Media Watch

ADL Response to Dennis Prager

Letters to the Editor
National Review

To the Editor:

Re “Remember the Hysteria about Trump-Induced Anti-Semitism” (June 13):

Our concerns about anti-Semitism in America are real and based on fact. Dennis Prager, in making his claim of hysteria, ignores the data and chooses to mischaracterize our statements.

We made clear, reflecting ADL’s most recent poll of the American people, that the American public at-large was not becoming more anti-Semitic. We also made clear that we did not believe that President Donald Trump was anti-Semitic.

What we did say was that anti-Semitic incidents, such as harassment, vandalism and physical assaults, in the United States were dramatically increasing. Statistics, which Prager conveniently omits, bear that out. In 2016, there was a 34 percent rise in anti-Semitic incidents over the year before. And in the first two months of 2017 there was a 31 percent increase (this excludes the many bomb threats against Jewish institutions that so terrorized the community). Hate crimes against Jews in New York City doubled in 2017.

We also said that President Trump’s rhetoric during the campaign was a factor in this phenomenon and we stand by that. His comments about Muslims, Latinos, the disabled and women have given license to some hate-filled individuals and groups to now act upon them. Not surprisingly, among them were anti-Semites, who now felt emboldened to express their anti-Semitism.

One more thing that Prager ignores: we have long said that anti-Semitism has no ideological monopoly. It comes from the left as well as the right. We work to combat it, such as in our efforts against the anti-Israel boycott movement on campuses, no matter where it comes from.

Mr. Prager should not diminish the real concerns about anti-Semitism in America.


Kenneth Jacobson
Deputy National Director