Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel revealed Thursday that she was the target of an antisemitic extremist attack, part of a growing wave of violence against Democratic lawmakers and Jewish people.
The FBI and local authorities arrested a man named Jack Carpenter III for plotting to kill all Jewish Michigan elected officials. Carpenter tweeted on February 17 that he was “heading back to Michigan now threatening to carry out the punishment of death to anyone that is jewish in the Michigan govt if they don’t leave, or confess,” according to court documents. He also insisted that a “New Israel” had been formed in the town of Tipton, where he lived.
“The FBI has confirmed I was a target of the heavily armed defendant in this matter,” Nessel tweeted Thursday morning. “It is my sincere hope that the federal authorities take this offense just as seriously as my Hate Crimes & Domestic Terrorism Unit takes plots to murder elected officials.” Carpenter had three handguns, a shotgun, and two hunting rifles, one of which was a military-style weapon.
Nessel is not the only recent victim of political violence. She isn’t even the only one in her state: In 2020, four men plotted to kidnap Governor Gretchen Whitmer because of the Covid-19 safety restrictions she had implemented. They also thought she would tighten gun regulations.
More recently, a man broke into former House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s home in San Francisco in October and attacked her husband, Paul Pelosi, with a hammer. Paul Pelosi had to have emergency surgery on his skull because of his injuries, though he appears to be recovering.
Antisemitism has also become increasingly visible over the past year, fueled in part by rapper Kanye West’s open embrace of Nazis and hateful rhetoric. He and noted antisemite Nick Fuentes met and had dinner with former President Donald Trump in November.
Trump did not apologize for the meeting or condemn the two men’s beliefs. Republican leadership has stayed mostly silent on the meeting. They have also used the Paul Pelosi attack to spread conspiracy theories and even mock the Pelosi family.
In doing so, they are condoning political violence. Keep in mind, this is the party that has continuously played down the January 6 insurrection and even tried to claim that it was not carried out by Trump supporters. Their actions will only embolden more people to keep up these and other terrifying attacks.