People are right to be afraid of rising anti-Semitism in the United States. But too many of them are wrong about what it is and where it’s coming from.
In the last two or three years, encouraged and legitimized by candidate and then President Donald Trump, anti-Semitism has been on the rise alongside virulent racism, extreme misogyny, xenophobia, Islamophobia and homophobia. Trump praised the “fine people” among the Ku Klux Klan (KKK) and Nazi sympathizers who marched in Charlottesville, Virginia in August 2017, chanting, “Jews will not replace us,” “White lives matter,” and “One people, one nation, end immigration.” One of those “fine people” used his car as a weapon to kill Heather Heyer and injure dozens more anti-racist protesters, and Trump thus gave the imprimatur of the White House to the most violent racist and anti-Semitic forces in the United States.
Just over a year later, another white, racist killer, angered, he said, by the congregation’s support for the refugees and immigrants Trump has falsely targeted as rapists and murderers, attacked the Tree of Life Synagogue in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, murdering 11 Jewish worshipers and injuring at least six more.