Ex-Trump, progressive strategists battle over charges of anti-Semitism surrounding Eric Trump

Progressive strategist Igor Volsky and former Trump campaign data strategist Matt Braynard clashed Thursday over charges of anti-Semitism surrounding Eric TrumpEric Frederick TrumpAvenatti attacks Trump campaign over fundraising photo: 'What a joke' Ex-Trump, progressive strategists battle over charges of anti-Semitism surrounding Eric Trump Bill Kristol slams Eric Trump over 'shekels' comment MORE, who said Watergate journalist Bob Woodward made "three extra shekels" with his book attacking the administration.

"It's an ancient biblical term, 'shekel,'" Braynard, who's executive director of Look Ahead America, told Hill.TV's Krystal Ball and Buck Sexton on "Rising."

"It does not belong to Israel, and it predates that state," Braynard said, adding that Ivanka TrumpIvana (Ivanka) Marie TrumpHard choices in training Americans for AI workplace of future Ex-Trump, progressive strategists battle over charges of anti-Semitism surrounding Eric Trump Ethics watchdog requests probe into Trump officials traveling to campaign events MORE and her husband Jared KushnerJared Corey KushnerMueller investigating Russian payments made by Trump Tower meeting organizers: report The Hill's Morning Report — Sponsored by United Against Nuclear Iran — Kavanaugh confirmation in sudden turmoil Manafort’s plea deal — the clear winners and losers MORE are Jewish. "His father is by far the most pro-Jew, pro-Israel president in history, and Woodward isn't a Jew."

"As someone who had to flee anti-Semitism in the Soviet Union, who experienced anti-Semitism in the Soviet Union, who still experiences ant-Semitism every time I do certain TV networks, I know what anti-Semitism sounds like, and this is what it sounds like," Volsky, executive director of Guns Down America, said.

The term "shekels" has been widely used by white nationalists to describe money they say has been tainted by Jewish influence.

"Is that the level of anti-Semitism that caused you to leave the Soviet Union? A reference to shekels?" Braynard asked Volsky.
 
"You know, you're right. He is less anti-Semitic than the people I faced in the Soviet Union. Thank God," Volsky responded.
 
"The biblical reference that you cited suggests a certain caricature about Jews that they own all the resources, that they own all the money," he added. "That's what he's referring to. That's what the Trump campaign used and manipulated throughout the campaign time and time again to appeal to white nationalists and to get them to vote."
 
"The intent of this terminology is by no means anti-Semitic," Braynard said, noting that Eric Trump "grew up in New York, where there's a rich Hebrew culture.
 
"To throw that term out in New York is not an anti-Semitic thing, it's just a local vernacular thing," he added. "This is really disgusting, so you try to paint this man as being anti-Semitic."
 
— Julia Manchester