Cemeteries have been vandalized and bomb threats against Jewish Community Centers are occurring across the country. This string of anti-Semitic activity is atrocious, one that received national attention when President Trump condemned the threats in his joint address to Congress last week. Yet, is anti-Semitism on the rise? Or is it because since Trump is now president, the media will do all that it can to turn him into the racist, sexist, and anti-Semitic monster the Left makes him out to be? I’m not diminishing the current incidents (190 of them so far); they’re awful. But what we’re seeing is just a fraction of the cumulative anti-Semitic incidents that occurred under Obama, which no one covered. Seth Frantzman at The Algemeiner asked the question: where was the news media when anti-Semitism was occurring during the Obama years? Where was all the reporting when anti-Semitism appeared to have peaked on college campuses in 2015?
If there was a major rise in antisemitism, then the 190 incidents that the media have reported on in the first two months of 2017 should be significant. That’s 95 a month. Let’s use that as a barometer and look at the first seven years of Barack Obama’s presidency. The 2016 data, when it is released, will be influenced by the apparent rise in antisemitism during the election. But the years 2009-2015, for which we have data, are untainted by the alleged rise in attacks from Trump supporters.
There were 1,211 antisemitic incidents in Obama’s first year in office. This was after four straight years of declining antisemitism. For instance, in 2008, there were 1,352 incidents. Attacks had
peaked in 2004 with 1,821.
Over the years, the number of incidents continued to decline. After an initial
uptick to 1,239 in 2010, they declined to 751 in 2013. They began to rise again to 914 in 2015, the last year for which we have data. When we tally the total number of incidents between 2009 and 2015, the overall number of attacks reaches more than 7,000. However, the number of assaults increased, almost doubling during the Obama administration.
Overall, there was an average of 84 incidents a month under the Obama administration. Let’s step back for a moment and compare that to the 95 incidents between January and February 2017. That’s a 10% increase. It could be more once all the data comes in. But the media haven’t been telling us there is a slight increase; the narrative has been that there is an antisemitic wave sweeping the US
Looking back almost a decade puts things in perspective. Where was the media in 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015 to highlight thousands of incidents of antisemitism? 210 physical assaults on Jews. 3,900 threats against Jews and Jewish institutions. 2,900 incidents of vandalism. 180 incidents of antisemitism on campus. Every six days, a Jewish person in America was being attacked in 2015 and it went largely ignored. On average, there were threats every day against Jews and Jewish institutions over the last eight years and most of them did not receive headlines.
Frantzman cited Mark Oppenheimer in The Washington Post, who noted that it’s simply too early to tell if we’re in the midst of an anti-Semitic surge. He also put it out there that maybe this was done to give the Obama White House political cover and protect their agenda. More disturbingly, he said maybe it’s because we’re “inured” by these heinous acts. Maybe we’re “inured” by it when a charismatic, young black liberal from Chicago wins the presidency, but the sense of urgency when it comes to anti-Semitism is reactivated when a Republican is in office. After all, if we were truly desensitized by these acts, then the media wouldn’t be sounding the alarm right now, as if this form of prejudice never existed in prior years. We can dwell on this later.
For now, the fact is that these acts are evil and the people who are committing them must be found and stopped. For some of these alleged perpetrators, it’s taken a weird turn. Guy wrote about a fake news-peddling progressive reporter who used to work for The Intercept was arrested for making such threats—and yes, he’s a bit out of his mind.