Today’s Conservatives Engender a New Age of Anti-Semitism.

by Pitt Griffin on November 3, 2018 · 0 comments

in Politics, Racism

The massacre at the Tree of Life Synagogue is just the most violent, recent expression of anti-Semitism in the US. The gunman may have acted alone, but he had many accomplices. The severity of the event makes it unique, but it sprang from soil well fertilized by many Americans, from the meanest white nationalist to the President himself.

Trump offers a torrent of racist, xenophobic bile spewed night after night to crowds of mindless citizens baying back their appreciation. It is the Stanford Prison Experiment writ on a national scale. He didn’t make anyone a racist — their parents and community can be thanked for that —  but he did permit them to vent their hate. 

It the leader of the nation can call Mexicans ‘rapists’, characterize a caravan of refugees from Central America as gangbangers and drug smugglers, and dismiss a billion Muslims as Islamofascists then the common-or-garden bigot will feel it is patriotic to revel in his own small-mindedness.

And it is not just the accidental populist President leading an army of white ‘America Firsters’, anti-Semitism is a cancer growing through the body politic. It may not be as overt as in the days of “Gentleman’s Agreement”, but don’t let the conservatives’ new formulation of America as a country grounded in ‘Judeo-Christian values’ fool you. While custom and law have made day-to-day life for Jews easier, there is still an unshakeable antipathy to them. 

Take Mike McCarthy. He is a Republican political leader, and as such we shouldn’t expect him to attain the norms of civility or honesty. But sometimes he can’t even hurdle his own low bar. In a tweet after a Trump zealot mailed a bomb to George Soros among others, McCarthy implored, 

“We cannot allow Soros, Steyer, and Bloomberg to BUY this election! Get out and vote Republican November 6th. #MAGA

The targets of his opprobrium are all Jewish. The #MAGA allusion aligns himself with Trump’s nationalist campaign. The ‘BUY’ harks to murky images of dark plots in which shadowy Jewish bankers purchase influence around the world. But most telling was that McCarthy deleted the tweet. As lawyers would say, that illustrates a ‘consciousness of guilt’.

McCarthy is just one unit in a larger entity. The white nationalist movement has made its position clear. During the Charlottesville neo-Nazi marches, white bigots chanted “Jews will not replace us”. While the Mayor of Charlottesville, Mike Signer, received threatening messages whose meaning was crystal clear. 

“I smell Jew. If so, you are going back to Israel. But you will not stay in power here. Not for long.”

It would be possible to dismiss these as isolated threats — except the President of the United States went on TV supposedly to condemn the violence but ended up announcing, You also had some very fine people on both sides.”Fox Business, despite its name, has ventured into political commentary worthy of its News cousin. Lou Dobbs has led the charge — unstinting as he is in his condemnation of all things immigrant-related. He invited Chris Farrell of ‘ Judicial Watch’ on his show. Farrell got straight to the heart of the matter by announcing that the caravan of refugees from Honduras was a sophisticated operation which was “ getting money from the Soros-occupied State Department.”This was too much even for Fox, who gave Farrel a lifetime ban. But not to worry there are many who will fill his racist shoes. And Fox still employs its in-house bigots.And in the boondocks, there is much of the same. In Owensboro, KY a man dressed himself as an SS soldier and his son as Adolph Hitler for a Halloween event. His choices were not well received. To which he initially took offense:

“Tonight as we walked we saw people dressed as murderers, devils, serial killers, blood and gore of all sorts. Nobody batted an eye,” Goldbach originally wrote. “But my little boy and I dress as historical figures and it merits people not only making snide remarks, but approaching us and threatening my little 5-year-old boy.”

“Yes, liberalism is alive and well,” he continued. “And we had the displeasure of dealing with the fruits of the so called ’Tolerant Left.’ 

He eventually apologized, but let’s note three things. One, of all the “historical figures” he could have picked what directed him to the 20th century’s most notorious anti-Semitic mass-murderer? Two,  the evildoer in his version of the story is “liberalism”. Three, who is son going to Halloween as next year — Jeffrey Dahmer?

Fox News’ Rachel Campos-Duffy went one step further and blamed anti-Semitism on the left

“There is a rise in anti-Semitism …. And it’s infecting our universities. It is a very virulent anti-Semitism from the left. So if we’re going to have the conversation about the rise in anti-Semitism, we need to talk about where it’s being mainstreamed, which is in our universities and some of the fringe of the progressive side.”

The only thing I can imagine she’s referring to is the condemnation of Israel for its brutality in the Occupied Territories – which is not anti-Semitism, but a reaction to what many see as extreme tactics. Let’s note there are many Jews in Israel who feel the same way.And no diary on racism is complete without a comment from the administration. In this case, Kellyanne Conway swatted away any idea that anti-Semitism was the cause of the massacre at the Tree of Life Synagogue. No, in her estimation the fault lies with,

“The anti-religiosity in this country that is somehow in vogue… making fun of people who express religion, the late night comedians,.. It’s always anti-religious.”

But the synagogue killer declared his motives. On the social-media site Gab, he specifically stated he wanted to kill Jews, who he blamed for encouraging a migrant caravan to come to the United States through Mexico.

I wonder where he got that idea?

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