Reporters covering Donald Trump rallies are used to getting booed and heckled. After all, the Republican presidential candidate often criticizes the news media, and his supporters like to let journalists know they agree. But the heckling reached a new level Saturday in Phoenix, where one man directly confronted the journalists with an anti-Semitic chant and hand gestures that sure resembled hate symbols. The man seemed to be acting on his own, turning around to face the members of the press directly and yell: “You’re going down! You’re the enemy!” In case there was any doubt about whom he was talking to, he pointed at the journalists who were in the designated press section.
The crowd then proceeded to chant “USA! USA!” and the man, who was wearing a “Hillary for Prison” T-shirt, joined in with his own little chant: “Jew S.A.! Jew S.A.!” He also made hand gestures that looked like a variation of a white supremacist symbol. The chants “provided a reminder why some Republicans cannot bring themselves to support Trump,” notes Reuters.
This is the man who started chanting "JEW-S-A" at the media pen. Does anyone know what those hands signs mean? pic.twitter.com/64yseZFSVZ— Candace Smith (@CandaceSmith_) October 29, 2016
Guy chants "Jew-S-A" in front of press pen pic.twitter.com/2yqgA6dD4k— Nick Corasaniti (@NYTnickc) October 29, 2016
So this just happened near the press pen at Trump's Phoenix rally. Man chanting "Jew.S.A.!" pic.twitter.com/DpG9G6BtqO— Ashley Killough (@KilloughCNN) October 29, 2016
Trump spokeswoman Hope Hicks said the campaign “strongly condemns this kind of rhetoric and behavior. It is not acceptable at our rallies or elsewhere.”
In a recent interview with the Washington Post, Jonathan Greenblatt, the head of the Anti-Defamation League, said some of Trump’s rhetoric sounds as if it is coming “straight out of the Protocols of Zion.” Although Greenblatt was sure to note there’s no way to know whether Trump is intentionally fanning anti-Semitic sentiment, “but whether it’s the speechwriters or his supporters, we’re seeing tropes and stereotypes about Jews dominating the global banking system.”