Jew-hate is run amok.
That’s not hyperbole. We’re long past the point of simply raising awareness. We’re in a full-fledged battle to prevent another Holocaust, as the United States has experienced an unprecedented groundswell in antisemitism — a conflagration that is mirrored around the world, and shows no signs of slowing. In the six years since the beginning of the Trump era — a period I refer to as “The Great Emboldening” — incidents of antisemitism display a hockey-stick curve as tracked by the Anti Defamation League, reaching an all-time high of an average of more than seven incidents every day in 2021. Chances are, we’ll exceed that in 2022. And likely in 2023 and 2024 and on and on, unless we do something about it.
It’s not hard to pin down why we’re here. I mentioned “The Great Emboldening” above. That’s the name I’ve given to the unabashed movement of the far right from underground into the open, encouraged by a populist nationalist POTUS who gave them license to do so, buoyed by a collection of misinformation networks ranging from Alex Jones, Fox News, and OANN to QAnon. Whether or not Trump’s Son-in-Law is Jewish or that he was a “friend to Israel,” is irrelevant. His constituency is comprised largely of a cadre of far-right ethno-nationalist groups who want a white, Christian America more than anything. And instead of disappearing back into the shadows after his disgraceful fall from power, the movement he catalyzed continued unimpeded, finding a home in Congress among his acolytes and deeper into state and local governments at an unprecedented rate.
Consider just the last two months alone:
- Meet Jarrin Jackson, the June 26 Republican primary winner for a State Senate seat in District 2 in Oklahoma. He was endorsed by existing Arizona State Rep Mark Finchem and State Senator Wendy Rogers. On February 6, Jackson wrote a review of the so-called documentary, Enemies Within: The Church. In that review, he said, “Outline & detail the evil. Amen. The Jews. Illuminati. Covid shots kill. Rothschilds. Communists. Woke Pasters. Social gospel. Christ will chuck a bunch of stuff in the fire.”
- Wendy Rogers, the AZ State Senator mentioned above, has a long list of neo-Nazi credentials, including calling for Vincent James to run for office in her Telegram post to her followers. “Foxx is a white nationalist streamer and writer,” says Media Matters, who compiled a long list of his vile quotes from his dispatches. “He is also a Holocaust denier who has said that “the Holocaust is weaponized” against white people; attacked Jewish people because they supposedly “not only control Hollywood, congress, and the media, but they control social media as well”; and claimed that the impeachment of former President Donald Trump was “The Jew Coup.”
- There was widespread media white-washing of the Highland Park Parade shooter’s motives and his antisemitic activities, including posting Jew-hating commentary in a Holocaust denial forum online and choice of a particularly Jewish Chicago suburb for his attack.
- The United Nations Relief and Works Agency continued to publish material promoting terrorism that was rife with antisemitism — after it claimed to have expunged such materials. According to a report released by the watchdog group Institute for Monitoring Peace and Cultural Tolerance in School Education (IMPACT-se), “…deliberate choices in Arabic and Islamic education drill cards focus on content in the Palestinian Authority curriculum that promotes a narrative which portrays Jewish people as inherently treacherous and hostile to Islam and Muslims.” This is in addition to calling for violence martyrdom and and jihad.
- In June, Toronto police arrested a man and charged him with eight counts of hate-motivated crimes including, “seven counts of mischief damage of property under $5000 and breaking and entering —in connection to a number of buildings near York University that ‘were vandalized by writings in spray paint’ with text that targeted race and religious communities between April and June, according to the police report.” This included spray painting graffiti that depicted a dead Jew with a yarmulke and payot in the crosshairs of a gun scope, with the text “shoot a Jew in the head” next to it, according to a report from the Jerusalem Post.
- Denver’s own Jewish Community Center was the target of repeated bomb threats, first on June second, and then again a few nights later. This appears to have been a part of a coordinated effort that included JCCs in other cities, including San Francisco and Nassau County in New York.
- In Florida, Venice Mayor Ron Feinsod received emails saying Jews should leave the state and country and that he should kill himself. Meanwhile, a home in Fort Lauderdale was vandalized with spray painted swastikas in the same week.
- Meanwhile, AZ State Rep Mark Fincham (who is gunning to be the AZ Secretary of State — which oversees the state’s elections) is a documented QAnon supporter and “#stopTheSteal conspiracist” who spends his time appearing on far-right media outlets and was present at the Jan. 6 insurrection. For a refresher, QAnon is a direct recasting of the Protocols of the Elders of Zion, and was built on a platform of antisemitism.
- Sadly New Mexico’s Republican nominee for Secretary of State, Audrey Trujillo, is also on the record tweeting out antisemitic material. Last May, the Albuquerque Journal reported she tweeted out, “an image of pharmaceutical executives with the Star of David – a symbol of Jewish identity – beside each face. The image says ‘Pick your poison!’ and describes a number of alleged Jewish connections to COVID-19 vaccines. There are dollar figures listed for ‘corporation net worth’ and symbols of an eye in a triangle, similar to what’s on a dollar bill. One line of text reads: ‘Which group is heavily over-represented in vaccine nepotism?’”
- Lauren Boebert, State Rep from Colorado’s Third District, went on an inflammatory and highly exclusionary rant at a religious service last month. While not outwardly antisemitic, it clearly stated that any religion other than Christianity had no place in the U.S. “The church is supposed to direct the government,” she said. “The government is not supposed to direct the church. That is not how our Founding Fathers intended it.” She added: “I’m tired of this separation of church and state junk that’s not in the Constitution. It was in a stinking letter, and it means nothing like what they say it does.”
- In California on July 10, 30-40 antisemitic flyers were spread across the porches of a quiet neighborhood in the town of Scotia, the work of the small, virulently antisemitic group Goyim Defense League, who have papered multiple neighborhoods in Colorado over the last couple years. Additionally, members of this group, Vincent and Briana Bertinelli, continue to work for All Friends, Inc., a state-funded organization that pays them to care for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities. Vincent Bertinelli is on the record claiming to be a Nazi — a group with a documented history of hateful eugenics that murdered more than 200,000 people with disabilities during the Holocaust.
- On June 29, the Currier Times reported that Curry College in Massachusetts terminated an employee who was behind a spate of hate incidents — vandalizing campus buildings with swastikas and other messages targeting Jewish, Black and LGBTQ+ students on campus after an exhaustive investigation that included local police and the FBI.
- In New York, pro-Palestinian activist Saadah Masoud was charged last month for attacking Jews, according to a report by The Times of Israel: “Saadah Masoud was charged in the US Southern District of New York last month, according to newly released court documents. The request for an arrest warrant from US Attorney’s Office investigators said Masoud repeatedly punched his victim — who was holding crutches — and dragged him across a sidewalk, causing injuries, including a concussion… The investigator in the case also said he uncovered two other instances in which Masoud violently attacked Jews in June and July of 2021. He allegedly threatened and struck a Jewish community leader at his home in Brooklyn, and weeks later cut the face of another person who was holding an Israeli flag, which he stole, also in Brooklyn.”
- On June 30, white nationalist Nick Fuentes went on yet another antisemitic rant regarding the overturing of Roe V. Wade by the Supreme Court. “‘If Ruth Bader Ginsburg, a Jewish woman, didn’t die last year, so that Amy Coney Barrett, a Catholic woman, could be appointed to the bench, we would still have Roe v. Wade,’” Fuentes said, as detailed in a report by World Israel News. “‘Now you tell me that this is a Judeo-Christian country… You tell me that it doesn’t matter that we have a lot of Jewish people in government.’ Fuentes routinely expresses antisemitic and white nationalist views. A clip from 2019 shows Fuentes denying the Holocaust by comparing the death of Jews in ovens to baking cookies. ‘It takes one hour to cook a batch of cookies, and you have 15 ovens probably in four different kitchens, right? Doing 24 hours a day every day for five years, how long would it take you to make six million? Hmmm. I don’t know. It certainly wouldn’t be five years, right? The math doesn’t quite seem to add up there,’ he said.”
- And then there’s the so-called BDS Mapping Project, a website claiming to connect various institutions and “support for the colonization of Palestine,” which in actuality, simply provides a map to various Jewish organizations in the Boston area. In a time where Jews are the number one targeted ethnic group for hate crimes in the United States, this initiative is akin to doxing with the hope that violence will occur against them.
Don’t misunderstand — the list above is but a small snapshot of the antisemitic activity occuring here and around the world on a daily basis. It’s by no means a complete or exhaustive collection of the vile hatred Jews are experiencing — and it’s growing exponentially year-by-year.
What can you do about it?
Call it out. Be an ally to your Jewish friends and family by refusing to accept this as an appropriate status quo. Stop supporting politicians who align themselves with these platforms; vote them out and hold them accountable for spreading this hate. Support Jewish businesses and services. The Anti Defamation League has myriad educational resources you can use to learn about — and share with others — how to combat antisemitism. And you can also donate directly to the ADL as well.
If you’ve ever wondered what you might have done in Germany in the early 1930s… you’re doing it now.