BEFORE the storming of the US Capitol Building in January, Elliot Resnick, editor The Jewish Press, was simply known as a very unpleasant, far-right meshuggeneh.
But after the Trump-loving hack was caught on camera among the insurrectionists who forced their way into the building, Resnick, above left, was exposed to a much wider world as someone less savoury: a lunatic who holds repugnant views on a whole swathe of issues.
What he no longer holds is his job. Jewish outlet Forward reports that he has been replaced by Shlomo Greenwald, a grandson of the founders of The Jewish Press who has worked at the weekly paper since 2004.
After he was identified by Politico in a video, The Jewish Press editorial board, after a lengthy silence, published a statement confirming that Resnick entered the Capitol that day. But his presence there was to :
Cover the rally and the rest of the day’s terrible events for The Jewish Press, where he has been a reporter and editor since 2006.
The statement added:
The Jewish Press does not see why Elliot’s personal views on former President Trump should make him any different from the dozens of other journalists covering the events, including many inside the Capitol building during the riots, nor why his presence justifies an article in Politico while the presence of other reporters inside the building does not.
The Jewish Press decided not to print any article – by Elliot or anyone else – in our print edition because of the heated atmosphere surrounding the day’s events, especially within New York’s Orthodox Jewish community.
The board’s response did not address Resnick’s subsequent column defending the events of January 6, printed in a separate outlet, The American Thinker. He wrote that the Capitol riot was a natural reaction to Trump’s widely disproven and baseless claims that the 2020 election was stolen from him.
Democrats keep on declaring that never again can this country see its Capitol overtaken by a mob. Well, there’s an easy solution for that. Don’t steal elections in plain sight, and maybe ordinarily law-abiding citizens won’t snap.
Those who have called out Resnick for his past comments say his presence on January 6 at Capitol is notable. One, Eric Ward, Executive Director of the Western States Center, a civil rights group that tracks extremism, said:
It doesn’t speak to the whole of the Jewish community, but I think it does speak to the fact that even in marginalized communities in the United States [some members] will adopt and orient towards an authoritarian-style politics.
The good news is that it’s not the majority in any of those communities. But neither is it an aberration.
Resnick assumed the position of editor at The Jewish Press in 2018. He has long had a history of using incendiary language and has called the gay rights movement “evil.” Under Resnick’s editorship, The Jewish Press was criticised by the Anti-Defamation League in 2019 after publishing an op-ed titled “The Pride Parade: What Are They Proud Of” comparing gay marchers in the New York event to animals, adulterers and thieves.
Resnick wrote in a tweet in 2019:
If blacks resent America’s [sic] so much, let them discard Christianity (which the ‘white man’ gave them) and re-embrace the primitive religions they practiced in Africa.
In another tweet he asked:
Can someone give me a coherent reason why blackface is racist?
Resnick was not the only editor in The Jewish Press’s history to espouse racist views. The paper was edited in the 1960s by Rabbi Meir Kahane, above, a Jewish nationalist who advocated violence against Arabs and was banned from the Knesset, Israel’s parliament. He was assassinated in New York 1990 while addressing ultra-Orthodox Jews.
Though the paper distanced itself from Kahane in 1969, it still lists him among the paper’s prominent past editors on its website.
Greenwald declined to comment on the paper’s decision to replace Resnick, but said:
I am both exhilarated and daunted by the work ahead in building on the great things The Jewish Press has always done while making improvements.
The Orthodox Jewish community in the US is broad, and I hope to make a newspaper that will speak to and enlighten the community. The core interests of the community remain: fighting for a secure Israel and advocating for religious freedom at home, areas that The Jewish Press has always championed, and that I will continue to embrace in this role.
Politico said that Resnick’s ultra-conservative politics are rare among the broader community of US Jews, who lean overwhelmingly toward Democrats.
Investigators have arrested and charged more than 300 people for participating in the assault, on charges ranging from unauthorised entry to assaults of police officers to conspiracy to disrupt the certification of the 2020 election.
And they have indicated that dozens, if not hundreds, more are likely to be arrested as prosecutors comb through a massive trove of evidence in what they say is the most complex case ever undertaken by the Justice Department.
However, Resnick has not faced charges for his presence in the Capitol, and the video captured of him does not show him engaging in or encouraging violence.