Ever since word broke earlier this week about a fundraiser for Donald Trump tomorrow at former Denver Broncos coach Mike Shanahan’s house, we’ve heard a particular line of grumbling about another co-chair of tomorrow’s Trump fundraiser–homebuilder Larry Mizel, one of the state’s richest and most philanthropic citizens and a major Republican “kingmaker.”
Who happens to be Jewish.
Now we want–no, we need–to be explicitly clear that Mizel is by any estimation a champion of Jewish-American and Israeli interests. Mizel is a co-founder of the Simon Wiesenthal Center, one of the foremost anti-racism and anti-Semitism organizations in the world. Mizel is on the board of the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC). Mizel created the Counterterrorism Education Learning Lab (The CELL) in Denver to educate the public about the threat of international terrorism.
It is with this all in mind that we cite this report from Harretz two days ago. As respectfully as we may:
Donald Trump’s candidacy and his rhetoric on the campaign trail has presumably led to the uptick in racism and anti-Semitism in the U.S., the Anti-defamation League’s CEO Jonathan Greenblatt said on Monday.
“I’m not saying that Donald Trump is a racist or anti-Semite but the racists and anti-Semites have come out of the woodwork during this political season to support him,” Greenblatt told CNN’s Deborah Feyerick in an interview broadcast on CNN Tonight with Don Lemon.
“This is not normal,” the ADL chief said, pointing to George Wallace’s run for U.S. president in the 1960′s as a similar example of “racism being inserted into the public conversation in a presidential election.” [Pols emphasis]
So, you’ve got the head of the Anti-Defamation League flat-out accusing Trump of causing an increase in “racism and anti-Semitism,” on the same day news breaks of Trump’s fundraiser in Denver with leading Jewish philanthropist Larry Mizel. The Jewish Virtual Library has a backgrounder on various anti-Semitic (or at least not very tasteful) statements from Trump over the years, and recently on the campaign trail:
Trump has been known to make anti-Semitic comments. In a 1991 book written by a former close colleague of Trump, the real-estate mogul is quoted as saying, “the only kind of people I want counting my money are little short guys that wear yarmulkes every day.” During a speech to the Republican Jewish Coalition on December 3, 2015, Trump depended on age-old Jewish stereotypes to relate to the crowd and get his message across. Trump commented that he is a, “negotiator… like you folks,” and asked the crowd, “Is there anyone in this room who doesn’t negotiate deals?” Trump added that he thinks that the Jewish people are not going to support him because “I don’t want your money. And you want to control your own politicians.” These comments sparked backlash from Israeli news agencies, with the Times of Israel running a headline the next day that read,“Trump courts Republican Jews with offensive stereotypes.”
…In the wake of the November 13 Paris terror attacks, Trump stated that he would consider closing down all Mosques in the United States, tracking all U.S. Muslims within a database, and making all U.S. Muslims wear a “special identifier” if elected President. When asked how these ideas differ from how Hitler tracked down and identified Jews during the Holocaust, Donald Trump simply stated to the camera “you tell me.” Trump suggested that we should ban Muslims from coming into the United States in early December 2015, a comment White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest said “disqualifies him from serving as President.”
Trump announced plans to visit Israel and meet with Netanyahu in late 2015, and a date was set for December 28. After Trump made offensive comments about banning all Muslims from entering the United States days after the announcement, Netanyahu cancelled the meeting and issued a statement condemning his Islamophobic rhetoric. [Pols emphasis]
There is plenty more we could cite here, like the Times of Israel’s timeline of Trump’s anti-Semitic controversies. All of this is longstanding public knowledge. Trump’s failure to make a clean break with the racist elements of society he has energized, purposefully or not, is emerging as a major theme of his campaign for President.
“The fact of the matter is, his failure to reject and repudiate their racism, their anti-Semitism, and their hate, with the same clear terms that he has used in the presidential debates, that he has used in his rallies, or that he has used about the other candidates, that lack of symmetry in the way he talks about white supremacists and racists, has helped to mainstream them into this political conversation,” Greenblatt said during an interview with Israel’s Channel 1. “And that’s what we find so problematic.”
And with that, we must ask the question: why doesn’t Mizel find it problematic?
Because he should. If anybody should, Larry Mizel should.