When we launched AntisemitismExposed.org a few years ago, I met a relative of mine for lunch and told her I was concerned about the growth in antisemitism we were witnessing. She said I was having “the typical Jewish kneejerk reaction” to what had been taking place. I doubt she would say that today.
Since then — and especially in recent weeks — we’ve seen a whirlwind of openly expressed Jew-hate. One of the most prominent public figures to air their reprehensible opinions has been rap superstar Ye, formerly Kanye West. (See the HATERS section of this website.)
Ye hasn’t been the only one, however. Former President Donald Trump also recently voiced traditional antisemitic tropes — and not for the first time, either. When I pointed this out to a Jewish Trump supporter, he responded by telling me, “Donald Trump has done more for Israel than any other president.”
Even if true — which is debatable — does that give Trump license to fan the flames of anti-Jewish prejudice? Significantly, Trump accompanied his recent thoughts with a vague threat: American Jews had better “get their act together and appreciate what they have in Israel… before it’s too late.” He also has more closely embraced QAnon, a lunatic antisemitic conspiracy cult. (See the NEWS section.)
As I’ve noted before in this space, everything is transactional to the former president. Whatever he’s done “for Israel’ was really to benefit Donald J. Trump. After he moved the American embassy to Jerusalem, he undoubtedly expected a big shift in Jewish votes and political donations to the MAGA side. When that didn’t materialize, he was not pleased.
The myriad of condemnations aimed at Ye from other celebrities has been heartening, to be sure. So have the withdrawals by companies with whom he had lucrative affiliations. (Ye, for his part, has said the pushback only proves his contention that Jews control the media and have too much power.) But Ye and Trump have many millions of followers, and the damage has already been done. Who knows how many of them have internalized Ye and Trump’s views about the Jewish people?
Also disturbing has been the nearly complete silence of Republican politicians and officeholders on the issue. (See the ARTICLES section.) And where is the broad public outrage? Where is the vocal condemnation by Christian and Muslim religious leaders and congregations? (Yes, even mosques! Antisemites tend not to be big fans of Muslims, as well.)
I am not suggesting it’s time for American Jews to pack our bags and head out. But any Jew who thinks terrible things could never take place here, the way they did in Europe, should watch Ken Burns’ excellent documentary “The U.S. and the Holocaust.” (See the HISTORY section.)
Particularly disturbing is this fact: The upsurge in antisemitism comes at a time of unabashed, sometimes violent right-wing extremism in America, and bizarre conspiracy theories that are often focused on Jews. Not to mention a tilt toward fascistic authoritarianism in the world.
— Lenny Giteck, Publisher and Editor