expressing anti-Semitic sentiment.
Omar remarked on the “political influence in this country that says it is okay for people to push for allegiance to a foreign country.”
Also, Rep. Maxine Waters (D-CA) and other Democrats had past ties to Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan, who has a strong history of anti-Semitism.
Farrakhan, who has frequently described Jewish people as “satanic,” blamed them for both the Holocaust and the Sept. 11, 2011, terrorist attacks.
Farrakhan also once praised Adolf Hitler as a “very great man.”
The Islamic leader also denounced interracial marriage, claiming it “mongrelized” the black race.
On the final night of the Democratic National Convention in 2020, a performance from the rapper Common with long-standing ties to the Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan was featured.