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Politico’s Dubious Chabad Story Receives Widespread Criticism

A new low for Politico, just in time for Passover

Jonathan Zalman
April 10, 2017
Benams Photo / Facebook
Benams Photo / Facebook
Benams Photo / Facebook
Benams Photo / Facebook

This, apparently, is a new low for Politico.

On Sunday, just in time for Passover, Politico published an article by reporter Ben Schreckinger, under the tutelage of editor Blake Hounshell, about the alleged ties between Donald Trump, Vladimir Putin, Jared Kushner, and a “happy-go-lucky Jewish group” called Chabad, “the most sprawling Jewish institution in the world.” The article cherry-picks Chabad’s connections to “Trump’s kind of Jews,” and to “Putin’s kind of Jews,” painting an alleged web of Jewish power-ties involving Berel Lazar a.k.a. “Putin’s rabbi” that reads like “a depiction straight out of the Protocols of the Elders of Zion,” as Bethany Mandel wrote in The Federalist.

The article was soon picked up by the Forward under the headline, “Is Chabad the Missing Link in Trump’s Russia Scandal?” The current headline reads “Politico Called Anti-Semitic For Accusing Chabad In Trump’s Russia Scandal Read.”

Politico itself changed the article lead art, from a silhouette of Chabad Jews to an image of Putin.

I was told that a source for the Politico article may have been GPS Fusion, a secretive political messaging shop out of Washington D.C. run by three former WSJ reporters responsible for the Trump dossier story.

Criticism has poured in from all sides of the spectrum.

.@Chabad and for those unfamiliar, @Chabad is a joyous commty but also charitable, non-judgmental, apolitical & focuses purely on Jewish renewal 2/2

— Jonathan Greenblatt (@JGreenblattADL) April 9, 2017

You can find the Trump-Kushner-Chabad conspiracy theories on neo-Nazi twitter and now… Politico

— Seth Mandel (@SethAMandel) April 9, 2017

Chabad meets with everyone. Their rabbis are literally called “shluchim” -messengers. This Politico article is NUTS.

— Ben Shapiro (@benshapiro) April 9, 2017

If this was published on Breitbart it would launch a 1000 thought-pieces on altright anti-Semitism

Except Breitbart would never publish it

— Omri Ceren (@omriceren) April 9, 2017

Under Bolsheviks, nearly all Chabad rabbis imprisoned. Ties to Putin, to the extent they exist, shld be viewed as a means of survival. (4/X)

— (((Laura E Adkins))) (@Laura_E_Adkins) April 9, 2017

.@Chabad So please. Keep investigating Trump corruption. But leave smearing an entire people, esp. the day before a major holiday, out of it. (12/12)

— (((Laura E Adkins))) (@Laura_E_Adkins) April 9, 2017

.@Laura_E_Adkins Give Politico this: Chabad is literally the most media-obsessed rabbinic group on the planet. It took real talent NOT to talk to them.

— (((Yair Rosenberg))) (@Yair_Rosenberg) April 9, 2017

Do you yearn for deep state connections to global world leaders? Want to learn how slide into Putin’s DMs?
Join our Passover Seder!

— Mordechai Lightstone (@Mottel) April 9, 2017

.@politico This is literally the embodiment of irresponsible journalism. @SchreckReports‘s piece will live on white supremacist sites for years to come

— Mordechai Lightstone (@Mottel) April 9, 2017

Jonathan Zalman is a writer and teacher based in Brooklyn.

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