The Real Jewish Question
“…only a moral cretin thinks that anti-Semitism is a threat only to Jews.”
-Christopher Hitchens from Stand Up for Denmark!
The “Unite the Right” rally nearly three weeks ago was marketed as an opportunity for conservatives to gather to protect the embattled statue of Confederate General, Robert E. Lee-or at least that is what was claimed. In America, whenever groups of extreme ideological persuasion gather for political purposes, left or right, one thing is almost certain-it is only a matter of time before they begin discussing the Jews. This malady was on full display during the warm up rally the night before the official event where attendees marched, tiki torches in hand while repeatedly chanting “Jews will not replace us” as a preview of the following day.
While the Unite the Right rally likely drew individuals whose primary interest was the preservation of the Confederate monument, others, abnormally exuberant, took the opportunity to discuss what was really on their mind. One protester by the name of Sean Patrick Nielsen, on video, explained his presence as defending white identity, the free market, and “killing Jews.”
Christopher Cantwell, the crybaby neo-Nazi prominently featured in Vice’s documentary, Charlottesville: Race and Terror, and currently jailed without bond on three felony charges stemming from the event openly declared his disgust at Donald Trump for giving “his daughter to a Jew.” Another individual featured who works for the neo-Nazi website, The Daily Stormer (currently offline), angry and agitated, asserted “this city [Charlottesville] is run by Jewish communists and criminal niggers.”
None of this should be any surprise given the Nazi flags, “blood and soil” chants, and Roman salutes displayed at the gathering. Elle Reeve, the Vice journalist, featured in Charlottesville: Race and Terror, has since been interviewed by several media outlets confirming that rally attendees were focused on Jews, not General Lee.
It didn’t take long for the events in Charlottesville to be pinned on the international Jewish billionaire puppet master, George Soros. Soros is reliably the go-to guy when the radical right needs someone to blame for pretty much anything imaginable.
America’s most prominent lunatic crackpot, Alex Jones, suggested that the white supremacist protesters in Charlottesville may have been “leftist Jews” based upon some conspiracy he claims to have uncovered involving the KKK 18 years ago.
Luckily, the majority of reasonable conservatives immediately and unequivocally denounced the theatrics of the rally goers and the violence that resulted in death. Unfortunately, the President of the United States was not one of them, handing a major propaganda victory to both the alt-right and white supremacist groups.
According to the FBI, crimes against Jews in America double those against Muslims. Many people are surprised to learn this given that media coverage often leads viewers to assume the exact opposite. The media tends to cover only the most extreme acts of anti-Semitic crime in any serious fashion. When a pork chop is thrown at a Mosque in the middle of the night (which I am in no way endorsing or excusing) the media responds as if it was a molotov cocktail.
Anti-Semitism, not only in America but across the world, remains an unusually acceptable form of bigotry in comparison to the treatment of other minority groups-and Jews are a very small minority at roughly 15 million worldwide.
It is no secret that anti-Semitism among progressives is rife as well. It is prominent on college campuses, often disguised through initiatives like Boycott, Divest, and Sanction or the Free Palestine Movement. The goals of these groups more often than not are anti-Jewish rather than anti-Israel.
In 2015, when a student at the University of California, Los Angeles applied for a position on the student council, she was asked how she could be trusted to “maintain an unbiased view” given her Jewishness. I struggle to imagine any other minority student being asked such a question.
So the real Jewish question isn’t the one conspiratorial bigots enjoy pondering, but rather why society doesn’t treat anti-Semitism as seriously as other forms of bigotry. Given the continued propensity of both individuals and governments to discriminate against Jews and just over 70 years since the Holocaust, such vile sentiments from the political right or left cannot be ignored.