America has been shaken to its core over the past months, first with the Covid pandemic and then the riots and protests in the aftermath of the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis.  Where these protests have led to rioting and mayhem, a disturbing current of anti-Semitism has followed in the form of anti-Semitic rhetoric and slogans chanted by protestors, graffiti, and vandalism.  It should come as no surprise that the recent Black Lives Matter protest movement has sparked a surge of anti-Semitism.  The BLM movement has—in a multitude of ways—joined forces with the radical-Palestinian Left.

There is no inherent reason for the conflict between Jews and African-Americans. Jews played a major and critical role in the formation of the early Civil Rights movement; but with the radicalization of the movement and the infusion of Leftist and Black Muslim ideology, Jews find themselves on the outside looking in.  From Jesse Jackson’s “Hymie Town” comment, Louis Farrakhan’s malign influence, to Al Sharpton’s Jew-hating riots in Crown Heights which led to the murder of a Jewish man, the “civil rights” movement of Martin Luther King has moved on from its noble roots to become a monument to Leftist Jew-hatred.

In full disclosure, I am not Jewish, but a Christian conservative. I happen to believe that the greatest threat today does not stem from the noxious, over the top Jew-hatred of Jesse Jackson or Al Sharpton and their ilk. Rather, it is the much more malign and subtle form of Jew-hatred that does the greatest damage; what I could call the mainstreaming of anti-Semitism. When LeBron James posted a comment on Instagram about “getting that Jewish money,” his casual anti-Semitism was just one example among many. When such a well-known cultural “icon” can casually display Jew-hatred and hardly anyone blinks, we know, or should know, that the virus of anti-Semitism has infiltrated deeply into our culture and has reached a critical stage.

It is no longer news that the Left has become increasingly anti-Semitic . That the Democrat party has so embraced this strain of anti-Semitism is very troublesome, but it is rarely reported in the media. Yet the reality is there for all to see.  But I want to pivot for a moment to examine the other side of the political spectrum.

Anti-Semitism has long been thought of as a disease of the far right and there is certainly a past and current history to back that up.  And while we are witnessing the rise of Leftist anti-Semitism, we would be naïve to think that the Right has fully expunged all elements of anti-Semitism from its ranks.  While today we see this hatred mostly on the fringes of the far right in America, with the ghosts of David Duke, the KKK, and other white supremacist organizations, we need to remain mindful of the fear of a wider spread of anti-Semitism on the Right.

History teaches us that when times are good, the economy is strong and a nation and people are safe, persecution and discrimination against “others,” tends to be rare. However, when a society falls on hard times, economic collapse, war, and social upheaval, that is when one looks for scapegoats. My worry is that, as has happened throughout history, Jews will be caught in the middle between a suddenly oppressive government and a working class in revolt.  The Jews would certainly be among those that would be blamed for the societal collapse.

And while it is early and there isn’t necessarily a “trend” of anti-Semitism to be detected on the Right, there are warning signs, lurking below the surface.  Some will say I am looking for make-believe monsters in the closet, but a few thousand years of history tells us that these monsters are all too real and can rise from nothing and in places where we would least expect them.

One area of concern is the recent attacks from both the left and segments of the right against capitalism.  This topic requires a much more in-depth study, so just for brevity, I will summarize.  The attacks on Wall Street, investment bankers, hedge fund managers and so forth have increased in the past years, across the political spectrum, from the Occupy movement on the Left to the anti-globalists on the Right.  There is certainly a lot to criticize; globalism and unfair trade practices have arguably contributed to the hallowing out of the industrial and manufacturing base and done irreparable damage to Middle America.

This is not a treatise on economics; much smarter minds can have that debate.  What I am pointing to is how this debate may play out and be viewed and interpreted.  We know the anti-Semitic trope; for centuries Jews have been caricatured as greedy, money grubbing vultures preying on the hard working folk in struggling areas.  If an economic crash befalls America, again, the finger pointing will begin and what seems like innocuous attacks on corporate vultures and predatory capitalism, hedge fund managers and companies like Goldman Sachs, can take a very dark turn.

The other worrisome sign is what we see within the American Jewish community in light of recent events.  A number of articles have been written documenting how some mainstream and left-wing American Jewish organizations have not only turned a blind eye to the rage of anti-Semitic attacks occurring as part of the BLM protests but have spoken out to condone and excuse the wave of attacks on synagogues and Jews.

These Jewish groups are rushing to be as one with the BLM movement, regardless of the cost.  We see this capitulation across the spectrum, in the corporate world, sports, entertainment and in our national politics. Everyone is bowing to the pressure of the mob.  So while it might seem that I am singling out Jewish organizations, in this case, I do so with a purpose.

To a non-Jew, this eagerness to ally oneself with one’s detractors is the height of madness. This was the attitude shared by some in the 1930’s in Germany, but at least then they didn’t have the precedent of the Holocaust looming over them.  Now we do.  As Daniel Greenfield just recently wrote, “organizations that claim to speak for the Jewish community have sold it out instead.”

If and when the system further collapses and we approach what could be anarchy or civil war, when the backlash hits, there will be the inevitable moment of recriminations and blame, from all sides. The far right will have its voices heard and, I fear, that they will blame the Jews for their perceived role in this plot to bring America down.  After all, as we all know, the Jews get blamed for everything.

So much of the anti-Semitism that we hear is so ridiculous and absurd that one is tempted to laugh it off as the conspiracies of the lunatic fringe. In the past months we have heard and read that it was the Jews who are responsible for Covid-19, that Jews are responsible for the death of George Floyd, and that the Jews are behind the so-called racist police state that is America. The great tragedy is that these “absurd” tropes become reality in the minds of the infected, and contribute to the drives of passion that move a society from crazy talk to the idea of pogroms, persecution and finally, to genocide.

My plea to my Jewish American friends and co-patriots, and to my fellow Christians, is that while we all must fight injustice, we also must continue to stand for what is so great about this country. None of us should waver in the belief that our nation, America, in spite of our faults, warts, and sins, is at our roots, in our hearts and to our core, the greatest, freest and must tolerant country to have ever existed in the history of mankind. We must always call out the Jew hatred that we see all around us, for it is absolute suicide to align oneself with and to condone the vile Jew haters on the Left who seek to “burn it down.” We will all burn down with it.

America has been a relative safe haven for Jews since the first Jewish immigrants arrived in 1621, 399 years ago. I fear that safe haven is eroding, that age-old hatreds are bubbling just below the surface. We see it now in the streets, in our schools, on the internet and in our culture. I dread what may come again, here; in the last place we would ever expect it.  We need to fight this cancer, all of us.

 

Michael Finch has spent his life working in the nonprofit field attempting to preserve America’s freedom and liberties. He has been published widely in a number of journals and is a frequent speaker. He is the author of two books of poetry: Finding Home (2015) and Wanderings in Place (2019).

Michael Finch

Author Michael Finch

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Join the discussion 12 Comments

  • Thank you for this. My feeling is that it’s up to the Churches, and even the Pope who has done little, to put a stop to the current rise in anti-semitism. Huge congregations attend services regularly in the black churches and they hang on every word preached by their ministers. At the moment it’s the black sports and media stars who are leading the chorus agains Jews. We’ve had enough! I’m a writer and have written and posted a poem every single day for the past 18 weeks on Facebook. I am liberal but very open minded and nit extreme. I can’t stand what’s happening to our world, on all fronts. I live in Los Angeles, but was born in China, was a POW of the Japanese in Shanghai for three years during WWII. I lived in Israel, served two years in the IDF and then lived in S Africa for 36, Canada for five, and now, last stop in LA. for 23 years. I’ve seen the world and have experienced and witnessed racism in all it’s miserable forms. What’s next, and what can I do to help?

    • Thank you for your comment. What you, and all of us, can do is speaking out against racism including antisemitism whenever we come across it, without expressing new hate. The BLM movement addresses racism against Black people, but at the same time expresses hate against blue, white and the Jewish State. That is not the right way to stand up against racism. It creates more hate. One can criticize, but not hate. Never.

  • Rick M Stein says:

    Michael Finch’s article is very well written. One point he did not make should be noted. Today, Jews and Israel have the greatest support from Christians in the course of history, mainly through Christians United For Israel (CUFI) with its 8 million members. This is an incredible organization. My wife and I are Charter Members since it was formed about 8-10 years ago. In many regards, Christians and Jews find themselves in the same place, defending Democracy and Freedom for all. Thank you Michael Finch. Rick Stein

    • I agree, the support of Christian Americans is the backbone of America’s support for Israel. It may have roots in Biblical history and promises, but I agree with you Christians and Israel struggle for the common values of freedom and democracy for all. These values are even under siege in the free West today. From neo-Marxists, Neo-Nazi’s and Islamists. I shed light on it in my documentary Never Again Is Now on Amazon https://www.amazon.com/gp/video/detail/B07Z27QLXK/ref=atv_dl_rdr . Jews are the canary in the coalmine.

    • honey says:

      I have no problem hating those who want to destroy our heritage and our way of life. I don’t care what the name of their organization is or what color they are. I love America and I didn’t vote for these people who think they have the right to behave so horribly.

      And today I do believe the anti semitism in America is solely on the left.

  • Ziv Kozaski says:

    Thank you

  • One reader, let’s call her LS, posted a comment somewhere else:
    “Both interesting and troubling. He stresses the threats from the Left much more than the Right, and weakens his thesis in doing so. Sad, because the dual threat is there”

  • Another reader, let’s call him EVG, emailed us the following comment:
    “Maybe you need to do some factchecking before believing everything the extreme right wing presents as facts. See for example https://blogs.timesofisrael.com/where-jews-fit-in-to-the-black-live-matter-movement/ . Just a suggestion.”

  • MH emailed us the reaction below:
    “The author misses a very critical point. Far right anti-Semites in America have no political or financial power, No mainstream Republican or consrvative associates or makes excuses for them. There is nothing equivalent to the black congressional caucus, the squad, Al Shaporton as a leader in the Dem party. Every Dem candidate genuflected at his gathering, Pelosi gave squad members key committee assignments, No Repub Pres has ever met with D. Duke (0r his ilk) as Obama with Farahahn and Sharpton 50 + visits to White House. All the REp voted for a condemnation of anti-Semitism, the Dems demanded to nustraize by being against all hate. There are psychopaths or sociopaths on the right that strike out doing horrible things. But they have zero access to any power. There are no conservative Jewish organizations that ally with BLM and the rest of them. Maybe in Europe it’s different. As with the Israel /Palistinian causes, there is no moral equivalence. And of course in terms of support for Israel the Iran deal revealed the problematic nature of the Dem Party.
    A general has to assess where the enemy is and where genuine threats exist and direct his attacks appropriately. KKK sorts are a deadly but minor threat in America.”

  • Carol Greenwald says:

    The threat is from the Left because the Right wing haters have no constituency – everyone despises Neo-Nazis and skinheads. The haters on the Left are the elites in the universities, media, sports and now some elected officials.They are the “cool” crowd- the mob before whom all are silenced. They are a true fascist danger not only to Jews who will be the first victims, but to all freedom loving Americans. The only thing that stands against the pending catastrophe Is the re-election of President Trump.

  • Ma Har says:

    “Never Again” is a plea from the murdered 6 million that Jews defend themselves.

    “If I am not for myself, who will be for me?”- Hillel the Elder

    Jewish Democrats enable the Judenhass spread by Ilhan Omar, Rashida Tlaib, Ocasio-Cortez, the sub rosa Democrat powerbroker Farrakhan, and the powerful antisemitic “Identity Wing of the Party.

    Those “Jewish organizations” (some are merely front groups ostensibly portrayed as Jewish organizations) who betray Jews are nothing more than modern-day versions of concentration camp Kapos.

    Deaf, dumb, and blind in the face of repeated threats and smears really hasn’t served Jews well in the past, has it?

    “An Appeaser Is One Who Feeds a Crocodile, Hoping It Will Eat Him Last.” (attributed to) Winston Churchill

  • Rob Miller says:

    Black Lives Matter is by it’s very nature racist and anti-semitic.Anyone who doubts tht ned merely to read their manifesto and read up on the pogrom in Los Angeles’s Jewish community, where Synagogues and Jewish schools were vandalized and Jewish businesses were specifically targeted for looting by these folks. It is also admittedly Marxist. There is NO REASON FOR JEWS OR Anyone else to support it, especially since its now in the forefront of a political campaign which openly hates Israel and is allied with the most radical ‘Palestinian’ organizations as well as AntiFa. These people are simply domestic terrorists. The Jews and Jewish organizations who have given support to it in order to virtue signal or simply to fit in with their Leftist cronies are in for a huge surprise if people like this actually take over and have a huge saying in America’s policy, domestic and foreign. And they will, if the Democrats win the next election. And no, the majority of the Democrats in congress are not pro Israel and haven’t been for some time. Sorry AIPAC, there is no bi-partisan support for Israel anymore,not since Obama. Nor will there be, eventually, for Jews who give money and support as ‘loyal allies.’ Lenin also used non-religious, non-observant Jews to carry out his policies…until he didn’t need them anymore and had them executed. As King Solomon famously said, “There is nothing new under the sun”.

    The way to stop this is to put a spotlight on it and openly say what it is. And when and where necessary to protect ourselves. Believe it or not, there are lots of black Americans who will join you, since they see this for what it is. It’s time we stood up for ourselves.

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