Nina Stanley (OH): ‘The President Consorts With Anti-Semites’
Nina Stanley (68) is a Democrat from Cincinnati, OH. Her “very liberal” leanings haven’t budged since May 4, 1970, when bullets fired by the Ohio National Guard struck down four fellow students at Kent State University during the Vietnam War protest. “I was shot at. A friend pushed me down. I had never heard gunfire in my life and had no idea they were using live ammunition. When I got up, I said something like, ‘I didn’t know blanks could do that to you.’”
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How concerned are you about the rise of anti-Semitism in this country?
It scares me. I don’t like to go to places with big Jewish groups. I didn’t go to the public Hanukkah candle-lighting party in our community for example.
Do you think the problem is being addressed adequately by the presidential candidates?
They’re not talking about it, unless something happens. Then they talk about it. There are so many other people being discriminated against that they need to focus on. People are being deported. Transgender people are being persecuted by the government. No one is saying things like “Jews can’t go here” or they can’t adopt children. I don’t feel actively persecuted by the government. We’re not at that point yet. Maybe one day we will be, but right now we’re not.
Do any of the Democratic or Republican candidates stand out for you as particularly strong or weak on this issue?
This president has anti-Semitic followers, like the pastor in Vero Beach, Florida (who called the impeachment of Trump a “Jew coup”). You don’t hear the Democrats talk about anti-Semitism like you hear them talking about Medicare. I don’t see it as a big election issue for me. No one I would ever consider voting for would be an anti-Semite.
What do you think is primarily fueling the rise in anti-Semitism?
It is the far right. The president consorts with anti-Semites. I can’t tell you how much I despise him. It’s to the point if he’s on TV, I cannot listen to him. I cannot watch. I don’t care who wins the Democratic nomination. I don’t care anymore. I hate Bernie Sanders, but I would vote for him. At least he understands the Constitution.
Do you have any concerns at all about the words or actions from the far left in regard to anti-Semitism?
Anti-Semitism on left is about policy, it’s not racial. The far-right thinks we are a different race. In Israel, they are not treating Palestinians equally. They are second-class citizens. I’ve been there many times and it’s like South Africa under Apartheid. People who feel the Israeli government is treating people like second-class citizens are not anti-Semitic. I don’t take it personally if they hate me. I don’t support Israel (politically) right now but I still buy Israeli products and would fly El Al.