Home inFocus Agenda for a New Congress (Winter 2023) Antisemitism: Endangering America and Its Values

Antisemitism: Endangering America and Its Values

Adam Milstein Winter 2023
Black Hebrew Israelites in Washington, DC. (Photo: OZinOH/Flickr)

At a summit held by the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) in November, FBI Director Christopher Wray spoke about “the tragic reality that the Jewish community uniquely ends up on the receiving end of hate-fueled attacks from all sides.” He referred to the white supremacist attacks in recent years in Poway, CA and Pittsburgh, PA and the 2022 attack at the synagogue in Colleyville, TX, motivated by “violent Jihad.” But it’s not just white supremacists and radical Muslims.

There are myriad groups espousing Jew-hatred – the far-right, the far-left, radical Muslims, and black supremacists such as Louis Farrakhan, to name a few. The reality is that these groups and their individual members and supporters pose a danger not only to the Jewish community but also to all Americans. Antisemites target Jews first, as they see the Jewish people as easy prey, but what they are really after is changing America beyond recognition, according to their distorted and extreme ideologies.

The tragic reality is that America as a whole is on the receiving end of hate-fueled attacks from all the radical elements of society. The fabric of America is disintegrating in front of our eyes at the hands of the sworn enemies of the American and the Jewish people.

Threat to Jewish Americans

In recent years, the threat against American Jews, and consequently the American people, has been mounting. Per FBI Director Wray, “A full 63 percent of religious hate crimes are motivated by antisemitism—targeting a group that makes up just 2.4 percent of our population.”

Interestingly, this hate is one of the sole common threads between far-right, far-left, radical Muslim, and black supremacist ideologies. These groups are united by familiar antisemitic tropes of a nefarious and powerful Jewish or “Zionist” cabal that allegedly seeks to dominate and subjugate individuals, societies, and nations through behind-the-scenes scheming.

More and more, these hate groups, who at their core are enemies to each other, are coalescing and cooperating in their hatred of the Jewish people and the Jewish state.

How did we arrive to this point, and is antisemitism just a Jewish problem?

Far-Right Threat

Jew-hatred from the far-right has grown in recent years with the popularization of the Great Replacement conspiracy theory. It commonly holds Jews responsible for a plot to subjugate if not eliminate the white race through promotion of non-white mass immigration, feminism, transgenderism, and other supposedly devious schemes.

Hence, at the notorious white supremacist “Unite the Right” rally held in Charlottesville, Virginia in August 2017, marchers feverishly chanted, “Jews will not replace us.”

Within the year, this unfolded into real-world violence against Jews. Accused in the October 2018 murder of 11 Jews at Pittsburgh’s Tree of Life synagogue is 50-year-old white supremacist Robert Gregory Bowers. This Shabbat morning attack was the deadliest on Jews in America’s history. Blaming the Jews for mass migration to the U.S., Bowers posted on social media before the attack, “I can’t sit by and watch my people get slaughtered. Screw your optics, I’m going in.”

A little over a year later in April 2019, 19-year-old John Timothy Earnest burst into the Chabad of Poway synagogue outside San Diego, killing one congregant in a blast of gunfire, again during Sabbath services. In his manifesto, Earnest wrote, “Every Jew is responsible for the meticulously planned genocide of the European race. They act as a unit, and every Jew plays his part to enslave the other races around him – whether consciously or subconsciously.”

As I’ve warned, the Jews were just the first, most attractive target. Soon these attacks spread to the rest of America. In August 2019, a far-right shooter targeted Latinos in an El Paso, Texas Walmart, killing 23. In May 2022, a far-right shooter targeted black Americans at a supermarket in Buffalo, New York, killing 10. Both cited the “Great Replacement” theory as motivations for their attacks.

Black Nationalist Threat

Jew-hatred doesn’t only come from white nationalists, but also from black nationalists, who since the 1960s have been exerting a major national influence through the ideas of the numerically small Nation of Islam (NOI) and their cohorts through race pride for African Americans and black separatism.

Hatred of Jews has long been brewing in the black community. Louis Farrakhan, the leader of the antisemitic NOI, has been a prominent voice among African Americans for decades.

Farrakhan spews hateful venom at Jews, alleging that the Jewish people were responsible for the trans-Atlantic slave trade and that they conspire to control government, communications media and Hollywood, as well as various black individuals and organizations. He frequently denies the legitimacy of Judaism–or the Jewish claim to the Land of Israel–arguing that “Judaism is nothing more than a ‘deceptive lie’ and a ‘theological error’ promoted by Jews to further their ‘control’ over America’s government and economy.”

The severity of this problem burst onto the national scene in December 2019, with a spate of attacks against the Jewish community in the New York metropolitan area. On December 10, two heavily armed individuals connected to the Black Hebrew Israelite (BHI) movement murdered three people at a kosher supermarket in Jersey City, NJ. Weeks later, on December 28, a BHI-inspired individual attacked a Chanukah gathering in Monsey, NY with a large knife, killing 72-year-old Rabbi Josef Neumann.

Once again, this hate then migrated from Jews to the rest of society. In November 2021, Darrell Brooks, a black nationalist, drove his SUV into a crowd of Christmas parade attendees in Waukesha, WI, killing six people and wounding dozens. In April 2022, another black nationalist, Frank Robert James, perpetrated a mass shooting on the New York City subway during rush hour, injuring 29 people. James’s online incitement and bigotry included antisemitic diatribes.

Farrakhan’s views are echoed in the recent antisemitic outbursts of famed rapper Kanye West, who now goes by “Ye.” West is now claiming, “Somehow our country has been taken over by, you know, maybe about 300 Zionists.” Farrakhan and West have actually been publicly connected for years, with West referring to him as “sensei” in one of his songs.

When West talks about blacks being the real Jews, he mimics the beliefs of the Black Hebrew Israelites. While white supremacists say, “Jews will not replace us,” BHI followers insist they are us. Just this past month, a group of BHI marchers in Brooklyn ominously chanted, “we are the real Jews.”

And now Kanye West has united with the far right, bringing white supremacist Nick Fuentes along with him when dining with former President Donald Trump at the latter’s Mar-a-Lago resort in Florida on November 22.

“Red-Green” Left-Right Allies

Not to be outdone, the radical left has been boosting its Jew-hatred for decades, disguising it by using hatred for the homeland of the Jewish people, the state of Israel, instead. This radical new grouping of antisemitism initially gained intellectual currency in universities and other leftist intellectual circles. Contemporary antisemitism can be found among members of the radical left, who are inherently anti-American and see Israel as a symbol of American and Western imperialism, aggressive military rule, and the violation of human rights.

Similarly, radical Muslims have long sought Israel’s destruction and promulgated conspiracies about Jewish- Zionist global domination. Despite the fact that radical Muslims and leftists are naturally otherwise misaligned in their belief systems and ideologies, they have joined forces against Jews and the West.  As the Reut Group warns, “The strategic partnership between the radical left and political Islam, known as the red-green or Islamo-Left alliance, emerged in Europe, but it has migrated to the U.S. in recent years.” Despite their hatred and intolerance for each other, they have a shared agenda that is anti-Western, anti-American, and anti-Zionist.

The New Antisemites report by StopAntisemitism.org and Zachor Legal Institute in which anti-Zionism or hatred of Israel is identified as an acceptable stand-in for the classical hatred of Jews, documents how this contemporary hate, as disseminated by the Islamo-Left’s so-called “Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions” (BDS) Movement, is negatively influencing large segments of the U.S. population and creating a dangerous environment that normalizes vilification of Jews, as well as inciting violence against Jews, something that history has shown to have deadly consequences.

The radical left has also been promoting Critical Race Theory (CRT) and Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) programs at universities and high schools, contributing to antisemitism in the American education system. However, antisemitism is not just a Jewish problem – it is an American problem. While CRT and DEI policies may disproportionately target and harm Jewish students (identifying them as “white adjacent” in a “system of white oppression”), the agenda ultimately seeks to undermine and replace fundamental American values and replace it with its own radical vision.

Islamo-Left Ties

The strange alliance between the radical left and radical Muslims – two groups that, despite their seemingly incompatible worldviews, happily collaborate against Israel and the Jews – can be explained by the theory of “intersectionality” adopted by many in the far left. According to this theory, groups that consider themselves neglected and discriminated against must come together to fight against each of those groups’ supposed enemies.

This new partnership was on full display during the last major conflict between Israel and the Palestinians in May 2021, when terror groups Hamas and Islamic Jihad launched more than 4,000 rockets and mortars at Israeli civilians. Americans witnessed stunning and unprecedented scenes in New York, Los Angeles, and other major politically progressive urban centers of Jews being assaulted by mobs of anti-Israel activists. This surge of anti-Jewish hate also included harassment, vandalism and online abuse.

Few imagined that such a wave of violence against Jews in American cities would be possible within living memory of the Holocaust. Jews in America now report that they often fear walking the streets wearing Jewish symbols, congregating outside Jewish community buildings, or even speaking Hebrew or Yiddish in public. This is a growing threat to American society. Street violence and hate speech is replacing American principles of reasoned discourse and debate.

Through intersectionality, the Red-Green alliance seeks to replace universal virtues like tolerance, pluralism, freedom of speech, and rule of law with racialized “anti-racism,” hierarchical critical race theory, diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) policies that discriminate against Asians, Jews and whites, intolerant “cancel culture,” and the censorship of social media “de-platforming.”

Danger on the Doorstep

Defining antisemitism as a Jewish problem is a lose-lose proposition. Antisemitism is a threat to America, as it is a harbinger of rising violent extremism that will soon consume us all.

Together, those who foremost target Jews – white and black nationalists as well as the Red-Green alliance of the left and Islamists – are a fundamental threat to America and its values. These radical groups are spearheading efforts to erode the core principles that make our country exceptional, replacing America’s commitment to individual rights and equality, meritocracy, rule of law, tolerance, pluralism, due process, freedom of speech, and free-market capitalism with a racialized and violent world steeped in conspiracy theories and political polarization.

The Jewish people have long been portrayed as the sacrificial “canary in the coal mine,” a powerless creature that through its demise will warn others of danger. However, here we are not a canary but an eagle, warning Americans of the looming threats on the horizon. Heed our warnings.

Adam Milstein is an Israeli-American “Impact Philanthropist.” He can be found on Twitter @AdamMilstein.