Hating Jews is abhorrent. As revolting as the practice of anti-Semitism is, it’s a problem that lies hidden right in the midst of America—and it’s more widespread than we like to admit.
There are countless ways in which Jews are marginalized and persecuted in the United States and abroad. Threats against the freedom of speech and freedom of religion of Jews and attacks on their lives and livelihoods are weapons of hate which—left unchallenged—will be turned on the rest of us.
These are the undeniable instruments of oppression, the arsenal that will take away our liberty and undermine our friends and allies around the world. When we fight back against anti-Semitism, we fight for all of us.
Anti-Semitism is a common denominator among hate groups and dictatorial regimes. Jews have historically been among the first target of illiberal, fascist forces. The rise of anti-Semitism is only gathering speed in the current climate of radical extremism in the U.S. and across the free world, under the perverse guise of “social justice.”
This perversion is fueled by recasting disputes between Palestinians and Israel as a one-sided act of oppression. Moreover, the rise of anti-Semitism is only gathering speed in the current climate of far-left extremism. It is under the perverse guise of “social justice.”
“The pro-Palestinian, post-modern attack against Israel came under the banner of human rights,” explains Natan Sharansky in his recent book, “Never Alone: Prison, Politics and My People.” The attacks are part of a political agenda—an Orwellian effort that is trying to limit human freedom by pretending to advocate for them.
The greatest exploiters of the Palestinian people are the people that govern them. The anti-Semitic campaign solidifies their control, enriches them, and serves their foreign masters that seek to destroy an American ally.
The Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions movement, which uses boycotts and other measures to harm Israel, is a deplorable example. Active in America—especially university campuses—and internationally as well, the campaign is little more than economic warfare on a U.S. ally.
Current economic and social anxieties only serve as an empowering catalyst for extremist movements. Blaming Jews for everything that is wrong with the world is just one part of the strategy. These campaigns of hate are undercutting the foundation of decency at home and abroad.
The most disturbing expression of anti-Semitism is the use of violence. The most recent release of the FBI’s hate crime report revealed that one of the biggest targets were Jews. Crimes against Jews accounted for 60.2% of all religious-based hate crimes that year.
Beyond outright violence is a swamp of tactics that promote oppression, persecution, and discrimination.
America is facing the rise of three distinct radical groups that seek not only Jewish destruction, but America’s destruction: the radical left, the radical right, and radical Islamists. While these factions have widely diverging worldviews, they share anti-Semitic ideas and a deep hatred for America as it is today. They use similar tactics and take advantage of society’s vulnerabilities to advance their un-American aims.
The far left aims to achieve their utopian vision of “social justice” by dismantling and destroying America’s institutions and core values, including capitalism, freedom, and democratic governance. Its goal is to brush aside the Constitution’s unshakable commitment to freedom of speech, freedom of religion, and equal protection under the law.
At the same time, the far-right is waging a war against minorities in this country, in direct opposition to the deeply rooted American concepts of diversity and tolerance.
It is also shocking how often these agendas align with the goals of radical Islamists at home and overseas. They seek to curtail, if not eliminate, freedom of religion, equality under law, and the rights of women and minorities. It is what radical Islamists have done in other parts of the world, and it’s what they envision for America and the rest of the free world.
This alliance of fellow travelers includes nation-states all too willing to throw napalm on the fire. Russian disinformation frequently peddles anti-Semitic tropes. Rogue regimes like Iran use anti-Semitic conspiracies as a justification for the destruction of Israel and America. Other self-serving states peddle anti-Semitism in the United Nations and other international forums.
Here is the point: The rise of anti-Semitism is not just an accident of history or an unfortunate recurring plague. The spread and weaponization of anti-Semitism is explicit and intentional. It is a part of a plot to remake America and undermine the freedom and security of the free world.
If we don’t defeat anti-Semitism at home and abroad, we will not just lose a fight for the survival of a secure, safe, and free America. It will be perhaps the most powerful indicator that we will have forgotten who we are and what we stand for.
This piece originally appeared in The Daily Signal