Anti-Semitism in the USA and the Netherlands


This New York Times video from the USA says about itself:

The Rise of the Ironic Racist | Internetting with Amanda Hess

21 November 2017

If white supremacists used to hide their faces under hoods, today’s internet-savvy racists cloak their ideology in irony, provocation, and trolling.

Translated from Dutch daily De Volkskrant, 9 November 2018:

How alt-right online disseminates hatred of Jews

Antisemitism is very common on extreme right-wing Internet platforms. But also in circles considered to be mainstream, pointing the finger at Jews is no longer taboo. How is that possible?

By Annieke Kranenberg and Hassan Bahara

‘As a fervent /pol/ visitor I can say that I have also become anti-Semitic‘, Roel wrote, a graduate in his early thirties …

A few emails later Roel appears to be open to a discussion about his radicalization process – although he prefers to talk about a process of ‘waking up’ – on the 4chan online platform, and in particular on the ‘politically incorrect’ discussion forum /pol/, which is notorious for the extreme right-wing expressions of its anonymous users ….

That ‘core of the matter’ that Roel is talking about, goes back to the National Socialism of the nineteen thirties. Only this is now packaged in a new package, with new words, symbols and forms of expression. ‘The basic idea’, says Roel enthusiastically, ‘is that Jewish people are busily undermining the white Christians so that the white race will disappear. They are behind everything: they push immigration, promote all kinds of fetish habits, stimulate homosexual relationships and indoctrinate children with gender neutral education so that they become confused about their sex.’…

Online anti-Semitism is not limited to the outer flanks of the alt-right, an ‘intellectual’ right-wing extremism based on racist doctrine. The Volkskrant – which could watch for months on closed chat groups on Discord and Whatsapp – also found this new Jew-hatred in online discussions between Forum for Democracy members and supporters. …

The Forum for Democracy is a misogynistic Islamophobic far-right party with two MPs in the Dutch parliament. They have links to US American racist and anti-Semite Jared Taylor and French neofascist Jean-Marie Le Pen.

After analyzing 30,000 Twitter accounts within the alt-right domain, Vox-Pol discovered that Dutch is the second biggest language group with 6 percent. At first place is English with a share of 75 percent. Probably the percentage of Dutch alt-right‘ers is actually higher, since many of them – like Roel – communicate online only in English. The Dutch alt-right scene is very focused on what happens in the US. …

Before [Roel] made the crossing to 4chan … he mainly read [Dutch far-right site] GeenStijl. Politically he feels most at home with Forum for Democracy (FvD). …

Jews, Roel believes, are the source of all identity-political troubles. Examples include: “The discussion about Zwarte Piet [Black Pete, a blackface character in the Dutch Saint Nicholas holiday] is a Jewish trick. They (Jews, ed.) want to undermine that tradition because it is a white tradition. “And take all those films on which Jews make their mark”, Roel continues. Like the latest Star Wars film, The Last Jedi: ‘In this they wanted to promote diversity, all leaders were female! Then we (the anti-Semitic people on 4chan, ed.) will push back.’…

In the book (((Semitism))), Being Jewish in America in the Age of Trump, [Jonathan] Weisman discovered, among other things, that a lot of online anti-Semitism has a link with Trump. Eg, he describes a meme that he and many other Jewish journalists have received, in which the face of the upset journalist is stuck into a gas chamber. In addition, a smiling Trump in Nazi uniform pushes the switch for the gas chamber.

In Trump’s defense, it is often stated that he can not be anti-Semitic because his daughter Ivanka has converted to Judaism, some of his grandchildren are Jewish, and because his government has a pro-Israel policy. … But according to Weisman, two things can be true at the same time: Trump may not be an anti-Semite, but his behaviour on social media does legitimize anti-Semitism. He does this by, among other things, maybe consciously retweeting tweets by anti-Semites.

Moreover, the logic of alt-right anti-Semitism fits perfectly with Trumps pro-Israel stance. They want the Jews to leave, that they leave towards their own state. Along that line, it can not hurt that Trump helps Israel build a strong nation-state.

The biggest neo-nazi site in the USA, the Daily Stormer, says: ‘Fellow nazis, don’t worry too much about Trump’s Jewish son-in-law and pro-Netanyahu policies. Important is that Trump fights the [so-called] ‘Jewish agenda’ by fighting LGBTQ people, fighting liberals and socialists, hating Muslims, hating Latin Americans etc. That is more important than going no further against Jews directly than dog whistles‘.

Trump promotes anti-Semitism indirectly even when not mentioning Jews at all. By maligning refugees from Central American dictators as ‘invaders‘ and criminals, he inspired the bloodbath in the Pittsburgh synagogue. Which was not just any synagogue, but a synagogue helping Latin American refugees. If it is supposedly OK to hate one ethnic group ‘because the president says so’, then it will become supposedly OK to hate other groups.

BIDEN BLAMES TRUMP FOR GROWING ANTI-SEMITISM Former Vice President Joe Biden delivered a blistering critique of Trump’s administration, blaming the White House for the huge rise in “anti-Semitic incidents.” [HuffPost]

ANTI-SEMITISM HIT ‘NEAR-HISTORIC LEVELS’ IN 2018 The annual Anti-Defamation League audit of anti-Semitic incidents showed that, compared with 2017, assaults against Jews had more than doubled ― the worst of which was the mass shooting at the Pittsburgh Tree of Life synagogue in October, when a white supremacist killed 11 worshippers. [HuffPost]

Trump Accuses Jews Of Loving Israel Not America — And His Fans Cheer. BATYA UNGAR-SARGON: It’s an anti-Semitic trope to claim that Jews are secretly more loyal to Israel than America. Trump said just that at the White House Hanukkah party. And many applauded: here.

The ADL does not hold the president personally responsible for the resurgence of anti-Semitism. But, like Weisman, they see a strong connection. Before Trump’s election, “anti-Semitic attacks were rare and unexpected” in the USA. In the Trump era, anti-Semitism has been ‘normalized and became a daily practice’. One indication for this, according the ADL, in the top five of words that appear in biographies of Twitter users who spread anti-Semitism: ‘Trump’ is one of those five words.

Marilyn Mayo [of the ADL] sees another example of how Trump and other Republicans indirectly promote anti-Semitism in the demonization of the billionaire … George Soros, who – like Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama- received a pipe bomb by mail from the radical Trump fan Cesar Sayoc.

Anyone who visits the Dutch language /pol/ on 4chan – also called /polder/ – immediately knows that he is entering anti-Semitic territory. “Jews not allowed” is in the introduction. …

Recently, a user found it interesting to place the front page of Storm, magazine of the Dutch SS (the edition of September 25, 1942) on the forum. …

All the time you notice how much attention goes to FvD politician [their leader Thierry] Baudet. So his remarks about Soros are received with great enthusiasm …

“I’m sure Thierry is a White Nationalist, the question is whether he can become the biggest party (sic).” …

The greatest common denominator is that they speak in favour of Forum for Democracy. … Sometimes they post photos of the JFvD [FvD youth branch] events they visit, some of them share a picture of a FvD membership card. …

Most attacks by Dutch anti-Semites focus on American Jews, and less on Dutch Jews, although sports journalist Barbara Barend this week on Twitter was attacked as a ‘stinking Jewess’ ….

Why the Dutch Jews receive little attention so far is explained in a podcast of [extreme right organisation] Erkenbrand. Fausto, a prominent member, says that the ‘Jewish power’ only is a factor in Amsterdam, but according to him they are not a problem elsewhere in the Netherlands. Between the lines the message is clear: the ‘problem’ in this country has been resolved years ago. “Although I will not shed any tears if the trains to the east will ride again“, he adds.

Raging Trump Fan Shouts ‘F—ing Jews’ At Florida Recount Protest: here.

The Federal Bureau of Investigation’s count of hate crimes against Jews jumped significantly in 2017, according to an annual report released Tuesday morning: here.

Tuesday, November 13, 2018, by Common Dreams. ‘Hate Is Rising in America’: During Trump’s First Year in Office, Largest Spike in Hate Crimes Since 9/11. “Words matter—hate speech has consequences.”

COPS PROBE N.Y. SWASTIKA ATTACK Police are investigating swastika graffiti along with a fire that caused substantial damage to a Jewish educational center in New York. [HuffPost]

THE NEO-NAZI PODCASTER NEXT DOOR Alleged Pittsburgh shooter Robert Bowers was a fan of a white supremacist propagandist known online as Grandpa Lampshade. We expose who he really is. [HuffPost]

Antisemitism and other racism at the University of Minnesota: here. And here.

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14 thoughts on “Anti-Semitism in the USA and the Netherlands

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  8. Members of the neo-Nazi National Socialist Movement burn a swastika at an April 2018 rally in Georgia. (Getty Images)

    The headlines seem to come every couple of days. A Jewish cemetery vandalized in Massachusetts. “Die, Jew Bitch” scrawled across Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s face on a poster in Brooklyn. Swastikas littering a playground in Queens. Swastikas sprayed on the door of a Democratic Party headquarters in Oklahoma.

    It’s hard to know what to make of these stories. They’re creepy. They’re unsettling. But are they the stirrings of some dark force looming up in the national consciousness? A warning of something worse to come?

    Or just some kids being stupid?

    In the face of these stories of vandalism, the question for American Jews is an inevitable one, born of centuries of historical trauma that shapes our worldview, even in this most secure of homes: Should the rest of us be worried for our safety?

    Here at the Forward, we spend a lot of time thinking about this. And we have some answers.

    This Isn’t New

    It’s too early to know if we’re seeing an actual increase in anti-Semitic vandalism this year, or if the recent spate of incidents is making us see a trend where there isn’t one.

    But Jews are frequent targets of hateful vandalism. Here are some numbers from the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s report on hate crimes in the U.S. in 2017, which show how much of the hate crime vandalism reported in the U.S. that year targeted Jews.

    2,325: Instances of hate crime vandalism

    691: Instances of hate crime vandalism targeting Jews

    30%: Proportion of hate crime vandalism that targeted Jews

    2%: Proportion of Americans who are Jewish

    A Brief, Randomly Selected History of Pre-Nazi Anti-Semitic Vandalism, From 167 BCE to 1569

    167 BCE: Antiochus IV desecrates the Temple in Jerusalem, installing an altar to Zeus.

    82: Construction of the Arch of Titus, decorated with a frieze depicting the Roman conquest of Jerusalem that isn’t exactly graffiti, but whatever.

    535: Justinian I decrees that synagogues in some parts of the Eastern Roman Empire can be confiscated and turned into churches.

    1239: Pope Gregory XII confiscates and then burns Jewish religious texts.

    1569: On the order of Pope Pius V, the Jewish cemetery of Bologna is destroyed.

    Protesters gathered at a Brooklyn park after swastikas were drawn on playground equipment there in 2016. (Getty Images)

    Why So Much Anti-Semitic Vandalism?

    When we wrote about this last November, one answer stuck out: The swastika.

    For a hater of Jews, the swastika is brilliant shorthand: A simple symbol that carries with it the terror of a historical genocide, and the explicit threat of future violence. It’s (relatively) easy to draw, universally recognizable, and unmistakable in intent.

    It’s also clear that Jews are more likely to report hateful vandalism. Groups like the Anti-Defamation League have raised awareness of the issue, and dedicated significant resources to tracking it, and to raising law enforcement awareness.

    Plus, Jewish buildings are often easier to identify than Jewish people. “If somebody wants to target Jews, where are they going to go?” said Oren Segal, director of the Anti-Defamation League’s Center on Extremism. “They’re likely going to go to Jewish institutions.”

    But Does It Lead to Violence?

    Seeing a swastika carved into a subway seat on your way to work might be upsetting. But is it a sign of violence to come?

    To the extent that we know who’s behind the recent vandalism, the answers are more sad than frightening. The swastikas in Queens were the work of two preteens.

    Still, it’s been a troubling few months. In the fall, a white supremacist massacred eleven Jews at a synagogue in Pittsburgh, the worst single instance of anti-Semitic violence in the history of this country.

    Since then, a string of troubling violent attacks on Orthodox Jews in Brooklyn has some on edge. The Forward’s Ari Feldman has written extensively about these incidents, which have been highly localized, and may be connected to neighborhood tensions.

    Yet in general, Jews have had little to fear from anti-Semitic violence in the U.S. As the FBI’s data suggests, anti-Jewish assaults are pretty uncommon. Here are some more numbers from the FBI’s 2017 hate crimes report, which show that hate crimes against Jews are less likely to be violent.

    6.8%: Proportion of anti-Jewish hate crimes that were assaults

    32%: Proportion of anti-black hate crimes that were assaults

    51%: Proportion of anti-gay male hate crimes that were assaults

    30%: Proportion of all hate crimes that were assaults

    American Nazi Party leader George Lincoln Rockwell speaks in Washington, D.C. in 1960. (Getty Images)

    “Historically, it’s been a small percentage of hate crimes against Jews that have been physical,” said Kenneth Stern, the anti-Semitism authority who now runs the Bard Center for the Study of Hate. “Of course, one is too many, and as we saw in Pittsburgh, it takes just one person to create great carnage. But historically, Jews are more likely to [need to] worry about a swastika at a synagogue or a tombstone being overturned than an in-your-face physical assault.”

    What Do You Think?

    Are you worried by these stories of anti-Semitic vandalism? What do you think they mean for American Jews? Tell us and we may use your answer in a future newsletter.
    TAKE OUR POLL

    So We Shouldn’t Worry?

    I didn’t say that! Anti-Semitic vandalism can be damaging on its own, even if it’s not a threat of violence. It can make us feel unwelcome in our own communities; unwanted by our neighbors; frightened to go to Jewish spaces.

    But even in the face of these unpleasant incidents, Americans have stood behind their Jewish neighbors. Muslim charities have repeatedly donated to help repair vandalized Jewish cemeteries. After vandals painted a few backwards swastikas on play equipment in a Brooklyn park, local kids showed up to cover the park in construction paper hearts.

    The Forward Association, Inc., 125 Maiden Lane, New York, NY 10038

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