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Young Jews hold sit-in at Republican club that hosted ‘Proud Boys’ to demand renunciation of white nationalism

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Young Jews blocked the entrance to the Metropolitan Republican Club in New York City this afternoon, protesting the GOP in the wake of the killing of 11 Jews at the Tree of Life Synagogue in Pittsburgh over the weekend.

In videos posted to social media the group is seen surrounding a display of kippas, or religious skullcaps, with the names of the victims of Saturday’s shooting atop a banner that reads “GOP: Tell White Nationalists They Don’t Have A Place in Your Party.”

The organization the Jewish Vote posted on Twitter, “Trump and the GOP are directly responsible for the wave of white nationalist terrorism sweeping the country. Hate speech coming from the White House is causing hate violence in our communities.”

The sit-in occurred while President Donald Trump was en route to Pittsburgh with his son-in-law Jared Kushner and daughter Ivanka Trump. The president’s initial comments following the deadliest attack on American Jews in the U.S. in modern history were met with anger– and rebuffs of meetings with him on his travels to visit the mourners.

On Saturday hours after the shooting Trump suggested that had the Tree of Life Synagogue posted armed guards out front, it could have prevented the tragedy. “If they had protection inside the results would have been far better,” Trump said. “Maybe it could have been a very much different situation.”

The White House’s failure to mention by name the rising trends of white nationalism, or the rhetoric of opposing “globalists” are regarded as a dog whistle for anti-Jewish sentiments. They were espoused by accused shooter Robert Bowers, and have angered many in progressive Jewish circles.

Bowers was charged on Saturday with 29 federal crimes including 11 counts of murder and hate crimes.

“There is a direct line between Trump’s white nationalism and the violence that we have seen, on the largest terrorist attack on Jews in American history,” said co-founder of IfNotNow Rafael Shimunov in a live feed of the protest outside of the GOP office.

Shimunov explained the GOP building was chosen as the site of the protest because earlier in the month the club hosted Gavin McInnes, founder of the Proud Boys, a far-right off-shoot of the alt-right that brands itself around “Western values.”

“We’re here at the Republican club that hosted a Nazi and claimed that he didn’t know he was violent, even though he was there months prior and he was speaking violently and calling for violence,” Shimunov said.

After the October 12 event at which McInnes staged a mock execution, around 30 members of the Proud Boys, a far-right male-only organization, beat three protesters. According to a witness who spoke to Buzzfeed in the first report of the encounter, Proud Boys yelled, “Do you feel brave now, faggot?’” while punching the demonstrators. Police later arrested five members of the right-wing group.

Today Vice President Mike Pence spoke at a Michigan rally alongside Messianic religious leader Loren Jacobs, who leads a congregation that posits Jesus as the Messiah and adheres to many Jewish observances. Jacobs led a blessing over GOP candidates seeking election in the midterms.

Shimunov referred to Jacobs as a “quote on quote ‘a rabbi,’” lamenting, “they didn’t pray for the Jews who were killed in Squirrel Hill in the Tree of Life Synagogue, they prayed for Republican candidates to win,” adding, “now we have Mike Pence promoting a rabbi who his job  is to erase Jews religiously by converting them into Christianity, this is just open anti-Semitism.”


Allison Deger

Allison Deger is the Assistant Editor of Follow her on twitter at @allissoncd.

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13 Responses

  1. scott9854958 on October 31, 2018, 12:09 pm

    I can’t think of a country more dedicated to White Nationalism than Israel.

    • Mooser on October 31, 2018, 2:29 pm

      “I can’t think of a country more dedicated to White Nationalism than Israel.”

      Is that really fair to White Nationalists? Shouldn’t we say it’s a kind of well, Off-White Nationalism, the kind that goes with anything.

  2. Maghlawatan on October 31, 2018, 4:23 pm

    This protest is really impressive. Shines the spotlight on Jewish enablers like Miller and Kushner. Maybe Trump’s bullshit will backfire in the midterms. He lit the fire of antisemitism for political purposes and then went to Pittsburgh as if he was grieving.

    A lot of people are joining dots.


    More signs of this election confirming shifting alignments: In both surveys, the Democrat is winning over 90 percent of voters who disapprove of Trump and leading among college educated whites (+5 in AZ, +4 in NV) while the Republican is up >20 w/non-college whites in each state. NV) while the Republican is up >20 w/non-college whites in each state.

    • CigarGod on October 31, 2018, 8:30 pm

      Yep, like an arsonist likes to show up in the aftermath of a fire and enjoy the range of damage and response.
      It is so common, LE takes photos of the crowd hoping to identify the arsonist.

  3. Mooser on October 31, 2018, 4:40 pm

    “More like the kind where anything goes.”

    Can’t argue with you. It’s inferior to the real thing. It’s not the whiter shade of fail.

  4. Mooser on November 1, 2018, 9:07 pm

    Uh-oh here we go

    “Rep. Steve King Erupts At Questioner Who Presses Him On Pittsburgh Synagogue Shooter”

    Rep Steve King: “You have crossed the line. It is not tolerable to accuse me of being associated with that guy who shot 11 people in Pittsburgh. I am a person who has supported Israel since the beginning.”

  5. jrg on November 5, 2018, 5:53 pm

    Misterioso, when I open the Ha’aretz link, I run into a pay wall. Could you please copy and paste the full article into this Comments section? Thx.

    • annie on November 5, 2018, 8:07 pm

      jrg, misterio might not see your comment since it was posted to the general thread. here are the salient % passages:

      Although the polls indicate a slight increase in support for Israel among Republicans/conservatives, it does not offset the sharper drop in support among Democrats/liberals. The poll corroborates other findings that indicate that Israel has become embroiled in the hyper-partisan conflict generated by Trump’s presidency. The perception of close ties between Trump and Israel and between Netanyahu and Trump are definitely pushing Democrats and liberals to distance themselves from the Jewish state.

      The comprehensive Economist/YouGov poll of 1,500 U.S. adults, which included scores of questions on Trump’s performance and foreign policy, shows that support for Israel is directly co-related to gender, age, economic status and political outlook. It is strongest among older, well-to-do, conservative white men and weakest among young, liberal, minorities and women…..

      Perhaps the most surprising and hitherto least reported indication of this disparate support is the gender gap: Asked whether Israel, along with other countries, is seen as friend or foe, 46 percent of men described Israel as an ally compared to only 29 percent of women….

      The imbalance is even more pronounced when broken down by other demographic criteria: Only 25 percent of those 18-29-years-old said that Israel was an ally, compared to 55 percent of those over 65. Forty-three percent of whites viewed Israel as an ally, compared to only 19 percent of African Americans and 22 percent of Hispanics. Twenty-nine percent of households earning less that $50K a year viewed Israel favorably but 49 percent of those earning $100K and over did. Twenty-nine percent of those who voted for Clinton in 2016 saw Israel as an ally compared to 65 percent of Trump voters. And 27 percent of liberals say Israel favorable compared to 33 percent of moderates but a whopping 60 percent of conservatives.

      The results are generally similar to previous polls, but they point to a sharp drop in support for Israel among those groups whose backing was weaker from the outset. Compared to the results of an identical question posed in August 2017, views of Israel as an ally dropped from 35 percent to 27 percent among liberals, from 40 percent to 29 percent among 2016 Clinton voters; from 26 percent to 19 percent among African Americans and so on.

      i bolded that figure of clinton voters because that 71% not viewing Israel as an ally, likely represent the rank and file of dem party. 29% and shrinking, and it can’t happen fast enough. in two years it shrank over 10 pts.

      btw, go to your browser’s “file” dropdown at the top of the page. you should find an “incognito” or “private” window option. i am often able to access otherwise blocked sites with one of those windows.

  6. jrg on November 5, 2018, 8:22 pm

    Thanks, Annie. This thread is the only one I’ve seen.

    • annie on November 6, 2018, 12:08 am

      by “thread”, i mean the sections on the page where Misterioso left his comment. iow, do you see the reply option under my comment that you just responded to? that would be the place to respond to someone. you just started a new thread. on the right bottom of the page (on my computers browser, i don’t know where it is on a cell phone) there’s an icon of a bell w/a number on it. if you click it it will show who has responded to you or a thread you are on (your notifications). if you scroll up the page you’ll notice misterioso was responding to mooser. while misterioso doesn’t have a reply option under his comment if you scroll up to mooser’s there is one, and had you posted it there it would have landed in Misterioso’s notifications. when responding to someone scroll up to the nearest reply option and your comment will be on that “thread” on this page, near his comment.

      again, if you do not see a reply option on someones comment, scroll up to the nearest reply option.

      especially on an article that is a week old, if you do not respond directly on the thread in question and place your comment solo at the base of the page, it’s likely it may go unread by the person you are addressing. however it will still land at the base and on the last 100 comment page so anyone reading that page will see it too. good luck!

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