Home The Democratic Socialists of America and Their Anti-Semitism Problem
Home The Democratic Socialists of America and Their Anti-Semitism Problem

The Democratic Socialists of America and Their Anti-Semitism Problem

“Like most American Jews, I was raised with the delusion that Israel was a safe haven for me,” Julia Salazar wrote on Mondoweiss, an anti-Semitic hate site, while denouncing the Jewish State.

Salazar’s rant had appeared on a racist site whose creator had complained that his publication had been banned from DailyKos because of “my repeated insistence on talking about the large Jewish presence in the American establishment and the importance of Jewish money in the political process” and one of whose editors had declared, "I do not consider myself an anti-Semite, but I can understand why some are."

In reality, Salazar had been baptized as a Catholic, her uncle was a Jesuit priest, and her brother made it clear that no one in the family was Jewish. The Jewish part of her past was as fake as the rest.

And it was this biography that the Democratic Socialists of America candidate was running on. The DSA had been hoping to turn Salazar into the next Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, with the support of radical lefties like Cortez, Cynthia Nixon and Zephyr Teachout by playing up her imaginary biography.

But Salazar, a socialist candidate running for the State Senate in New York, had lied about that, and nearly everything else. Caught on video, claiming, “I immigrated to this country when I was little,” she had actually been born in Miami to an Italian-American mother and a Columbian immigrant father. Despite growing up in a mansion, she claimed to have a working class background. Her mother and her brother between them tore up most of her fake biography of a hardscrabble, immigrant life.

But it was the original expose by The Tablet of Julia Salazar’s lie about her Jewishness that started the flood. And the response from Salazar and her supporters was to accuse the Jewish community of racism.

Salazar, who had her own anti-Semitic history on Twitter, accused the Jewish publication that had exposed her appropriation of Jewish identity for anti-Semitic purposes of practicing, “race science.” The socialist candidate and her supporters insisted that as a “woman of color”, she was a victim of Jewish racism. The Democratic Socialists of America backed their candidate and repeated her anti-Jewish slurs.

Salazar's campaign had put out a statement claiming that the "fact that, as a woman of color, I am facing accusations that my deeply held identity is a false one says more about the politics of Jewish identity" and was an example of Jews practicing the "bigoted policing of the identity of Jewish people of color".

New York City DSA co-chair Bianca Cunningham echoed Salazar's anti-Semitic smear by dismissing outrage in the Jewish community as a question of "whether or not a woman of color can practice that religion."

Instead of apologizing for her misrepresentations and exploitation of the Jewish community, the DSA’s socialist candidate had accused her Jewish critics of racism. And the DSA took up Salazar’s smear.

Salazar’s meltdown wasn’t the first time that the Democratic Socialists of America had backed anti-Semitic candidates and then stood by them no matter how ugly their bigotry became.

On the other side of the country, DSA-LA continues to back Maria Estrada for California State Assembly District 63 despite her praise for Farrakhan, accusations that Jews were exploiting the Holocaust, and attacking a Jewish Democrat for not keeping “your party, your religion and your people in check.”

"Anyone who believes they are one of ‘God’s chosen people’ automatically feels superior and justified in all they do," Estrada ranted.

Estrada’s racism was criticized by the Simon Wiesenthal Center, reported on in numerous Jewish publications, and yet the DSA and Bernie Sanders’ Our Revolution, refused to withdraw their support. When contacted about her hateful views, both the local and national DSA, as well as the local and national Our Revolution organizations, failed to condemn Estrada.

Estrada’s accusation that the Jews exploit the Holocaust was echoed by her fellow racist in New York. "These people exploit Holocaust for their hot takes," Salazar had tweeted.

The anti-Semitic rhetoric of Democratic Socialists of America candidates like Estrada and Salazar may be inevitable. The DSA views Corbyn’s Labour, with its embrace of anti-Semitism, as its political model.

The DSA’s 2017 convention featured a speaker from the Momentum movement within Labour, a subset which has been linked to much of the harassment of Jews in Labour. At his appearance, the DSA faithful burst out cheering for Jeremy Corbyn, an anti-Semitic bigot and terrorist supporter.

Rabbi Jonathan Sacks, the former Chief Rabbi, described Corbyn as an “existential threat” to British Jews, who gives “support to racists, terrorists and dealers of hate, who want to kill Jews and remove Israel from the map" and uses “the language of classic prewar European anti-Semitism.”

"Anti-Semitism has returned to mainland Europe within living memory of the Holocaust,” Rabbi Sacks warned.

This is the bigot whose name the DSA conference met with unrestrained applause on the same day that it voted to support BDS. Is it any wonder that the DSA has refused to condemn Estrada’s anti-Semitism or Salazar’s malicious smears of Jews?

The Labour speaker invited to the DSA conference was Marcus Barnett, who had cheered Venezuelan socialist dictator Nicolas Maduro. In addition to murdering protesters, seizing power and presiding over a country where there’s no drinking water, power or food, Maduro had at one point demanded that "the Jews that live in our lands" do something to stop Israel.

Also at the DSA convention was a representative from Melenchon's France Insoumise. Melenchon’s blatant anti-Semitism, was so bad that it was even condemned by members of the DSA’s Jewish Caucus.

But instead of insisting that the DSA end its ties to an anti-Semitic movement, Lane Silberstein, a DSA and If Not Now member, weakly argued that, "Jewish socialists have had to contend with one of history’s most egregious eras of antisemitism— from which the left was not immune in promoting — and yet they continued to proudly identify as socialists… we will carry on that tradition and not shy away from working with the left.” The technical term for that is collaboration with anti-Semites.

Much as when D.C. Councilmember Trayon White accused the Jews of controlling the weather, the same leftist activists who rushed out to defend Salazar, Women's March's Sophie Ellman-Golan and If Not Now's Rafael Shimunov, came to his defense. White makes frequent appearances in editions of the Washington Socialist, the house organ of the MDCDSA, which has been able to lobby the D.C. racist.

It’s not only Julia Salazar who fundamentally misrepresented her background. Salazar, like Ocasio-Cortez, is a bid at humanizing radical leftists and making their movements appear more approachable.

But what’s behind the scenes is an ugly alt-left.

The same year that Corbyn's man showed up to be hailed by the DSA in Chicago, Bhaskar Sunkara, a former DSA vice chair and Jacobin Magazine publisher, ran a GoFundMe fundraiser to "Internationalize the DSA Convention".

Bhaskar's goal was to cover airfare for "members of Jeremy Corbyn's staff, Momentum, France Insoumise". The fundraiser's banner included the Soviet flag waving from a rifle barrel.

That’s the same flag under which countless Jews were arrested, tortured, imprisoned in camps and murdered. It’s the same flag under which Judaism and Hebrew were effectively outlawed. It’s the flag of the regime that spread its anti-Semitic propaganda through the left at home and around the world.

After the Julia Salazar scandal broke, Bhaskar Sunkara announced that he was so outraged by a Jewish magazine’s expose of the Socialist scammer that he would be donating to her campaign.

The DSA’s anti-Semitism isn’t accidental or sloppy. It’s not just about Israel. It’s ideological.

The Democratic Socialists of America attract anti-Semites for the same reason that Corbyn does. And, like Corbyn’s Labour, it ignores the problem, attacks Jewish critics and covers for its hateful allies.

The media has made much of the rise of socialism. But the rise of the DSA won’t just be dangerous for freedom and civil rights in this country. It will pose a threat to the safety and security of American Jews.

The DSA threatens to ‘Corbynize’ the Democrats into an anti-Semitic political movement.

Daniel Greenfield is a Shillman Journalism Fellow at the David Horowitz Freedom Center. This article previously appeared at the Center's Front Page Magazine.

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  1. Well Daniel, I have to admit I am a little tired of the "Black History Month" every year soon to be followed by the yearly "Holocaust" programing. Me doth think thou protest, so on and so on. As to the Salazar deal, you know Blacks, Hispanics and whatever minority will try to crowd Jews out of the victim, contest.

  2. The crazy is just getting worse.
    I watched a talk given by Meir Kahane way back in the way back past. A past which would not recognize today: the Anti-semitic rhetoric that is beginning to permeate through our culture (brought on no doubt by the attitudes and beliefs of people of the Islamic faith who are attempting to overwhelm the West with their shear numbers, the ignorance of history, and the dumbing down of our younger generation so that they don't recognize BS when they hear it.)
    Kahane talked about the beginning of the Jewish People. He talked about cultures and people's who developed their "tribes" based on geographical location and common interest in survival. The Jewish People, however, became a nation based on a single event. The revelation on Mount Sinai. The belief in one G-d. The Ten Commandments.
    That's where the "chosen people" began. But what is not realized or recognized about being the "chosen" is that anyone, no matter who they are can "choose" to join the Chosen People. Anyone at all no matter what! What kind of "exclusive, elitist" group allows anyone who really wants to join to do so. Of course it must be sincere. Hard work and soul searching is involved. But the Jewish People consider ourselves Chosen not Exclusive, not elitist, not more special than anyone else. Just part of a group who believe that the Torah was written by the Lord above, that it is an Instruction Manuel on how to live a good life, and offers a way to fulfillment and beauty if you are willing to put in the work and the time to understand it, learn about it, and practice it.
    With all that said - at this time of year I want to wish you Daniel and everyone else.
    Shana Tova!!!!!

  3. MikeN made quite a glib comment. I'm sick of glib comments, especially those with the time worn and arrogant "Me doth think thou protest" (look in the mirror, Mike), and punctuated with bad punctuation, e.g., victim, contest.

    Your analysis is right on the money.

  4. She is no more Jewish than she’s Martian. She’s a plant, a fake

  5. When will American Jews wake up and quit the anti-Jewish Democratic Party?


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