Donald Trump’s latest campaign ad, likely the final one wrapping up nearly a year of campaigning, contains content that has been criticized for having anti-Semitic overtones and implying a vast international Jewish conspiracy behind Hillary Clinton.
The two-minute long ad features audio from Trump’s West Palm Beach speech in mid-October, which was criticized by the Anti-Defamation League for “rhetoric and tropes that historically have been used against Jews and still spur antisemitism.”
The video appears to go even further, illustrating Trump’s accusation of a conspiracy against the American people with images of prominent Jews.
Philanthropist investor George Soros, Federal Reserve head Janet Yellen and Goldman Sachs CEO Lloyd Blankfein, all of whom are Jewish, appear onscreen as Trump inveighs against “levers of power in Washington” and “global special interests” — both considered anti-Semitic dog-whistles.
The video also intersperses images of the Clintons, President Barack Obama, Congress, foreign leaders and the United Nations. All these are juxtaposed with pictures of regular Americans, whom Trump urges to rise up.
“The only thing that can stop this corrupt machine is you,” Trump says.
Trump’s original speech was also panned for its striking similarities to the notorious anti-Semitic tract “The Protocols of the Elders of Zion,” an anti-Semitic forgery that has fueled anti-Jewish violence for over a century.
It’s not the first time his campaign has been accused of anti-Jewish rhetoric designed to appeal to the far right in American politics, most notably his notorious July 2 tweet depicting Clinton, against a pile of cash and a six-pointed star, as the “Most Corrupt Candidate Ever!”
The tweet was deleted the same day and campaign staff replaced it with an identical one, with the phrase now backed up by a red circle. The image originated on an anti-Semitic website.
Trump and his campaign have vociferously denied charges of anti-Semitism, and some have tried to distance themselves from anti-Semitic elements within his backers, though the candidate has resisted those efforts.
During the height of the primary campaign, Trump delayed disavowing the support of white supremacist David Duke. And the candidate has failed to condemn the anti-Semitic vitriol directed by supporters against journalists who have written critically of Trump, including New York Times reporter Jonathan Weisman and GQ writer Julia Ioffe.
In his defense, Trump and his supporters cite the fact that his daughter, son-in-law and three grandchildren are Jewish (Ivanka Trump underwent an Orthodox conversion before she married Jared Kushner in 2009), that Trump was the grand marshal of the 2004 Salute to Israel Parade and that he has many Jewish friends.