Categorized | Samuel_Michael_Leo-Rabbi, USA

‘Paid protesters’ report a hoax which had me fooled

By Rabbi Michael Leo Samuel

Rabbi Michael Leo Samuel

Rabbi Michael Leo Samuel

CHULA VISTA, California — It was brought to my attention this morning that the story about paid protesters to which I alluded in a column, here linked, was indeed a fake story.  For this I apologize.  Paul Horner loves fooling people with fabricated articles. In fact, Horner’s con was so effective, the Washington Post interviewed him and said that he might have inadvertently helped Trump win.[1]

Yet, despite the bogus nature of the Horner story, there is certainly no doubt that the vandalism, brawls, and blocking of streets are a very serious problem that responsible leaders cannot ignore in many of the protests taking place nationwide. The story about the ambulance having to take a 45  minute detour, resulting in the death of young father of a four year child is somewhat questionable. Snopes could not verify its veracity one way or the other, but the US Herald did list the story on their website for whatever it is worth. The US Herald has a pretty good reputation as a paper.[2]

More to the point, Rudy Giuliani pointed out in an interview, anytime protestors block streets, as we have seen, it is only a matter of time before somebody dies because an ambulance cannot get to a hospital. If people want to protest, it must be done peacefully and on the sidewalks—and never the streets.

Yet, many arrests have taken place and the violence is expanding. The Los Angeles Times writes that the police union criticized Mayor Eric Garcetti’s support of the demonstrators. The head of the Police Union, Craig Lally summed up the problem, “When officers are being physically assaulted, when property is being vandalized, those are words of encouragement to those who intend on breaking the law.”[3]

Still and all, the essential questions I originally raised remain unanswered. Why are our leaders not condemning the violence and vandalism?

As I mentioned earlier, in Jewish tradition, it is sinful to be silent in the face of a crime,  “Whence do we know that if a man sees his neighbor drowning, mauled by beasts, or attacked by robbers, he is bound to save him? From the verse, ‘You shall not stand by the blood of your neighbor’ (Lev. 19:16).

Bernie Sanders’ remarks are undeniably real and demonstrates why Bernie Sanders is a mensch. Of all the political leaders on the Left, only he showed the moral courage to say what needed to be spoken. Sanders said one day after protesters brawled with supporters of Donald Trump outside of a rally in nearby San Jose, “Violence is absolutely and totally unacceptable…If people are thinking about violence, please do not tell anybody you are a Bernie Sanders supporter, because those are not the supporters that I want.”[4]

Surprisingly, President Obama and Hillary Clinton have yet to condemn this violence. For a man who is concerned about preserving his moral legacy as a leader, I find Obama’s moral cowardice troubling. As a rabbi, I find it equally troubling that so many of my colleagues have not condemned the rioting, though they condemn Trump’s hateful rhetoric…”

Is there a hidden orchestrator encouraging the violence? In other words, who is prodding the violence? Reuters points out that the billionaire financier George Soros and other backed organizations are fermenting this trouble.[5] Incidentally, Move, Working Families, the Advancement Project are all supported by George Soros.

According to the Washington Times (an important newspaper)  the Working Groups made this statement after Trump’s victory:

  • “Today has been a day of mourning for many of us as his toxic blend of bigotry, racism, sexism and xenophobia pose a very real threat to communities across the country and world. But we will not be defeated,” read a message from Working Families advertising the vigil. “All across the nation, people are gathering tonight to affirm to ourselves and one another that despite the outcome of this election, we will not give up.”[6]

So speaketh the resistance…. But resistance cannot take the law in its own hands–regardless how noble its followers believe there cause happens to be.

While many people are not happy with the election results, in a democracy there will always be spirited controversies and lots of dialectical tension. Let us hope that the clash of ideas remains exactly that—a clash of ideas. Our leaders should not tolerate violence or the abrogation of the rule of law, nor should we ignore it when it takes place.

[1] Kudos go to Todd Wallach, who brought this to my attention. Note the ABC News URL ends in .co, not .com.

[2] It is not listed on the Snopes fake news sites, See also



[5] See


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One Response to “‘Paid protesters’ report a hoax which had me fooled”


  1. […] var icx_publication_id = 18149; var icx_content_id = 83695; .icx-toolbar{padding: 0 0 5px 0;} .icx-toolbar-align-right{float: right;} .icx-tool-wrapper{left: -98px;} Editor’s Note:  News articles to which this column alluded were a hoax.  Apologizing for being taken in, Rabbi Samuel has filed an updated column, here linked.  […]

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