Trump (Kind of) Responds to Jewish Attacks

March 2, 2017 - Evan Osnos 03/02/2017 Views: 25,800

Adam Lowitt can't understand why President Trump is so hesitant to respond to assaults on Jewish cemeteries and community centers. (5:34)

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2017 has beena rough year for a few groups--

-immigrants, Muslims, CNN.-(laughter)

But there's been one groupof people who have experienced

an unexpectedly drastic uptickin hatred.

And to talk more about that isour senior Jewish correspondent,

Adam Lowitt, everybody.

(cheers and applause)

Thanks, Trevor. It's,'s never good to be here.

Well, I'm sorry.Like, never good?

Yeah, my very presenceat this desk is a sign

-that something has gone wrong.-(laughter)

Think of me like the blinkinglight on the modem of Judaism.

But here we are again.

Now, last year duringTrump's presidential campaign,

he did a lotthat put Jews on edge.

Waiting to renounce David Duke,retweeting white supremacists,

sharing offensive Jewish memes,

which is all is pretty ballsy

for a guy who splits his timebetween New York and Florida.


But that gotall of us Jews wondering,

when Trump gets into office,how is this gonna play out?

It turns out... like this.

WOMAN: The JCC Association of North America says

there have been more than 90 threats against Jewish centers

and schools across the country in just the last two months.

MAN: And, today, there were 22 bomb threats

to Jewish centers and schools in 13 states.

WOMAN: But finding the answer to who is behind this is something

not even the FBI has been able to do yet.

Somebody could just simply buya, what I like to call

a throwaway cell phonefrom a Duane Reade

and give a fake name.

They could be, uh, robotsthat are making the calls...

First off, this is all horrible.

But robots making the calls?

That is the laziest formof terrorism I've ever heard of.

You might as well start sendingyour Roomba to a Klan rally.


Now, for people who don't know,

the JCC standsfor Jewish Community Center.

They were startedin the late 1800s

to help Jewish immigrants

assimilateinto American society.

And today it's a placewhere Jews of all ages

can feel at home.

That's why all thesebomb threats are so messed up.

They're disruptinga sense of community.

And unfortunately,it hasn't just been threats.

Investigators are lookingthrough surveillance tapes

after a suspected attackon a synagogue in Indiana.

A rabbi says he discovered a bullet hole

in a class room window yesterday.

NEWSMAN: Another disturbing act of vandalism

at a Jewish cemetery in Philadelphia.

Police say between 75 and 100 headstones

were overturned Saturday night.

It comes less than a week after a similar incident

at a Jewish cemetery in Saint Louis

where vandals damaged dozens of headstones.

Joke's on you, anti-Semites--you disturb a burial ground,

get ready to be hauntedby the ghosts

of some Jewish grandparents.

Ooh... why don't youever come in and visit?


Now, there has been some level of response

by the administration,first of which was Mike Pence,

who visited one of the sitesand took the bold action

of doing what you normally payyour neighbor's kid to do.

NEWSWOMAN: Vice president Mike Pence

visited a Jewish cemetery where vandals damaged

more than 150 headstones.


we appreciate the help,

-but a rake?-(laughter)

No one was complainingthat a bunch of vandals

threw leaves at the tombstones.



(applause, cheering)

Get some superglue or something.

I mean, honestly, that's likeBush showing up after Katrina

-with a Swiffer.-(laughter)

But at least Pence showed up.

It took Trump weeks of dodging,denying and lashing out

before finally condemning itthis week

in his address to congress.

And what's frustratingis it shouldn't be hard

to find outwhere Trump stands on this.

We know how Trump feelsabout SNL.

We know how he feelsabout Meryl Streep.

But for some reason,he's harder on Nordstrom

than he is on Nazis.

So it's not a surprise thata lot of us are on edge.

Trevor, do you mind if I talkspecifically to the Jews

-for a moment? -Oh, I feltlike you've been doing that

for the past four minutes.Yes. Go ahead.

Fair enough.

(sighs):'Sup, Jews?

It's me, Adam, from camp.



And if you didn't go to my camp,just imagine the 12 other Adams

that went to yours.

Look, our peoplehave gone through a lot, okay?

From slavery in Egypt to ourfraught relationship with dairy.


Growing up,we thought anti-Semitism

was just somethingour grandparents

and Brendan Fraserhad to deal with.

But now here we are.

And I know this is a scary time,but let's not forget,

we are ready.

Frankly, the last 80 years havebeen one big training montage

for how to dealwith all this stuff.

So now it's time to stand upas one people.

Because all of us togethercan conquer any threat.

Especially consideringall the dope Jews

we've added to our roster.

It's not just Streisand anymore.

We've got Mila Kunis,Seth Rogen...

I mean, for God's sakeswe've got Drake.


And don't forget,our story is the same as his.

We started at the bottom.

Now we're here.


Adam Lowitt, everybody.

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