Rep. Frederica Wilson (D-FL) attempted to tie incidents of on-campus anti-Semitism to the Trump Administration Tuesday during a House hearing concerning harassment incidents on campus in the aftermath of Hamas’ October 7 attack on Israel.
The hearing was geared towards examining the response, or lack thereof, by a number of prominent colleges and universities to the assorted incidents. Rep. Wilson began by touching on her personal investment in the situation, telling the witnesses “I’m privileged to represent a strong, united Jewish community in south Florida. My next door neighbor is a rabbi. My Jewish constituents have experienced everything from bomb threats on Jewish centers, schools, to harassment of Jewish community centers.”
Yet, Rep. Wilson chose not to focus on the proximate cause of the recent outbreak of anti-Semitism, but instead used her minutes to attempt to tie the incidents to former President Donald Trump’s administration.
Wilson questioned historian Pamela Nadell about the state of the United States’ response to anti-Semitism from 2016 to 2020 “and specifically thinking about Charlottesville Unite the Right.” In response, Nadell referred to Charlottesville as a major turning point which “signaled that the long history of anti-Semitism in the United States, that it was about to burst out again.”
Nadell added that “although President Trump called the people who were the protestors and counter protesters and said there were very good people on both sides, I disagree. I do not think there were very good people on both sides in Charlottesville in 2017.”
Of course, what neither Wilson nor Nadell mention is the fact that Trump was referencing those individuals protesting the removal of the Robert E. Lee statues in Charlottesville, while in the same breath noting that white nationalists “should be condemned totally.”
Yet, Wilson nonetheless appears to have attempted to draw a connection between Trump and the ongoing anti-Semitic events on college campuses – even though the campus events are specifically connected to the ongoing war between Israel and Hamas and have no link whatsoever to the Unite the Right rally.
Ironically, if Rep. Wilson was looking for a connection between anti-Israeli or anti-Semitic sentiments and a prominent political organization; she might want to focus on Black Lives Matter, instead of fingering white supremacy.