tv Washington Journal Jonathan Greenblatt Discusses Threats Against Jewish... CSPAN March 3, 2017 2:28pm-2:58pm EST
connection with bomb threats of jewish community centers. prosecutors allege is part of a cyber stalking scheme to retaliate against a former girlfriend. we talked about other threats on today's "washington journal." here at our table this morning as jonathan greenblatt, here to talk about threats jewish threats in the united states. please explain what the anti-defamation league is. that was founded in a land . he was falsely accused of a crime and killed by a mob. , juice were widely discriminated against. there was a lot of cultural --judice and actually legal stop the defamation of jewish
people and guarantee fair treatment to all. a hundred years we work to fight anti-semitism, but also bigotry. >> how do you go about your work? changeer one, we try to laws with a focus on the first amendment and rights. we focus on education. we reach about 2 million children every year. and number three, we work with law enforcement. crimes, pluse hate train law enforcement.
host: you are gathering data about what are the threats out there. guest: that is right. host: that is the question the president got, is anti-semitism on the rise? the adl has been doing research since the 1960's. 30% of the population. the good news is our most recent annual off it -- audit, we are off where we were 50 years ago. we started doing this. you look around you see that jews in the nine states have achieved high economic and political and social levels.
we have been tracking anti-semitic incidents. targeted religious minority. we have seen a surge of hate crimes and biases. host: what do you attribute that to? guest: no doubt that during the campaign we saw the rise in the kind of rhetoric that is not typically found in the middle of the national conversation. you had moments like when david duke endorsed donald trump a year ago. we had comments about mexicans and muslims and jews during the course of the campaign. with that anti-semitic images muchanguages tweeted from to premise websites and we saw white nationalist media credentialed for political events. technology has changed things dramatically. the so-called all right, -- a group of neo-nazis and white supremacists, not
great people. all of them have been able to use social media to organize in ways that were not previously possible. 50 years ago they can behind white hoods and men in court --s -- met in cornfi thing that got nationaleld. the attention is the level of anti-semitic abuse, in general, racist, misogynist bullying that happened on twitter in particular. host: what has the president done or not done to respond to this? in your opinion? bigt: president trump had a week in terms of the fact that he opened his first joint session, his first remarks by talking about this. many people thought he would talk about make america great speech, he opened that maybe he would talk about american carnage. he chose to call that out.
that was important. -- time after time, over the course of the last three months and even beyond that, he has not forcefully denounced and formally spoken out against anti-semitic. we are hoping the president will go from rhetoric to real action and go beyond words and start putting out a plan. host: let's listen to the words. here is the president at the joint session. [video clip] president trump: recent threads targeting jewish community centers and vandalism of jewish cemeteries and last week's shooting in kansas city remind us that while we may be a nation divided on policy, we are a country that stands united in condemning hate and evil in all of it's very ugly forms. -- its very ugly forms. [applause]
president trump: each american generation passes the torch of truth, liberty and justice. an unbroken chain all the way down to the present. that torch is now in our hands and we will use it to light up the world. i'm here tonight to deliver a message of unity and strength and it's a message deeply delivered from my heart. host: you said words are one thing, now you want to see action. what action could the president do? guest: we would like to see a fully resourced investigation from the department of justice. these are hate crimes and they can bring to bear the full force of justice. we think the president should
convene an interagency task force. to create a whole policy structure around addressing anti-semitism. homeland security has a crucial role to play. there were rumors that they would reduce the focus of their program to just emphasize radical islam. radical islam is a problem, but that needs to continue to encompass white supremacists, neo-nazis and the extreme right. we focus a lot on education at the adl you cannot arrest your way out of it. you have to change minds and education is the best preventive medicine. elevatevos should anti-heat content for kids in schools. content.ate
there is an opportunity for the president to engage congress and make sure that our laws around things like cyber bullying, cyber stalking, all those laws need to catch up with reality. lastly, symbols matter. what he did on tuesday night was important. what vice president pence did also counts. on his first trip overseas, he stop at a former concentration camp in germany and said some important words. he went to one of the cemeteries desecrated in st. louis and did a cleanup with the governor. he spoke at a jewish event on friday night in las vegas. he has consistently talk about why anti-semitism is wrong. we really welcome that. , whether they are elected officials like the president and vice president or the dean of the university need to formally and forcefully reject hate whenever it appears. host: let's get our viewers
involved. akron, ohio. and dependent. -- independent. caller: i think your guest is already reaching, the whole idea of the government putting these right-wing groups on the same anding as isis or al qaeda what the effect would be -- we went that way already picked . i want your thoughts on steve bannon in the administration. guest: thank you for the question. one of the points the caller is making is worth emphasizing. these bomb threats to jcc's in the past week. there have been 121 bomb threats across 30 states.
to they schools and two to my offices. nypd have arrested the man they believe called in that bomb threat. my san francisco office was targeted. these kinds of calls were you target a group of people with the intent to terrorize them should be called out as terror. it is intended to disrupt, it is intended to intimidate and terrorize. we should call it what it is. we are glad that one of those cases may be broken. bannon, wet to steve were quite alarmed when steve bannon was announced as the new chief strategist. breitbart,eadership, in his own words, he chose to
position it as the platform for the all right. -- alt right. anyone who traffics in those doesn't ideas don' belong down the hall in the white house. whenever anti-semitism appears, the president and vice president and the people around him will continue to call it out. host: is it fair to call steve bannon a white to premises? -- white supremacist? guest: the complexity of having the moral complexity of someone who accretive breitbart is incredibly troubling -- who created breitbart is incredible troubling. host: a new report in "usa today." guest: governor cuomo has been great on these issues.
and theye been jcc's schools and our offices targeted -- day schools and our offices targeted. they are targeted jewish cemeteries in st. louis -- the jewish community has dealt with anti-semitism for ages. we have seen cemeteries metallized in the past. we have seen synagogues defaced in the past. we've never seen a pattern like this. whether it is copycats or one person choreographing it, the intensity of it is incredibly troubling. es in texas. democrat. caller: i'm a 71-year-old white male with advanced degrees in human behavior -- i strongly oppose israeli policy towards palestinians.
why is it i am constantly labeled and has anti-semitic? i've been part of the civil rights movement since i was in high school. guest: i don't know who is labeling you anti-semitic or not. there are people who might disagree with policies of the israeli government. there are plenty of people in the jewish community, even among my organization -- there are also people who disagree with the policies of the american government. when jews are demonized or delegitimized, when the state of israel is held to a different standard -- one thing we've seen -- we are campuses for a two state solution at the adl. pro-israel students are being singled out, being threatened because of their ideas. when you target people because
of their faith, that is a problem. when you hold people to a different standard because of their religion, that is a problem. that is the activity that crosses the line. host: russ in connecticut. independent. caller: i want to comment on the supreme court justice, neil gorsuch. he was involved in the court he 2011 case where a highway patrol official was apparently killed and they wanted to arrest 12 foot tall crosses on public land with a highway patrol symbol. this supreme court nominee had no problem with that. he felt it was perfectly ok to put 12 foot tall crosses on public land and he even claimed
that this doesn't promote christianity. i believe in separation of church and state. i do not believe the government should be supporting a religion. by supporting christianity, by the government actively supporting christianity, they whoencouraging these people are anti-somatic. -- anti-semitic. guest: i'm not familiar with the particular case -- the adl is a strong proponent of separation of trick in state. -- church and state. has been a haven to people whether they are christians or jews or muslims -- i would agree with the caller that we don't believe in the enforcement of any official religion. host: paul in michigan.
democrat. thank you for taking my call. i want to make a comment. why didn't the president of theed states answer question that the reporter asked him about anti-semitism? with the israeli prime minister about all he did was talk his electoral college vote. host: what did you make of his response to the reporter who asked him about anti-semitism in this country? guest: there were two instances -- a question at a press conference he did with prime minister netanyahu. the rise of about anti-semitism.
by a -- was asked if you see these threats, if you listen to anyone in the community, it's impossible to not at least acknowledge something is going on. the role of the president is to not only be our elected leader, but to be a moral compass for the country. we hoped for a stronger response. we call for that. how the primeut minister reacted to that question? as a great president friend to the jewish people. guest: prime minister nine yahoo! has known from for a long time. -- prime minister netanyahu has known trump for a long time.
he has a job to do as the prime minister of israel. i have a job to do. i look at the pattern of abuse on social media, verbal harassment, bomb threats, cemetery desecrations -- just one week ago, we had an attack in myrtle beach, softer line of where a man was arrested by the fbi on his way to stage a columbine style attack against a synagogue in myrtle beach. something is going on. it would be great if the prime minister would do the same. i was a bit surprised at his response. he has a job to do. we have a job to do. host: i want to get your reaction to samuel friedman's piece today in "the washington post." he wrote this --
i don't believe donald trump is an anti-semi. -- is an anti-semite. what i do think israel is the right. some of the elements that supported the trump campaign. we looked at 12 months of twitter data because we were concerned about the rising anti-semitic abuse, specifically of jewish journalists. we found 2.6 million anti-semitic tweets, tens of thousands directed at jewish journalists. these were democrats and republicans. the only thing these people had in common, they were jews. the abuse directed at them was typically about their faith. happeningomething that is different around the supporters of this campaign that we have not seen before.
it doesn't mean all the people supporting the campaign, but there was this hard-core element that was quite troubling. important. they send signals. vice president pence's statements and visits were incredibly meaningful. to lead aent chose congress the other night by talking about and pessimism -- about anti-semitism. i do think it is complicated. the jewish community is not monolithic. there is in just one view of israel or u.s. politics. -- there isn't just one view of israel or u.s. politics. many people in the jewish community were concerned about president obama's handling of israel. on the other hand, many people
felt president obama was very good on israel. host: would you say the president's decision at the u.n. was anti anti-semitic? guest: no, but it was a dumb decision. not necessarily align with what is needed to get the two parties to the table. the adl deeply believes in the two state solution. requireste solution two parties to negotiate with one another. the united nations has been very one-sided against israel for many years. using that as a forum to adjudicate the conflict is not in the best interests of both parties. environment where we've seen the palestinian authority
advance the conflict, that is extremely problematic. it doesn't advance the ball forward. we see actors in the middle east , one of the largest state sponsors of anti-semitism and we see their propaganda against jews show up in places like arab media. these are ideas that dehumanize jews and delegitimize the jewish state these are ideas that need to be called out. it is a good point to make. justessimism is not is a matterm -- it of prejudice. host: anna in texas. a democrat. caller: glad to see you back.
as a 68-year-old black woman , the jewishe south people, muslim people, mexican what we havecing faced every day of my 68 years in america. what you have to do is learn to deal with it. you have to learn to talk about it. this is america. we don't want to come out and talk about it. i have my little group over here, you have your little group. nobody comes together to talk about it. my nephew died in iraq in 2005. like, i'm never, ever going to hate anyone. iraqld us how the kids in would come out with bullets
flying and tell them that there is something over there that they don't want to come in contact with. when i hear people talk about religion, all of us are supposed to be america. president obama left israel with a 38 million dollars defense. we could have used that over here. i understand he felt like that was the thing to do for israel. hatedin netanyahu president obama. i don't think it was because of him being president. it was because of his color. that is one thing we have to deal with. i don't think donald trump hates blacks. when you surround yourself with people who do with that says something about you. do, that says something
about you. guest: i'm sorry for the loss of her nephew. it is a terrible thing. i appreciate your perspective as an african american woman. america is a great place because of our diversity and the richness of our country's experience. a heritage that includes african americans and latinos and asians and people of different faiths. us shouldink any of think of prejudice is something we should just deal with. we have to fight for the rights that we have and we have to work harder to maintain this rich, diverse society. the jewish people for thousands of years have suffered and have been marginalized in many of the countries they have lived. i cannot comment on whether or not the president -- the prime minister hated president obama
-- i really don't know about that. the goal for all of us as people of good faith is to find ways to work together. i'm proud of the fact that on mlk day this year, i had an post."n "washington we are working on joint programs together. proud of the work we are doing with the muslim community and latinos. all of us are in this together. host: judy in florida. republican. caller: i would just like to say god is said to love everybody. love your neighbor as you love yourself. there is so much hatred on the television. and jesus said to help his people and he would bless our land.
start doing what the almighty god said, love everybody for you guest: i think that is a nice message. what is disheartening -- what has been heartening is the response of different communities. an interfaith cleanup at that cemetery in st. louis where jews and african-americans and christians and latinos came out great and there was a similar effort in philadelphia. many heard about the mosque in victoria, texas that was burned was fromhe first call the local rabbi. the synagogue so the muslims could pray at the synagogue and then the jewish community helped fundraising to rebuild that mosque.
there are troubling moments but there are lots of sprouts of hope. you can follow the anti-defamation league on twitter. -- another rumor you may have heard. >> "washington journal" continues. host: here to give us an update is erin durkin. republicans would like to repeal this law. where does that stand right now? guest: as you probably saw, we had a draft come out last friday. that is no longer valid. i'm sure you saw the headlines yesterday, the most current version is on lockdown. i saw a representative she