Sunday, April 7, 2019

The Anti-Semites Never Left

There have been a number of articles and posts lately about the rise of antisemitism around the world, with the main point being that we're seeing a rise in attacks, defacements and comments that question whether Jews are really trustworthy citizens. That a US member of Congress, Representative Ilhan Omer was also guilty of saying such things is troubling, to say the least.

But it's important to note that antisemitism has been alive and well for, well, for as long as there have been Jews in the world, and the rise in antisemitic attacks is more directly related to the rise in global nationalism and populism than anything else. Because when people feel threatened, they lash out at those they believe are responsible for their problems, and since the stereotypes of Jews are related to money, power and nation, we are a convenient scapegoat at a convenient time.

It's disturbing enough to see the rise of this hatred in other counties. It's even worse when we see it in the United States, and it's not just Representative Omar who is a problem. The rise and nurturing of the far right is fueling anti-every minority hatred in the country, and although the president says that he's the best friend Israel ever had, many of his supporters are the worst perpetrators of racist and antisemitic vitriol.

The truth is that antisemitism has friends on the right and the left, so on this issue, there are no uninterested parties. Jews have historically been seen as others who are not part of the nations they inhabit or are allied with its enemies, financial interests, dark conspiracies, and communist revolutions.

The climate is better than it was, but like the real climate, antisemitism is heating up and belching poison into the atmosphere. We will need to be diligent and strong if we are to beat back this latest insurgency.

For more, go to or Twitter @rigrundfest

No comments:

Post a Comment