Law & the Courts

Not the Anti-Semite They Were Looking For

Juan Thompson (image via Twitter)
A suspect in anti-Semitic bomb threats capsizes the Left’s anti-Trump narrative

How annoying for the Left when one of their pet narratives crashes head-on into the facts. Given their ominous warnings, the alleged perpetrator of recent, high-profile anti-Semitic threats surely must have been propelled by anti-Jewish winks, nods, and dog whistles from the Hitlerian halls of President Donald J. Trump’s White House.

“The Anti-Semitism coming out of this administration is the worst we have ever seen from any administration,” said Steven Goldstein, executive director of the Anne Frank Center for Mutual Respect. That was in response to Trump’s February 21 statement that “the anti-Semitic threats targeting our Jewish community at community centers are horrible and are painful and a very sad reminder of the work that still must be done to root out hate and prejudice and evil.”

Trump’s pro-tolerance speech was not enough for the Arizona Republic’s E. J. Montini. A week later, he accused Trump of not denouncing anti-Semites forcefully enough, although one wonders what Trump ever could say to satisfy Montini.

“At the very least, the haters and vandals feel entitled,” Montini wrote. “They feel immune. They feel accepted.” Montini argued that such “circumstantial evidence” demonstrates that “Trump is ultimately to blame for the rash of bomb threats at Jewish community centers and the desecration of Jewish cemeteries.”

Montini’s words echo a Politico headline from last October: “In a Time of Trump, Millennial Jews Awaken to Anti-Semitism.”

That brings us to Friday’s news: FBI agents in St. Louis arrested Juan M. Thompson. Federal officials suspect that he made bomb threats against the Anti-Defamation League and seven other Jewish groups and Jewish community centers (JCCs). Far from being a right-wing, Trump-loving white supremacist, Thompson is precisely the opposite: a left-wing, Trump-hating black racist.

Oops!

Assistant U.S. Attorney Jacob Warren filed a federal criminal complaint against Thompson, 31, in the Southern District of New York. Thompson’s alleged chief victim lives in New York City. Thompson is a Vassar College graduate whom Intercept.com fired in January 2016 for inventing sources and quotes in several news stories that he wrote for that website. From the complaint:

Far from being a right-wing, Trump-loving white supremacist, Thompson is precisely the opposite: a left-wing, Trump-hating black racist.

“JUAN THOMPSON, the defendant, appears to have made some of the JCC Threats as part of a sustained campaign to harass and intimidate Victim-1,” with whom he previously “was involved in a romantic relationship.” The Justice Department says that Thompson sent threats against Jewish targets in this unidentified woman’s name, to embroil her in legal hot water. Justice further asserts that Thompson made other threats in his own name, “but which THOMPSON has later claimed were made by Victim-1 in an effort to falsely implicate THOMPSON.”

Prosecutors say that Thompson phoned the ADL’s Manhattan headquarters and stated that a device filled with “C-4” explosives would be “detonated within one hour.” Among other targets, Thompson allegedly e-mailed the Jewish History Museum and a Jewish school, both in Manhattan, and another Jewish school in Farmington Hills, Mich., among others. He told these facilities that he had planted bombs on their property and “wants to create Jewish newtown [sic] tomorrow,” an apparent reference to Adam Lanza’s December 2012 shooting spree at a grammar school in Newtown, Ct. The crazed killer gunned down 26 and wounded two others in that atrocity. No bombs were found at any of these institutions.

Meanwhile, Thompson’s Twitter account is a bulging landfill of seething, Trump-hating, left-wing, anti-white racism. Here is a small sample of his online garbage:

• “Trump is not insane. That’s a slur against ppl who actually suffer w/mental health issues. He is simply a racist/sexist/capitalist monster.”

• “Donald Trump is the perfect example of how dumb, incompetent wealthy white ppl can fail upward.”

• In response to a photo of a woman wearing a Trump-campaign-style red hat with the words “Make America New York” in white, Thompson wrote: “We don’t want America like NY, we want it like Havana.”

• “In 16-17 Flint was poisoned by a capitalist state wanting $$/kill black ppl.”

• “White folk are trash. Absolute trash.”

• “I’m just a poor black man trying to do my part on the ground, and not on Twitter, to destroy white ppl.”

Thompson appears to be a Muslim. In one Twitter post, he writes: “The white west is trash. I thank allah [sic] I am living in Senegal now.” Later, he explains that he is “‘reverting’ to Islam.”

No evidence has emerged to connect Thompson with the revolting vandalism that lately has plagued Jewish graveyards, such as the desecration and toppled headstones that Vice President Mike Pence helped fix on February 22 in University City, a St. Louis suburb.

“There is no place in America for hatred or acts of prejudice or violence or anti-Semitism,” Pence said at the Chesed Shel Emeth cemetery, according to USA Today.

“Today, Vice President Pence proved to be the ultimate mensch by visiting, and even cleaning, the desecrated Jewish graves in St. Louis,” said the Anne Frank Center’s Steven Goldstein. “This administration finally showed America the kind of response our nation was waiting for all along — a response filled with proactive heart.”

In response to this wave of intimidation and destruction, President Trump observed that such vile acts are not always what they seem: “Sometimes it’s the reverse, to make people — or to make others — look bad.”

With any luck, the other anti-Semitic harassers and attackers will be caught, tried, and jailed. So far, though, Trump is right, and the Left is wrong, about who unleashed these anti-Semitic threats.

Deroy Murdock is a Manhattan-based Fox News contributor and a contributing editor of National Review Online.

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