Anti-Semitic hate crime surge in Could is a part of the longer-term surge since 2016
It’s important to note that when Trump ran as the Republican candidate in 2016, the number of anti-Semitic incidents skyrocketed, ending a 14-year period of decline that began in 2001 (at the top of the right-hand column of the graph should read “2001 -2015 “, not” 2001-2005 “). The numbers increased each year through 2019 and have remained at this high level ever since.
Earlier this week, I published an in-depth article on this surge in anti-Semitic hate crimes and other related topics, including anti-Semitic rhetoric from Republican elected officials and others on the right. The ADL report contained incidents that I hadn’t mentioned in this previous article:
On May 22nd, in Manhattan, a Jewish man wearing a Star of David necklace was beaten by a man who allegedly asked him, “What’s that around your neck, does that make you a goddamned Zionist?” And on 24 Las Vegas was attacked by a stranger who said Jews were “baby killers” who “will not exist” after talking about the Israel-Hamas conflict. […]
Most of the more than 400 anti-Israeli rallies that took place between May 11 and 31 were not marked by anti-Semitism and are therefore not included in these numbers. However, there have been notable instances of anti-Semitism being expressed in anti-Israel rallies. During a rally on May 15 in Washington, DC, protesters sang in Arabic, “Oh, Khaybar, Khaybar, oh you Jews, the army of Muhammad will return.” The chant refers to the siege and submission of the Jews of the city of Khaybar the Prophet Mohammed and his army and is an implicit threat to Jews today. On May 22nd, during a rally in Philadelphia, a demonstrator was heard saying, “Israel controls the media,” a claim enlivened and reinforced by the anti-Semitic trope that Jews control the media.
In response to all of these troubling incidents of anti-Semitism, 51 Holocaust survivors serving as volunteers at the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum made the following statement:
We are seeing an alarming coincidence of events that we never dreamed we would experience in our adopted country. We cannot remain silent after the recent anti-Semitic attacks in cities and towns across the country. We know firsthand the danger of unchecked anti-Semitism. This targeted violence is taking place while we also observe with great dismay an ongoing and growing trend in American public life to invoke the Holocaust to promote a different agenda.
It is deeply painful for us to see our personal history – the systematic destruction of our families and communities and the murder of six million Jewish men, women and children – being exploited in this way. What we survived should be remembered, studied and learned from, but never abused.
We thank the leaders of government and other sectors of American society, including business, academia, religion, and civil society, who have vigorously opposed anti-Semitism and the abuse of the Holocaust in our national discourse. We call on all heads of state and government to do the same.
In addition to positive comments from leaders across the political spectrum – including progressives – who have recently denounced anti-Semitic hate crimes and the positive moves by the White House by Biden, it is also of great importance that Jewish Americans get involved in these incidents progressive form take into account social media and sites like this one. This visibility is vital to show that we feel supported by our progressive allies.
Ian Reifowitz is the author of The Tribization of Politics: How Rush Limbaugh’s Race-Baiting Rhetoric on the Obama Presidency Paved the Way for Trump (preface by Markos Moulitsas)