High school students from Newport Harbor High School and Costa Mesa High School in Orange County, California are pictured giving the Nazi salute over a game of beer pong in the shape of a swastika in photos that were published to Snapchat and have now gone viral.
One of the photos is captioned “German engineering.”
“We continue to gather information regarding the conduct of these students and work with law enforcement,” Angulo added. “We remain focused on educating students on all aspects of life’s challenges and are committed to holding students accountable, educating them on the consequences of their choices, and the impact these actions have on our schools and community at large. We are asking that parents please partner with us in helping students make good decisions, be respectful of others, and to always use good judgment.”
Costa Mesa Mayor Katrina Finlay released a statement discouraging vilification of the teens pictured in the photos: “Glorifying or even joking about these symbols contradicts the values we share as a diverse community. Normalizing these symbols as a joke is dangerous. We must challenge this kind of bias. We cherish our city’s Jewish community, as well as people of all backgrounds, religions, ethnicity, genders and more. This abhorrent anti-Semitic activity is divisive, unbecoming of our community and leads ultimately to hate and discrimination. While we take seriously and object to this hateful activity, I discourage vilification of these teens. Instead, we need to seriously address why teens in our community might think these types of hateful symbols are acceptable or funny and worthy of selfies.”
In a speech where she attempted to critique the role of the American-Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) and other lobbying groups’ roles in helping shape foreign policy, Represenative Ilhan Omar, (D-Minn.), sent a Tweet what was perceived by many as anti-Semitic.
Omar singled out AIPAC however which put her in the crosshairs and although she has already apologized for the clunky delivery Omar maintains that there is far too much lobbying money controlling both parties.
“Anti-Semitism is real and I am grateful for Jewish allies and colleagues who are educating me on the painful history of anti-Semitic tropes,” Omar said Monday. “This is why I unequivocally apologize.”
Trump described the apology as “lame,” according to The Associated Press. “Anti-Semitism has no place in the United States Congress,” Trump said Tuesday. “I think she should either resign from Congress or she should certainly resign from the Foreign Affairs Committee.”She also said, “At the same time, I reaffirm the problematic role of lobbyists in our politics, whether it be AIPAC, the NRA or the fossil fuel industry,” said NPR.
To be clear, “AIPAC is a non-profit that doesn’t donate directly to candidates. [They do], however, does relentlessly push a pro-Israeli message on Capitol Hill and inside the executive branch, and its members donate to pro-Israel lawmakers and candidates while seeking to defeat those it considers a threat to U.S.-Israeli relations,” says Politico.
Both Omar and Michigan’s freshman Democratic Representative Rashida Tlaib — are the first two Muslim women ever elected to Congress and have signaled their support for the Palestinian-led BDS movement (Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions) against the Israeli government over its treatment of its Palestinian population.
The BDS movement according to their own website, “works to end international support for Israel’s oppression of Palestinians and pressure Israel to comply with international law.”
Trump’s call for her resignation is rich to say the least.
It was after all the 45th President, whose initial response to the anti-semitic and white nationalists’ actions at the Unite the Right Rally in Charlottesville Virginia that many saw as a “dog whistle” to white nationalists that he supported them.
Trump’s response to the rally and ensuing riot, which resulted in the death of Heather D. Heyer and 19 others in August of 2017, was a call for Americans to understand that there are “many sides, on many sides.”
The outrage over Omar began on Sunday, in a response to a tweet about how she and Tlaib could face action over criticizing Israel.
Omar said, “It’s all about the Benjamins baby.” When asked who she thought was paying lawmakers, she replied: “AIPAC!”
As Ezra Klein at Vox noted in a tweet however: “It’s a bit about the benjamins, but it’s about a lot of things, including Twitter and Republicans strategically exploiting tensions in the Democratic coalition.
It’s a bit about the benjamins, but it’s about a lot of things, including Twitter and Republicans strategically exploiting tensions in the Democratic coalition https://t.co/yZzRqmmELW
As comedian Matt Lieb reminded us on Twitter though: “In case anyone needed a reminder that the right wing uses love of Israel to whitewash their own antisemitism, here’s a video I made about it a year ago.”