How the Fetishization of Victimhood Encourages Anti-Semitism

January 16, 2020 | Abe Greenwald
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Reflecting on the relationship between recent instances of violent anti-Semitism in the U.S. and the current political culture, Abe Greenwald comments:

[Today], the country is seized by the politics of victimhood, and there’s nothing that self-pitying “victims” find easier than blaming Jews for their misery. The names given to the bogeymen of today’s populism are all historical code words for Jews. On the populist right, this means the elite, the globalists, and the media. On the populist left, it’s Wall Street, the wealthy, and the 1 percent. If that’s not enough, the left has also decided that Jews—a minority who make up 2.2 percent of the American population—are “hyper white” and, in Marxist terms, actually part of the power structure that keeps minorities down.

What’s more, . . . some of the left’s leading populists have gone out of their way to steer their followers toward blaming the Jews. The stand-out figures here are the Minnesota congresswoman Ilhan Omar and the Michigan congresswoman Rashida Tlaib. Their public record of blaming Jewish money for corrupting American politics is so well known that it needs no rehearsing here. And it’s either been ignored or defended by the larger left. If you called either of them out on their anti-Semitism, you were charged with racism and misogyny. Democratic leaders were so petrified of Omar that they couldn’t even pass a House resolution condemning her blatant anti-Semitic remarks.

But the problem on the left goes beyond Omar and Tlaib. . . . It stretches to the identitarian populism of most of the 2020 Democratic candidates for president, to the liberal garment-rending over the defeat of the anti-Semitic Jeremy Corbyn, to the intersectional gobbledygook that divides college campuses by ethnicity, to the Women’s March activists who embrace Louis Farrakhan, and down to the community level, where, for example, the NAACP’s Passaic, NJ branch posts Facebook rants blaming tainted water supplies on the Jews.

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