Trump made it simple: antisemitism is bad and it needs to stop so, of course, Stephen Goldstein, a Jewish Leftist hiding behind Anne Frank attacked him for not doing enough.
I know President Obama was here for the museum’s opening last fall, and I’m honored to be the second sitting president to visit this great museum.
Today and every day of my presidency, I pledge to do everything I can to continue that promise of freedom for African-Americans and for every American, so important, nothing more important.
This tour was a meaningful reminder of why we have to fight bigotry, intolerance, and hatred in all of its very ugly forms. The anti-Semitic threats targeting our Jewish community and 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.
Given that he was at the African American history museum and not the Holocaust Museum, I thought the brevity was appropriate. I also appreciated his nice, polite. little reminder to African Americans who are, sadly, amongst the most antisemitic people in America, that they need to stop being that way.
Steven Goldstein, the director of the Anne Frank Center in New York, took it upon himself to respond on behalf of all Jews and said that Trump’s denunciation failed because he hasn’t policed his own administration (which is full of people who are Jewish or adore Israel). This denunciation has gotten wide play in the mainstream media and on social media.
Oh! Did I mention that the center’s full name is the Anne Frank Center for Mutual Respect? Given Goldstein’s ill-informed and nasty attack, I guess someone forgot to read his own promotional material.
And just who is Steven Goldstein and what is this “Center for Mutual Respect”? Well, it turns out that, a few years ago, the Anne Frank Center deviated from its Holocaust mission and has turned into a social justice institution focused on intersectionality, , with an Executive Director who made a name for himself as a hardcore social justice warrior:
June 14, 2016 — The Anne Frank Center USA has renamed itself the Anne Frank Center for Mutual Respect, and has named civil rights leader Steven Goldstein to be its new Executive Director. The new name, and Goldstein himself, make their debut at the organization’s 20th annual gala on Tuesday, June 14 at the New York Academy of Medicine.
With Goldstein’s hiring, the Anne Frank Center for Mutual Respect not only adopts a new name, but also a wider mission. To date, the organization has focused largely on the history of Anne Frank and the Holocaust, with forays into addressing contemporary prejudice and discrimination. Now the organization, reflecting the Mutual Respect in its new name, will significantly broaden its work on contemporary issues to become a national leader in exposing and fighting hate.
The inspiration for organization’s expanded name and mission is the late Otto Frank, Anne’s father. He founded the organization in the United States in 1959 to “build a world based on equal rights and mutual respect.”
In ushering in a new era, the organization sought a leader with a vision as big as its own. That’s when it hired Goldstein, who achieved national renown as the longtime leader of Garden State Equality, New Jersey’s statewide organization for LGBT equality. From the time he founded Garden State Equality in 2004, the organization amassed 150,000 members and won a record-breaking 216 new civil rights laws at every level in the state. In an article covering Goldstein’s leadership, The Harvard Law and Policy Review credited him with building a “model organization” in the United States for achieving social justice.
He moved on from Garden State Equality in 2013, the year New Jersey won marriage equality, to become an associate professor of law and political science at Rutgers University in Newark. In 2015, Steve Carell played Goldstein in the motion picture “Freeheld,” chronicling one of Garden State Equality’s legendary battles for justice. The movie was based on the 2007 documentary “Freeheld,” featuring the real Steven Goldstein, that won the Oscar® for Best Short Documentary.
“As we work to make the Anne Frank Center for Mutual Respect a national powerhouse in fighting the hate that exists in our world today,” Goldstein said, “we will teach the stories of the tragic past, including Anne Frank’s. That’s how we’ll make the Holocaust more relevant to young people in every generation ahead.”
For Goldstein, social justice advocacy, which is invariably paired with hard Left politics, is not a hobby, it’s a vocation. You won’t be surprised to know that he graduated from the usual group of high end Leftists institutions (Brandeis, Harvard, and Columbia), or that he earned his political chops working for corrupt Progressive politicians in New York and New Jersey (that would be Corzine and Schumer). He made his name as a lawyer working to get a dying lesbian’s pension benefits transferred to her life partner.
And what about that “Anne Frank Center for Mutual Respect”? Let’s just say that its home page suggests that it’s moved away from its mission of Holocaust remembrance and is now just another Progressive social advocacy organization hiding behind the martyred Anne’s skirts:
That’s a great picture, isn’t it? In the front, you have Jewish Anne Frank next to crying Muslim children. In the background are the children’s screaming mothers in their hijabs. Interestingly, both mothers and children come from countries that have (a) driven out their Jews, (b) seek to destroy Israel, and (c) strongly advocate Jewish genocide. That doesn’t mean, of course, that the kids will grow up to be genocidal killers, at least not if they’re raised right (but will they be?). Nevertheless, I can’t help but suspect that Anne, who did not survive her brush with antisemitic genocidal killers, while she might let the kids into America, would be resistant to letting the kids’ Mommy, Daddy, and the older brother into the country.
But you know people invested in intersectionality. It never seems to occur to them that one part of the intersection might want to kill the other. Under Goldstein’s aegis, this center, which used to be about the Holocaust, now has this as its mission:
Anne Frank Center for Mutual Respect, the U.S. national organization in the worldwide network of Anne Frank organizations, addresses civil and human rights across America. Through educational programs and grassroots organizing, the Anne Frank Center for Mutual Respect calls out prejudice, counters discrimination and advocates for the kinder and fairer world of which Anne Frank dreamed.
Anne Frank Center for Mutual Respect is a progressive voice for social justice, fighting hatred of refugees and immigrants, anti-Semitism, sexism, racism, Islamophobia, homophobia, transphobia, bias against the differently abled and any other hate that runs counter to American promise of freedom. In addressing the civil and human rights issues of today, the Anne Frank Center for Mutual Respect has developed contemporary advocacy techniques that incorporate historic lessons from Anne Frank’s life and the Holocaust. By applying those historic lessons to current issues, the organization works to make the Holocaust relevant to successive generations of Americans.
What a stirring cri de coeur! Every trans person who’s ever heard the wrong pronoun is as much a victim as Anne Frank was. Every woman who’s been trapped on a subway seat by a man engaged in mansplaining or manspreading feels the pain Anne felt when she was alone, starved, and dying of typhus in the mud of Bergen Belsen. Each Muslim who’s been the victim of a fake hate crime feels the pain of a Jew marched off to the gas chamber — or do I mean feels the pain of not enough Jews marched off to the gas chamber? Whatever.
Now that I’ve put this “Anne Frank Center” in context, let me ask you this question: What is the likelihood that Trump could have said anything that would meet with Goldstein’s approval? I think Zero is a high number.
The reality, though, is that Trump is doing something wonderful and important to fight antisemitism. He’s working through the wonderful Nikki Haley, America’s UN Ambassador, to bring that miserable, antisemitic pustule-on-the-earth organization to heel. The video’s short, clear, and oh-so-sweet. You should watch it if you haven’t already.
I couldn’t find any references to Goldstein commenting on Barack Obama’s little tussles with Jews and Israel. Still, I’m sure he spoke up when Obama told the Muslim world that Israel existed, not because of its 3,000 year long ties to the land, but because of the Holocaust (that same Holocaust the Muslim world denies happened). And I bet Goldstein was loud in his condemnations when Obama authorized one of his aids to call Benjamin Netanyahnu a “chickenshit.”
Likewise, Goldstein must have been on the front lines when then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton called Netanyahu and reamed him a new one over the phone for daring to build in his own country. This, of course, would be the same Clinton who’s been heard by aides calling Bill (who is not Jewish) a “Jew motherf-cker” or a “Jew Bastard” — something she apparently called a Jewish associate a “Jew Bastard” as well. And it’s inconceivable that Goldstein wasn’t up in arms when Obama’s last act at the UN as president was secretly to author a bill denying Israel any right to a secure border and then stand aside while the UN approved it.
Goldstein won’t like what Trump should really do to fight antisemitism in America: He should withdraw federal funds from every single university. America’s universities are festering, stinking, black holes of antisemitism:
Anti-Semitic activity on college campuses with the largest Jewish undergraduate enrollment drastically increased during the first half of 2016 compared to the same time last year, reports anti-Semitism watchdog group AMCHA Initiative.
After examining over 100 public and private colleges and universities from January through June of 2016, the study found 287 anti-Semitic incidents occurred at 64 schools, compared to 198 occurrences that took place during the same time last year, reflecting a 45 percent increase.
“The growing problem of campus anti-Semitism is no doubt a serious threat facing the Jewish community. But this disturbing and dangerous spike and the bolder, more brazen methods of those perpetrating this hate are particularly alarming,” warned Tammi Rossman-Benjamin, AMCHA Initiative director and co-founder.
The above is a blanket condemnation. However, for someone like me, reading the news is a regular journey into the Jew-hating at UCLA, UC Irvine, Brown, Columbia, and whatever other college suddenly hits the news with base antisemitic insults, threats, and efforts to shut down Jewish speech. Funnily enough, I can find any record of Goldstein protesting that kind of stuff either.
Goldstein should never have gotten the prominent coverage he did for his little post denouncing Trump’s brief challenge to antisemitism. He’s nothing but a garden-variety Progressive, incapable of distinguishing the unpleasantness that will always rise up occasionally in a pluralist country, on the one hand, from deadly genocidal attacks of the type actively encouraged in the Muslim world and gaining a scary foothold in America’s institutions of (ahem) higher education, on the other hand.
One more thing: The fact that the American Anne Frank center has been co-opted by the social justice, intersectionality crowd is unsurprising. When I was last in Amsterdam, I discovered that the original Anne Frank center, the one located in the building in which she lived her last years and wrote her famed diary, has also been co-opted. I wrote the following after a visit in 2013. I’d first visited the museum in 1980, when it was all about Anne and the Holocaust. The shiny, new remodeled museum has a different mission:
Anne Frank’s house has become a thriving industry since I saw it in 1980. The remodel is splendid in that it channels traffic skillfully so that every visitor gets a chance to walk through the Secret Annex. (Buy tickets online if you go there. The crowds waiting to get in are horrific.) The museum around the house focuses in tightly on Ann, her family, and her friends. It makes the Holocaust very personal but, by doing so, fails utterly to educate people about the Holocaust or fascism.
At the end if the museum, there’s a room with very short videos, many of which are about special interest demands against a greater European culture that is not bowing to their dressing, immigration, or marriage requirements. The videos begin by focusing on a fictional young person with needs, and then, having personalized that need, gives a brief, shallow, fairly even-handed look at the issue, whether it’s veils in schools, forcing Christian civil servants to perform gay marriages, or allowing people to serve in the military while wearing religious garb.
Having started each video with the personalization, everyone knows what they’re supposed to think. None of the videos delves into the deeper issues. For example, are the veil-wearing girls embracing Dutch culture, or undermining it? (E.g., are they fifth columnists, like Maj. Hasan, or multicultural patriots?) If the veil is a symbol of religious faith, that’s one thing. If it represents the thin edge if the wedge for sharia, it’s another. By simplifying and personalizing the matter, the Anne Frank museum manages to say that a country’s desire to protect certain laudable institutions against a self-professed form of religious fascism is tantamount to Nazis killing Anne Frank.
I watched about ten or twelve videos, and the only nod to antisemitism was in the video about Holocaust Denial on YouTube.
The Left poisons everything it touches.
UPDATE: Daniel Greenfield has more on Goldstein and the Anne Frank Center.