Well, let’s review the news this week. It includes news we don’t print, simply because we don’t have the room for every anti-Semitic incident that comes in.
They come in weekly now. They come in great bunches. They do not stop. Remember, back in the 1990s, when commentators wondered where all the anti-Semitism had gone? Hard as it is to believe now, there were actually a few years, after the fall of communism, when the ancient hatred actually seemed to take a hiatus.
Well, let’s review the news: Holocaust denial will continued to appear on Facebook, Mark Zuckerberg decides. The British Labour party is looking at 250 complaints of anti-Semitism by or against its members. Make that Story #1 on the British Labour front. Story #2: A Scottish councilwoman and party member says that Israel’s Mossad controls three British Jewish newspapers. Why? The newspaper published a joint editorial expressing alarm over the anti-Semitism in the Labour party. Here is #3 on the Labour front: A Labour member says that Jews drink blood.
Now, in Chicago, Airbnb removed a listing in which a prospective renter prohibited expressions of Zionism in her place. Next: Vice President Pence is sickened by a swastika and a Nazi military Iron Cross painted on a synagogue in Indianapolis. In Staten Island, a swastika was painted on a private, Jewish home. A 51-year old man was charged with attempting to burn down an 18th century synagogue in Exeter, England. Back to Mike Pence: He condemned the growth of anti-Semitism even in free societies in Europe: Germany, France, Britain.
Go to Rumania: Its agricultural minister compared the incineration of pigs affected with swine fever to the incineration at Auschwitz. “It’s like Auschwitz,’ he said of the disposal of the pigs. He later released a statement saying that he respected “all members of the Jewish community,” and he “only wanted to present the particularly difficult situation facing pig breeders from African swine fever.” Here’s the scary thing: he may be sincere. If he is, this means that anti-Semitic tropes and language may be entering the mainstream of normal discourse (another reason, by the way, why Mark Zuckerberg should reconsider his decision to allow Holocaust denial on Facebook).
Mind you, all these reports of anti-Semitism came in just this week; and as of this writing, we have received only two-thirds of the news items scheduled to arrive this week. Who knows what’s in the last third? The authorities in Britain report a slight drop in anti-Semitic incidents in the first half of this year. We are not consoled because last year’s number was the highest on record. But it’s more — much more —than the numbers. It’s the legitimacy. It’s the routinization of anti-Semitism everywhere. It’s the fact that once anti-Semitism crosses a certain threshold in the public consciousness, it feeds on itself.
Still more. It’s the differentiation of anti-Semitism — not only against Jews, but against Judaism, all in the name of tolerance! Circumcision is under threat throughout Europe, led by the Scandinavian countries. They may end up empty of Jews because no Jew will live in a place where he or she will find the practice of Judaism illegal. Jewish ritual slaughter is already illegal in some European countries. Not content to outlaw it, some countries even want to forbid the importation of kosher meat from other countries.
We don’t mean to pick on Mr. Zuckerberg, who is no anti-Semite, but he is aiding an age-old hatred stronger than Facebook, sprouting even more fiercely than Facebook.
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