Weiss: Jews Do Not Cause Anti-Semitism

January 5, 2020

New York Times opinion editor Bari Weiss on Sunday said the national media have "absolutely" been slow in their coverage of the rise of anti-Semitism in the United States.

Weiss spoke to CNN's Reliable Sources host Brian Stelter during the Jewish Solidarity March in Brooklyn. She told Stelter that mainstream media coverage of the recent wave of anti-Semitic attacks in New York City has been marred by analysis which, in search of nuance, veers dangerously toward blaming Jews for the violence.

"It is not complicated. Jews do not cause Jew hatred, and I don't care if  those Jews wear funny hats. Jews never cause Jew hatred," Weiss said.

Weiss in particular criticized the media's slowness to cover anti-Semitism by individuals prominently connected to the Democrats or liberal causes. She noted that it "took two years for the mainstream press" to cover the ties between Linda Sarsour—a former leader of the Women's March and surrogate for presidential candidate Sen. Bernie Sanders (I., Vt.)—and Louis Farrakhan, the leader of the Nation of Islam and an infamous anti-Semite.

Weiss also criticized the prominent role in Democratic politics of MSNBC host and civil rights activist Al Sharpton. Sharpton has been a key player in the 2020 Democratic presidential primary, as many contenders have met with him to seek his endorsement; New York City mayor Bill de Blasio (D.) recently compared Sharpton—who once called Jews "diamond merchants"—to Martin Luther King Jr.

"That is a scandal. Al Sharpton incited the violence against Jews in the borough I am now walking toward in 1991," Weiss said. "He should be made to apologize for that, and the mayor should be made to answer for the fact that he has compared him to Martin Luther King Jr."

Sharpton helped incite the violent 1991 riot in Crown Heights, a Jewish neighborhood in Brooklyn, which resulted in 183 injuries and the death of Australian University academic Yankel Rosenbaum.