Deborah Jacobi

Steve Bannon, The Press, The ADL and The Troubling “Rush to Judgment”

This week saw the outrage over Trump’s decision to employ Steve Bannon as his chief advisor. Based on a couple of “hearsay/private” comments and supposed racial slurs on Breitbart, which have yet to be properly cited, the left wing media crucified Bannon with vague allegations of anti Semitism.

How good it was to hear how quickly the left was on the front lines, eager to protect the Jewish minority. This is the same left whose voices have been tepid throughout the BDS/anti Semitic uprisings on campus; and whose progressive, liberal voices have remained silent when free speech was abandoned in the face of pro Israel speakers on campus. Does this mean the left all along truly cared about its Jews? Or are they simply eager to topple and undermine the Republican Party?

I am not judging Bannon’s racial standing based on the media’s flighty reporting. Ben Shapiro, who worked alongside Bannon and notably calls him a bully, states in The Daily Wire, “I have no evidence that Bannon’s a racist or that he’s an anti Semite…. “The alt-right, in a nutshell, believes the Western culture is inseparable from European Ethnicity. I have no evidence Bannon believes that personally. But he’s happy to pander to those people.” Unsavory to pander to such people? Absolutely. Though those allegations are strongly denied by Joel Pollak, an orthodox Jew and the editor in chief at Breitbart, who claims the entire accusation is based on one journalistic investigative article which included the term Alt-Conservative.

I am not writing this article to persecute or defend Breitbart. I will leave that for those few remaining responsible reporters who properly investigate such matters. I am only addressing the slippery anti Semitic allegations made by the left leaning media. Allegations of racism are serious and damning and should never be alleged unless the accusations are absolute.

If Bannon is negatively influencing Trump towards a right wing supremacist world then we need to be informed and the evidence forthcoming. Baseless allegations condemn the innocent, raise concerns about the media’s honesty and further questions the media’s true intentions.

It is still unclear to me as to what exactly the anti Semitic hollering is all about. The term “Jewish renegade,” was published in response to Bill Kristol’s abandoning of Trump and his party in favor of Hilary. The “renegade” phrase may well have offended some and an apology might have been in order, but I believe the phrase is a far cry from the blatant anti Semitic rhetoric of “Jewing down” “Hymie Town” or “dirty Jew.”

And what of the Anti Defamation League who was quick to jump on the bandwagon and condemn Bannon? The CEO Jonathan Greenblatt seems to selectively point fingers at questionable Republicans and refrains from commenting on anti Israel/anti Semitic rhetoric from moguls who are Democrats. George Soros was previously taken to task by former ADL director Abraham Foxman, yet is quietly ignored by Greenblatt when Soros bashes Israel or the Jews. Soros, an ardent critic of the pro Israel lobby, has spent around 43 million funding the left stream media and may even have funded the anti Semitic allegations against Bannon in his attempt to topple Bannon’s pro Israel voice and defame the new Republican Party. Where is the ADL?

Greenblatt’s “rush to judgment” demands some investigation. I am loathe to respect an organization that points fingers at one political party only- and on scant evidence.

Greenblatt held a significant position in Obama’s administration as his special assistant and directed the Office of Social Innovation. He also worked on Bill Clinton’s presidential campaign in 1992 and was an aide to Clinton and the Department of Commerce. Greenblatt’s political leanings should be irrelevant. The ADL is expected to put aside politics when it comes to vigilantly pursuing acts of anti Semitism.

Greenblatt is in the difficult position of aligning himself with a party whose left leanings are notably moving at reckless speed towards the politically correct and acceptable Israel bashing. The modern day favored brand of anti Semitism. Can he align himself with the left and remain neutral? I am concerned that Greenblatt’s finger pointing be examined more prudently to ensure the ADL is not being utilized as a political tool with may intentionally or not, undermine the Republican party’s success.

Like Brexit and our former political establishment, Greenblatt may find himself similarly irrelevant and “out” if he is unable to act with an even hand. The media’s neutral days of reporting are over. Nonetheless, it’s imperative the ADL remain impartial and calls out anti Semitism everywhere and after due diligence. Otherwise it not only tarnishes the reputation of the wrongly accused but also its own.

About the Author
Deborah is an author, speaker, political writer, and health coach. Her books, The Intimate Act of Eating, a cosmic approach to food, and The Moral Act of Eating, a sacred approach to food, were recently released and are available in Jewish bookstores in the U.S., Israel, and London, Deborah resides in Jerusalem, Israel and divides her time between Israel, London and the U.S.