Anti-Semitism and white supremacy

White nationalists march in Charlottesville, VA, August 2017.  (photo: Screenshot from ADL video.)
A look into links between criticism of Israel with anti-Semitism, a growing hatred of Jews and the public explosion of white supremacy.

By Alice Rothchild  |  Mondoweiss  | Aug 25, 2019

The underlying racism that allowed European Jewish trauma, aspirations, and history to be privileged at the expense of the indigenous population in Palestine was rarely acknowledged, or else justified in the name of Jewish survival.

The epithet of anti-Semitism is being hurled fairly loosely these days whether it be Trump’s characterization of Congresswomen Omar and Tlaib’s policies or the State Department’s expansive definition of anti-Semitism as criticism of Israel or comparison of Israel to Nazi Germany (a comparison that has been made by a number of Israeli thinkers), or the local and national efforts to label the Boycott, Divestment, and Sanction movement of Israel inherently anti-Semitic.

So how can we calmly and thoughtfully think about this swirling controversy? Most people recognize classic anti-Semitism, the Christianity’s Jews-killed-Christ, Shakespeare’s Shylock, Nazi-graffiti-scrawled-on-a- synagogue types. Most people, (except those in the growing white supremacist, neo-Nazi movements), agree that these acts and beliefs are horrific and dangerous to a democratic society that aspires to tolerance and respect for minorities, whether it be the 7 million Jews, 3 ½ million Muslims, or 11 million Mexican immigrants among us, for starters.

I would like to explore the recent phenomenon, which is fracturing the American Jewish community, of equating criticism of Israel with anti-Semitism, and the easily recognized and intrinsically linked relationship between a growing hatred of Jews and the public explosion of white supremacy in our country.

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