2018-09-16 09:09:31 UTC
and brought you the faggot hate-crime legislation named for
Anti-Defamation League - We hate everyone but Jews and those who
will advance our cause to be in charge.
Readers of Today's WorldView are well aware of how the far right
has gone mainstream over the past year. They were brought there
by a confluence of events: President Trump's rise to the White
House on an ultranationalist platform, the electoral gains made
by once-fringe parties in Western Europe and the deepening
illiberalism of parties in power farther east. As a result,
we've seen a rise in Islamophobia as well as widespread
demonization of immigrants in various countries.
But this resurgent nativism also encompasses an old and dark
tradition: a virulent hatred of Jews.
You could see it in last year's infamous white-nationalist rally
in Charlottesville, where hundreds inspired in part by
Trump's politics chanted Jews will not replace us. (The
president decries anti-Semitism, but had a notoriously tough
time denouncing the neo-Nazi marchers.) You could see it in the
sly game played by Poland's ruling party, which has moved to
criminalize discussion of Poland's role in the Holocaust while
looking the other way during a nationalist demonstration in
November where supporters chanted Pure Poland, Jew-Free
Poland. And you could even see it in the hideous slaughter of
17 high school students in Florida this month the shooter's
magazines were reportedly etched with swastikas.
A new study by the Anti-Defamation League, a U.S.-based
organization that tracks anti-Semitism and other bigotry, found
an alarming rise in anti-Semitic incidents in 2017. The ADLs
2017 Audit of Anti-Semitic Incidents identified 1,986 examples
of anti-Semitic harassment, vandalism and assault in 2017, the
largest single-year increase and the second-highest number since
it started tracking the data in the 1970s, my colleague Tara
Bahrampour reported. Vandalism was up by 86 percent, and
incidents targeting Jewish schools, community centers, museums
and synagogues had surged by 101 percent since 2016, the report
found. The number of anti-Semitic incidents in K-12 schools has
roughly doubled each year for the past two years, the report
This is close to an all-time high, Jonathan Greenblatt, the
organizations CEO, said to The Washington Post, adding that the
last time the number of incidents was so high was nearly 25
years ago. He blamed the shift on the divisive state of our
national discourse in the Trump era. Were living in a time
where extremists feel emboldened and theyre increasingly taking
action, he said. They feel empowered. They almost feel like
theyve been mainstreamed.
Another report that the organization published in late January
pointed to a surge in white-supremacist propaganda on American
college campuses. And while countless politicians and talking
heads moan about leftist political correctness at America's
universities, far fewer seem concerned about this troubling
On the other side of the Atlantic, the trend lines are perhaps
all the more worrying. In Germany, the far-right AfD party has
become the largest opposition bloc in Parliament. It carries a
toxic legacy of anti-Semitism and includes a host of politicians
who are tired of apologizing for Germany's Nazi past. Xenophobic
far-right parties across the continent from France to Austria
to Slovakia have all risen to prominence (and, in some
instances, to power) while engaging in what could arguably be
seen as anti-Semitic demagoguery. Hungarian Prime Minister
Viktor Orban's relentless campaign against Jewish American
financier George Soros offers a striking case in point.
A common theme in their messaging is populist contempt for
globalism for well-heeled intellectuals, aloof bureaucrats
and jet-setting business executives whose interests and beliefs
somehow betray the nation. This distaste for cosmopolitanism
is hardly new for Europe and, of course, is intertwined with a
long history of anti-Semitic tropes.
Perhaps nowhere has the problem resurfaced more than in Poland,
where critics say the governing Law and Justice Party is
steering the country toward a majoritarian autocracy. That
government passed a controversial new law this month on how the
Holocaust is remembered, making it illegal to speak of Polish
complicity in the genocide. The law chilled discussion of
Poland's past at home and stirred outrage abroad, but Polish
leaders have staunchly defended it.
At the high-profile Munich Security Conference this month,
Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki drew the ire of
onlookers when he seemed to put equal blame on Jewish
collaborators for the Nazi-sponsored genocide that wiped out
millions of European Jews.
Youre not going to be seen as criminal [if you] say that there
were Polish perpetrators, as there were Jewish perpetrators, as
there were Russian perpetrators as well as Ukrainian
perpetrators not only German perpetrators, Morawiecki said
when asked to defend the new legislation.
The Holocaust law has sparked a diplomatic battle with Israel
and created new fears among the country's Jews. Although Poland
once had Europe's largest Jewish community, fewer than 10,000
now live there. Anna Chipczynska, the president of the Warsaw
Jewish community, told my colleague James McAuley that the
resurgent nationalist mood has led to Jewish organizations being
flooded with hate mail. She suggested that some Polish Jews may
consider hiding their cultural identity.
They might see a stigma, Chipczynska said. And therefore
there is a legitimate risk that people will hide and cover their
identities, their backgrounds. Its extremely concerning.
Such a scenario is, of course, not something American Jews have
to worry about. But the mobilization and growing visibility of
the American far right is a major concern. Theyve dropped the
boots in favor of suits; theyve dropped the camos in favor of
khakis; they talk about white culture and supporting policies
like ending immigration, Greenblatt of the ADL told The Post.
And thats just whats visible to the outside world. The
Southern Poverty Law Center, which tracks right-wing hate groups
in the United States, recently released its own report on the
surge in neo-Nazi mobilization in the country. Heidi Beirich,
director of the SPLCs Intelligence Project, told Bahrampour
that the organization's research barely scratches the surface of
what may be happening.
Were in an ugly time, she said. Were not even close to
capturing even one-tenth.