It has been nearly three months since Hurricane Maria devastated Puerto Rico, and the island’s recovery has been slow. The U.S. territory is struggling with shortages of food and medical supplies, and a full 45% of residents still don’t have power.
San Juan Mayor Carmen Yulín Cruz blames Washington for failing to devote adequate resources to Puerto Rico’s recovery: She recently dubbed President Trump the “disaster-in-chief”. But a journalist for El Nuevo Día, the newspaper with the largest circulation in Puerto Rico, has found a different culprit: “the Jew.”
Columnist Wilda Rodríguez wrote a piece Monday, titled “What Does ‘The Jew’ Want From The Colony?” According to Rodríguez, it is “Wall Street types,” not politicians, that dictate U.S. policy. And, who are the power brokers on Wall Street?
“In the end, Congress will do what ‘the Jew’ wants, as the vulgar prototype of true power is called,” she wrote.
Rodríguez added a disclaimer: “No offense to people of that religion.” She even argued that the term is a source of pride for Israeli Jews.
“More than 20 years ago, the Israeli paper Ma’ariv had an article in Hebrew that explained how the Jews control Washington,” she wrote. “For Israelis, recognizing Jewish power over Washington is not an offensive statement. It is the victory of the Diaspora.”
What does “the Jew” want? Rodriguez believes that Wall Street is punishing Puerto Ricans because of the island’s $70 billion debt. “That we could get away without paying would be fatal to Wall Street morale,” she wrote. “The punishment needs to make it clear to the debtor world that Wall Street cannot be manipulated.”
El Nuevo Día has since added an editorial note to the top of the article that apologizes to the island’s Jewish community, adding, “we do not promote content that can be interpreted as anti-Semitic.”
Jeffrey Boxer is the Forward’s deputy digital director. Follow him on Twitter, @jeffboxer