|Posted: October 19, 2016, 11:40 am - IP Logged|
Anti-Semitic Posts, Many From Trump Supporters, Surge on Twitter:
She had seen her face superimposed on the body of a concentration camp inmate. She had been called “a slimy Jewess.” She had been told she “deserved the oven.” One anonymous individual had electronically harassed her for 19 hours straight.
Things got so bad that Bethany Mandel, a 30-year-old freelance writer in Highland Park, N.J., decided one afternoon last spring to drive to a nearby gun shop. A mother of two small children, she now keeps a .22 in her home.
What had she done to provoke so much vitriol? She posted some messages on Twitter drawing attention to the fact that Donald J. Trump seemed to have a lot of anti-Semitic supporters.
In some respects, Mrs. Mandel’s story has become a familiar one. She is among hundreds of Jewish journalists who have been the target of anti-Semitic attacks on Twitter during the 2016 presidential campaign, according to a new report by the Anti-Defamation League.
Anti-Semitism has been resurgent in Europe for years. But it has taken on a new dimension in the United States with the emergence of the Trump campaign, whose battle against political correctness has provided a kind of on-ramp for bigotry to enter the political mainstream.
During its investigation, the organization found that 2.6 million anti-Semitic messages were posted on Twitter from August 2015 to July 2016. Of those, 19,253 were directed at journalists.
There was a significant uptick starting early this year, when the presidential campaign began to intensify, the organization said in its report, to be released on Wednesday. More than 800 journalists have been the subject of anti-Semitic attacks on Twitter, with 10 of them receiving 83 percent of the total attacks.
The words appearing most frequently in the Twitter biographies of the attackers were “Trump,” “nationalist,” “conservative” and “white.” Many of the owners of the 1,600 Twitter accounts were anonymous, though at least two are prominent white supremacists: Andrew Anglin, the founder of the website The Daily Stormer, and Lee Rogers of the Infostormer.
The report was careful not to suggest that the Trump campaign “supported or endorsed” the anti-Semitic attacks, but noted that many had been sent by his supporters.
But some of the targets said that by evoking hostility toward minorities, Mr. Trump’s campaign had inspired and emboldened white nationalists and others to engage in acts of digital aggression toward “others” — including Jews — and toward Jewish journalists in particular.
“The best analogy I can give is that the campaign turned over a rock and a lot of stuff began crawling out from under it,”