Jewish Groups Lambast CNN For ‘Whitewashing’ Left-Wing Antisemitism
- The Jewish Leadership Project and the Coalition for Jewish Values are criticizing CNN for “whitewashing” left-wing antisemitism in their latest special.
- “Experts across the board caution antisemitism is growing on the left, but it is not equivalent to hate on the right,” CNN Chief Political Correspondent Dana Bash stated in the documentary.
- “Huh? I have worked in academia for two decades. I have yet to encounter a white supremacist group at CUNY,” City University of New York Professor Jeffery Lax, who runs the group, S.A.F.E. CUNY, told the Daily Caller News Foundation.
Several Jewish groups are criticizing CNN for its recent special covering the rise of antisemitism, which focused mainly on “right wing,” white supremacist threats while “whitewashing” left-wing antisemitism and anti-Jewish attacks by other minority groups.
“Experts across the board caution antisemitism is growing on the left, but it is not equivalent to hate on the right,” CNN Chief Political Correspondent Dana Bash stated in her special, “Rising Hate: Antisemitism in America,” released Sunday. She then advertised part of her special in a tweet, stating the issue is “complicated and nuanced,” which both the Jewish Leadership Project and the Coalition for Jewish Values (CJV) called a “whitewash” of left-wing attacks toward Jews in public press releases.
Bash interviewed Anti-Defamation League (ADL) CEO Jonathan Greenblatt, who previously served as a staffer for former President Barack Obama, and progressive rabbi Jill Jacobs, who said she is more terrified of antisemitism on the right. “On the left it is more in the discourse,” she concluded.
“That’s because attacks on Jews are increasingly coming from the left and they don’t want to admit it. They rightfully cite white supremacists, but when it comes to black supremacists, left-wing anti-Zionists, radicals and Islamists … it’s complicated and nuanced,” the Jewish Leadership project added, criticizing Bash’s comments in an email to the Daily Caller News Foundation.
“On the extreme right, (antisemites) are the tornado that will tear apart your house and kill everyone inside in an instant,” Greenblatt told CNN. “The far left is like climate change. Slowly, but surely the temperature is rising.”
Antisemites live-streaming themselves confronting Jews to receive donations, as ADL's @orensegal shows, is one of many shocking and dangerous ways #antisemitism is taking shape online. We thank @DanaBashCNN for highlighting this and more in last night's @CNN Special Report. pic.twitter.com/vVTO0dh7k9
— ADL (@ADL) August 22, 2022
“The only ‘rabbi’ they quote is regarded by most of the Jewish community as providing cover for antisemitism,” CJV President Rabbi Yaakov Menken told DCNF. He noted that CNN did not talk to any traditional or more conservative rabbis.
“Huh? I have worked in academia for two decades. I have yet to encounter a white supremacist group at CUNY,” City University of New York Professor Jeffery Lax, who runs the group S.A.F.E. CUNY, told the DCNF. “On the other hand, I can roll off of the top of my head several violent attacks by left wing radicals against Jews just from the past year or two.”
He claimed a CUNY student took a bat to an Orthodox Jew in Brooklyn when another student, Nerdeen Kiswani, held a rally where pro-Palestinian protesters chanted “Globalize the Intifada,” a violent uprising that Palestinians waged against Jews living in Israel over two time periods.
Former New York Assemblyman Dov Hikind called the special “a slanted point of view of antisemitism” that is “obsessed” with white supremacy in an interview with DCNF. He said the ADL is in a “good shidduch,” or good relationship, with CNN, claiming they refuse to examine who is committing anti-Jewish hate crimes in his state “which happen to be other minorities.”
His organization, Americans Against Antisemitism, published a recent study claiming Jews are attacked regularly in more than 70% of New York City police precincts.
Some of these attackers have been released from jail under New York’s bail reform laws.
“On campuses, almost all of the vicious Jew hatred threats and attacks, even physical attacks, are by the left. It is not White Supremacists on campuses,” Morton Klein, president of the Zionist Organization of America, told the DCNF. “They’re afraid of attacking the left-wing antisemites.”
CNN did interview a Jewish SUNY New Paltz student who was kicked out of a campus group supporting sexual assault survivors after expressing support for Israel’s existence. She told Bash that progressive students harassed her online and encouraged people to spit on her.
But in a discussion about the incident, CNN Chief National Correspondent John King said “anti-Zionism isn’t always antisemitism.” Zionism is the collective return of the Jewish people to their ancestral homeland and the belief they should have sovereignty, according to the Jewish Virtual Library.
“Who are they talking about, the 7 million people of Israel? They’re all Zionists, right?” Hikind continued.
Lax admonished CNN for noting that Republican Georgia Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene made statements deemed antisemitic, without mentioning the same charges levied at Democratic Minnesota Rep. Ilhan Omar and Democratic Michigan Rep. Rashida Tlaib.
“Greenblatt, former Obama guy, praised Ilhan Omar for her ‘commitment to a more just world.’ Is this who you talk to when you talk about antisemitism? No mention of Jesse Jackson or Louis Farrakhan?” Klein said.
He added that the special mentioned the white supremacist synagogue attack in Poway, California, without giving equal coverage to the antisemitic stabbing in Monsey, New York, and the shooting at a Jersey City kosher market, both perpetrated in 2019 by supporters of the Black Hebrew Israelites, according to the New York Post.
CNN did cover the taking of hostages at a Texas synagogue in January, but did not mention the perpetrator, Malik Faisal Akram, was a self-identified Muslim who demanded the release of a Pakistani terrorist serving in prison. They did show footage from the white supremacist rally held in Charlottesville, Virginia, in 2017, where right-wing extremists marched down streets hailing Adolf Hitler and one man plowed his car into a crowd of protesters.
CNN did not respond to DNCF’s request for comment.
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