Donald Trump’s political strategist, Stephen Bannon, said in an interview with the Wall Street Journal that accusations laid against him for supposed anti-Semitism is the fault of lazy media. Bannon has been accused by Democrats, civil rights organizations, Jewish groups, and even some Republicans of associating with neo-Nazis, anti-Semites, and white supremacists, as well as turning the Breitbart news website into a forum for the so-called “alt-right.” Bannon is the chief executive of Breitbart, which was founded by the late Andrew Breitbart. Breitbart himself was a member of the Jewish community.
He pointed out that the senior-editor-at-large of Breitbart, who is an Orthodox Jew, is one among his “many Jewish partners and writers.” Moreover, Bannon said “these claims of antisemitism just aren't serious. It's a joke." Referring to Breitbart, Bannon said, “Breitbart is the most pro-Israel site in the United States of America." He added, "I have Breitbart Jerusalem, which I have Aaron Klein run with about 10 reporters there." Bannon also claimed that Breitbart has led an effort to address the boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) movement which seeks to destroy Israel’s economy.
Bannon also said in the interview that Breitbart is “a leader in the reporting of young Jewish students being harassed on American campuses; we’ve been a leader on reporting on the terrible plight of the Jews in Europe.”
Controversy has swirled over some of the headlines used at Breitbart. One of them has been cited especially, which was penned by a Jewish writer, David Horowitz, who had been a leader in bringing to light the anti-Semitism on college campuses and among members of the Left. Horowitz wrote, "Bill Kristol: Republican Spoiler, Renegade Jew", and has taken responsibility for the headline. Bannon blamed the media and Democrats for his portrayal as an anti-Semite and "cloven-hoofed devil." The political attacks against are "just nonsense," Bannon said.
On November 18, Israeli Agriculture Minister Uri Ariel penned a letter to Bannon in which he praised him for opposing the BDS movement and President Obama’s nuclear deal with Iran. While the Anti-Defamation League claimed to see anti-Semitism in Bannon's actions, it later issued a statement that it had not found any evidence of anti-Jewish bigotry on his part.
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