(JTA) – The Anti-Defamation League (ADL) condemned a rash of anti-Semitic attacks levied against New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman after he announced his office would open an investigation into the Donald J. Trump Foundation.
In a statement Monday, the ADL said that Schneiderman’s announcement of the investigation on Sept. 14 prompted a series of anti-Semitic tweets and comments, including tweets reading “More like JEW York Attorney General” and “Just another lying kike grasping at straws.”
“We strongly condemn all forms of anti-Semitic attacks on Attorney General Schneiderman,” said Evan Bernstein, ADL’s New York Regional director. “These repulsive and disturbing actions are just the latest in a concerning trend from the ‘alt-right’ to spread their hate-filled and twisted views across the Internet and social media.”
The ADL had previously announced the formation of a task force to document the alt-right, a conservative movement rooted in white nationalism whose followers often delve into anti-Semitism and race baiting. Members of the alt-right often identify themselves as Trump supporters, and the Trump camp has been criticized for sharing tweets and messages that originated on alt-right websites and discussion boards.
Schneiderman’s office opened a probe into the Republican presidential nominee’s charitable foundation after it came under media scrutiny for unfulfilled pledges and providing donations that benefited Trump personally, among other allegations. On Oct. 3, after Schneiderman ordered the Trump Foundation to cease raising money in New York because it was not registered, a well-known neo-Nazi, Andrew Anglin, wrote on his Daily Stormer website, “New York Kike Attorney General Eric Schneiderman Suspends Trump’s Donations!”
“The goal of Andrew Anglin and other anti-Semites and bigots of his kind is to promote hatred of Jews and to denigrate minorities,” Bernstein said. “We urge social media users to be vigilant of the extremist digital presence of the alt-right and flag problematic content whenever it surfaces.”
Schneiderman, a Democrat, was blunt in tying the Trump campaign to the kinds of messages he had received.
“When you give license to open expressions of bigotry against Mexicans and Muslims, you open the door to bigotry against all groups of people, including Jews,” he said in a statement. “This type [of] demagoguery and anti-Semitic imagery harkens back to much darker times in history, where not just Jews – but Latinos, African-Americans, virtually every ethnic, racial and religious minority — were subject to the kinds of attacks that sought to marginalize minorities, and shut them out of the political process. It’s deeply troubling that these voices have found new life during the presidential campaign.”
The ADL has urged Trump repeatedly to disavow messages originating among his supporters on the alt-right.
In July, Trump’s son-in-law and key adviser, Jared Kushner, who is Jewish, wrote that the candidate should not be held accountable for anti-Semitic attacks on his critics and opponents that appeared online.
“I am appalled that anyone … would have to endure that kind of hateful rhetoric,” Kushner wrote. “But blaming Donald Trump for the most outrageous things done by people who claim to support him is no different from blaming Bernie Sanders for the people who stomp and spit on American flags at his rallies.”