The Anti-Defamation League (ADL) reports that last year saw the single largest number of antisemitic incidents—assaults, harassment, and vandalism—in the U.S. in the almost half-century they’ve been calculating the figures. The 2021 number jumped 34% over the previous year, with incidents of violence almost tripling what we saw in 2020. More broadly, an ADL survey found that 24%—just under a quarter—of U.S. Jews experienced at least one antisemitic incident (verbal/online or a physical attack) last year—and thanks to Elon Musk, it’s only getting easier for antisemitism to spread virally.
The White House organized a Dec. 7 roundtable discussion of top Jewish leaders, led by Second Gentleman Doug Emhoff, to address what he characterized as this “epidemic of hate.” Much of the worst of it—including a large portion of the violence—comes from right-wing and/or white supremacist extremists, often connected to lies and conspiracy theories about Jews and the supposed “replacement” of white Christians in America.
At the Dec. 7 gathering, Deborah Lipstadt, the Holocaust scholar and White House special envoy on antisemitism, connected the dots on a number of right-wing conspiracy theories: “Antisemitism is the death knell of democracy. The antisemite believes Jews control the government, the press, the media—and therefore democracy is an illusion.”
Right-wingers from Trump (not for the first time) to Kanye West (and he just keeps getting worse, now saying he likes Hitler and “loves Nazis”) to the Republican nominee for Pennsylvania governor, Doug Mastriano, to Nick Fuentes, have spewed antisemitic rhetoric in just the past few weeks alone. One wonders what sorts of bile come out when the three of them get together for dinner at Mar-a-Loser. The Republican Party as an institution has laid out the welcome mat for those who hate Jews.
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