Ben Shapiro, editor-in-chief of The Daily Wire and former editor at Breitbart, writes in a column in the National Review that he previously believed that anti-Semitism in America was “almost entirely a product of the political Left.”
The Donald Trump’s candidacy has changed Shapiro’s mind:
“I’ve experienced more pure, unadulterated anti-Semitism since coming out against Trump’s candidacy than at any other time in my political career. Trump supporters have threatened me and other Jews who hold my viewpoint. They’ve blown up my e-mail inbox with anti-Semitic conspiracy theories. They greeted the birth of my second child by calling for me, my wife, and two children to be thrown into a gas chamber. Yes, seriously.”
Shapiro acknowledges that Trump is not actively directing such hate, but says he has a responsibility to disavow these supporters rather than ignoring their indiscretions in return for their support:
“Now, this doesn’t mean that Trump is an anti-Semite. No politician is responsible for all those who follow him….But politicians become responsible for movements when they pat those movements on the head. Trump has done that repeatedly.”
Why has the phenomenon of Trump’s candidacy brought out such vitriol? Shapiro says its due to the conspiratorial rhetoric of Trump’s campaign:
“Trumpism breeds conspiracism; conspiracism breeds anti-Semitism. Trump is happy to channel the support of anti-Semites to his own ends. The anti-Semitism on the right may slink back beneath its rock when Trump is defeated. Or perhaps it will continue to bubble up, fed by the demagoguery of bad men willing to channel ignorant rage toward their own glorification.”
Shapiro previously resigned on principle from his position at Breitbart over what he saw as the mistreatment of a fellow reporter after an incident with the Trump campaign.
Read Shapiro’s whole column at National Review.