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Thread by @HeerJeet: "1. Let's talk about how the Trump administration is trying to erase the Jewish dimensions of a Jewish tragedy. The technical term is "de-Jud […]"

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1. Let's talk about how the Trump administration is trying to erase the Jewish dimensions of a Jewish tragedy. The technical term is "de-Judaization" -- fake universalism in the service of suppressing a particular identity.
2. First we had the ineffable Kellyanne Conway saying that the synagogue massacre was an example of "anti-religiosity" spurred by late-night comedians: newrepublic.com/minutes/151935…
3. Then Mike Pence invited a Christian "rabbi" to deliver a prayer -- one that didn't name the dead in the Tree of Life synagogue but rather Republican candidates newrepublic.com/minutes/151946…
4. Jeff Sessions made a comment similar to Kellyanne Conway, that this was an assault on all religions. Again with the effect of removing the synagogue massacre from the category of an anti-Semitic crime to a more generic offense.
5. All of this adds up to a pattern, one seen earlier when Trump White House released statement on Holocaust Remembrance Day that didn't mention Jews.
6. So: let's be clear: the Saturday massacre was the most lethal anti-Semitic massacre ever on American soil. The alleged gunman from all evidence had deeply imbibed anti-Jewish hatred. His goal was a specific one of killing Jews, not generic anti-religiosity.
7. The particular idea that spurred on the killer (Jews as mastermind bringing in non-whites to destroy whites) is not generic anti-religiosity but an anti-Semitic trope with deep roots, a variant of Nazi myth of udeo–Bolshevism.
8. The Pittsburgh massacre can only be understood through the specificity of Jewish history and a very particular type of anti-Semitism. In their public statements, the Trump administration is intent on denying that specificity.
9. A good analogy is how foes of "Black Lives Matter" responded with "All Lives Matter." An adoption of a spurious universalism that is designed to shut down particular voices speaking of particular problems.
10. So what's going on here? Why this pattern of de-emphasizing the Jewish particulars? The worst case answer is anti-Semitism, either deliberate or unconscious. But there are other possible answers.
11. The most benign possible answer is that this is the common way that Gentiles of all stripes handle anti-Semitic crimes: try to make them more "relatable" and "universal" -- i.e. early version of Diary of Anne Frank which erased some Jewish references.
12. A more specific answer is timing and politics. We're a week out from the mid-terms. Talking about anti-Semitism doesn't help the GOP and could (given stoking of Soros conspiracy theories) hurt them. There voters are evangelicals. Make it about anti-religiosity.
13. I think it's really important for reasons to go beyond partisan politics to resist the erasure the Trump administration is engaged in. That resistance has to also oppose the tendency towards a facile ecumenicalism from some non-Trump people.
14. The proper understanding of the Tree of Life massacre is that it a Jewish event: fuelled by the particular anti-Semitism that scapegoats Jews for social unrest. We should oppose all forms of bigotry but can't fight anti-Semitism unless we name it as such.
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