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Bernie vs Bloomberg: Prepare for the Trump-fueled Right-wing anti-Semitic Storm

14 6 3
14.02.2020

There has never been a Jewish presidential nominee in the United States. But that may change this year. Two leading candidates in the Democratic primaries, Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders and billionaire former New York mayor Michael Bloomberg, are Jewish. If either of them win the nomination, it will be a landmark moment for Jewish people in the United States.

But with Donald Trump as the Republican incumbent, a Jewish nominee will also almost certainly mean that the 2020 election campaign will be awash in anti-Semitic tropes, slurs, and conspiracy theories. It's important for the media and the public to be ready to identify them and refute them. The nomination of a Jewish candidate can't be allowed to become an occasion for increased hatred and violence.

It's important to note that Trump will smear other candidates too. In 2016, he smeared Ted Cruz, a Hispanic candidate, as un-American, falsely suggesting Cruz's father was involved in the JFK assassination. If out gay South Bend mayor Pete Buttigieg wins, Trump will no doubt attack him with homophobia - adding to the puerile, othering name-games he's already engaged in. If Elizabeth Warren wins, Trump will double down on misogyny. Trump has been calling her the racist slur "Pocahontas" since at least 2016.

Bigotry has been central to Trump’s presidency, and it will be central to his reelection campaign. But which bigotry he uses will depend to some degree on the opponent he faces. Jewish people and their allies need to be ready to anticipate, and respond, to anti-Semitism.

We can be certain Trump will use anti-Semitism against a Jewish candidate because he used anti-Semitism even against the non-Jewish Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton in the........

© Haaretz