Republican U.S. presidential nominee Donald Trump holds a campaign rally in Cleveland, Ohio, Oct. 22, 2016. 
Photo by Jonathan Ernst/Reuters

Trump’s closing argument faces allegations of anti-Semitism

In a year filled with cringe-worthy moments, among the most memorable came just a few weeks ago, when Donald Trump traveled to West Palm Beach to share the latest in a series of conspiracy theories.

“The Clinton machine is at the center of this power structure,” the Republican insisted, reading a prepared text from a teleprompter. “We’ve seen this first hand in the WikiLeaks documents, in which Hillary Clinton meets in secret with international banks to plot the destruction of U.S. sovereignty in order to enrich these global financial powers, her special interest friends, and her donors.”

It was the kind of speech that seemed designed for the joke, “It sounded better in the original German.”

With this in mind, consider Slate’s report on the Trump campaign’s new closing-argument ad, which was unveiled over the weekend.
Donald Trump has released what seems like the closing-argument ad of his campaign, and several people are pointing out that the whole thing has rather troubling anti-Semitic overtones by at the very least implying that it’s prominent Jews who control the “levers of power.”

The two-minute–long ad uses audio from a speech Trump gave last month in West Palm Beach that was harshly criticized by the Anti-Defamation League for “rhetoric and tropes that historically have been used against Jews and still spur antisemitism.” The speech is interspersed with photos of powerful people. Besides Hillary and Bill Clinton and President Obama, the other three readily identifiable people in the video are all Jews: financier George Soros, Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen, and Goldman Sachs CEO Lloyd Blankfein.
If you haven’t seen it, the two-minute-long commercial is available online here.

Note, it’s not just the people the Trump campaign chose to include in the spot; it’s also the context in which they’re presented. The Huffington Post added:
“The establishment has trillions of dollars at stake in this election,” the GOP presidential nominee warns in the two-minute video. “For those who control the levers of power in Washington and for the global special interests, they partner with these people that don’t have your good in mind.”

As Trump says “levers of power in Washington,” we see footage of George Soros, a billionaire investor and philanthropist. And when Trump says, “global special interests,” Federal Reserve chairwoman Janet Yellen appears on screen.

Both Soros and Yellen are Jewish.
Sen. Al Franken (D-Minn.), putting a twist on the “dog-whistle” metaphor, called Trump’s ad “something of a German shepherd whistle.”

NBC News reported over the weekend that the Anti-Defamation League, which is non-partisan, accused the Trump campaign of “conjuring painful stereotypes and baseless conspiracy theories” in its closing ad.

“Whether intentional or not, the images and rhetoric in this ad touch on subjects that anti-Semites have used for ages,” the Anti-Defamation League’s statement read. “This needs to stop.”

This is, for the record, the first time in modern American history that the Anti-Defamation League found it necessary to rebuke a major-party presidential nominee over a candidate’s closing message.