From the website of the Southern Poverty Law Center, a fundraising organization:
Vandals Awaken Trump White House to Anti-Semitism
February 23, 2017
Vandals who toppled tombstones in a Jewish cemetery near St. Louis last weekend did more than an act of desecration. Their vile crime prompted the new Trump Administration to finally speak out on a growing wave of anti-Semitism.
“The anti-Semitic threats targeting our Jewish community and community centers are horrible, and are painful and a very sad reminder of the work that still must be done to root out hate and prejudice and evil,” President Trump said Tuesday at during a visit to the National Museum of African-American History and Culture in Washington, D.C.
His response came two days after as many as 200 headstones were tipped over or vandalized in the Chesed Shel Emeth Cemetery in University City, Missouri, near St. Louis. There have been no arrests.
… In recent weeks, there also have been numerous telephone bomb threats, resulting in evacuations and searches at Jewish Community Centers throughout the United States.
Several Jewish and civil rights organizations said the response from the Trump Administration was tardy or bland. Some had harsher criticism.
“Mr. President, your too little, too late acknowledgement of anti-Semitism today is not enough,” said Steven Goldstein, executive Director of the Anne Frank Center for Mutual Respect, a New York-based organization that address civil and human rights issues.
My impression is that the Anne Frank Center for Mutual Respect’s role in the grievance ecosystem is to make the SPLC seem admirable by comparison.
The new administration “committed grotesque acts and omissions reflecting anti-Semitism,” Goldstein said, noting the White House failed to mention Jews in its Holocaust remembrance.
“The anti-Semitism coming out of this Administration is the worst we have ever seen from any Administration,” Goldstein said. …
The White House apparently heard the growing criticism.
On Wednesday, Vice President Pence visited the vandalized Missouri cemetery.
This was a huge story in 2017. From the New York Times:
As you, but apparently not the New York Times, know, a huge number of the threats to Jewish community centers came from a Jewish-American man in Israel. Another eight came from leftist black journalist.
There were, however, a few skeptics. As I blogged here in February:
Another concept that should exist is Hate Hypochondria. For example, I don’t know what happened to the tombstones in the Jewish cemetery in University City, MO that the NYT featured, but I do know that there were similar reports last year of Nazis toppling tombstones in a Jewish cemetery in Brooklyn that just turned out to be subsidence.
It’s also quite possible that the cemetery was the victim of vandalism but not anti-Semitism. University City is right next to the crime-ridden black slums of St. Louis, the murder capital of America post-Ferguson. It’s quite possible that some local youths pushed over tombstones for the hell of it without caring whether this was a white Jewish cemetery or a white gentile cemetery. This could well have been an anti-white hate crime. Or it could just be vandalism for the sake of vandalism.
This week, from KMOV in St. Louis:
Posted: Apr 25, 2018 12:00 PM PDT
By Dan Greenwald, Online News Producer
UNIVERSITY CITY, Mo. (KMOV.com) – Authorities said a 34-year-old Florissant man has confessed to vandalizing a Jewish cemetery in University City.
He is accused of toppling more than 120 gravestones at Chesed Shel Emeth Cemetery in February 2017. Prosecutors told News 4 he was drunk and mad at a friend who had just dropped him off near the cemetery.
Prosecutors said a coat with Harris’ DNA on it was left at the cemetery and recently was matched to a DNA sample given by Harris when he was sent to prison last December on an unrelated charge. …
Several days after the vandalism occurred, Vice President Mike Pence and Missouri Gov. Eric Greitens visited the cemetery and helped with clean up.
Police say he confessed to the crimes when interviewed by officers and said he was acting alone.
“When he confessed, basically he was upset over some personal issues and he was under the influence of a drug and alcohol and he was angry at the cemetery and took his anger out on those headstones,” said Police Capt. Frederick Lemons.
There is no evidence that the crime was racially, ethnically or religiously motivated, University police said.
Another concept besides the Hate Hoax that should exist is Hate Hypochondria.
Something that the media should have learned from the national moral panic over a supposed racist wave of “black church-burnings” promoted by an irresponsible President Clinton back in the 1990s is that there are a lot of religious properties and they suffer a lot of vandalism-for-the-sake-of-vandalism (and insurance fires).
So if you monitor the news from across the country closely, you can make it sound like there is a vast conspiracy of Hate against any group you want. If you gave me control of the front page of the New York Times to let me play up every stupid local vandalism story from across the country that fit my criteria, I could whip the national media into believing that They were out to get, say, the Christian Scientists.
The Christian Scientists used to have a lot of influence over the national media through their high quality Christian Science Monitor, which when I was a kid was one of two national newspapers along with the Wall Street Journal. But they don’t anymore, so you aren’t likely to hear much about a Wave of Hate Engulfing Christian Science Reading Rooms.
Also, religious properties are not immune to Acts of God. For example, one Jewish cemetery was in the national news last year when a Jewish politician announced that it had been desecrated by anti-Semitic vandals toppling tombstones. But the cemetery manager explained that some gravestones fall over every winter so then they regularly prop them back up in the spring. Similarly, there was a hubbub at Kansas State over an anti-Semitic attack on some kind of Jewish tent that turned out to be a gust of wind.
But it’s extremely hard to learn anything against the Spirit of the Age.